Leadership, gender and the Arab media: a perception study of female journalists in Egypt

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Public Policy & Administration Department

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Public Policy & Administration Department

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Charles Wharton Kaye-Essien; Mai Ismail

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Feminist Media Studies

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This article examines the factors contributing to the under-representation of women leaders in the Egyptian media. Whilst a plethora of research exist on women in the Arab media in general, very few have so far examined the extent of women’s representation in top media management positions particularly in Egypt. Based on empirical insights from 40 key informant interviews, this article finds that in their quest to become top media managers, Egyptian women journalists encounter a two-dimensional uphill battle—institutional and social discrimination. Institutional discrimination is evident in the absence of a legal and organizational environment to encourage women leadership. This includes a notable wage gap, gendered work relations, and difficulty maintaining a work–life balance. Social discrimination is practised against women journalists outside newsrooms, more specifically within their home environments, where they have to battle patriarchal social norms.

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