Although women constitute fifty percent of the human population in the world, most of them have not been allowed by the predominant males, to have their due share. The women have been oppressed for a long time, & they have not been allowed to develop themselves, as independent individuals. It is an irony that many of the crimes against women, are committed or abetted by women. More so, there are several influence factors & sectors operating, in which women find them entrapped, & helpless. Some jobs & trades have been considered, citadel of only the men folks. It is only recently that, the women are conquering some of these forts. Most of the successes achieved by the womenfolk have been, due to their own efforts & guts. The book brings out the fact that coverage of women’s news/issues in media is not fair, meaning thereby that this communication is biased, based on gender, to the detriment of women. It considers women’s issues as insignificant, not fit for debate in public in democracy. This statement is based on the content analysis of news stories, which means that there is a connection between, the gender & the media practices.
Chapter 1 as Introduction discusses about contextualising women in the democratic media. In today’s scenario in democracy, media plays an important role, in imparting education to the public & also voicing their concerns. Therefore the issues on the agenda of media are more likely to come in prominence. It has been observed that the issues connected with women, have in the past, been mostly marginalized. While there may be different opinions on, what should be treated as women’s news/issues, this study attempts to ascertain the status in this respect, & explains the criteria for this study, selection of newspapers, journalists & women’s organizations etc. Chapter 2 provides the background on the nature of gender & democracy, wherein women’s concerns do not get the focus, which they merit. Many scholars believe that democracy has been more rewarding to men, than women. Chapter 3 examines the position of women in the pre-independence, & post-independence periods.
Even though man & woman should be treated as equals, in practice it is not so. Women’s interests have mostly been ignored, or played on a low key. In Chapter 4, the author discusses the linkages between cultural consensus & media practices, and the nature of coverage of women’s news/issues & the movement in the media. It discusses the coverage of women’s news/issues in the press, under four subheads (a) news coverage of women’s issues (b) non-news coverage of women’s issues (c) trends of coverage over different years (d) coverage of women’s organizations, or the women’s movement. As per Chapter 5, women’s questions do not hold significant status among journalists, & there is lack of sensitivity, both at general & particular levels. Chapter 6 describes the attitude of media, as viewed by the women activists, towards women’s issues. Feminists have observed that, the quality of press coverage regarding news for women has been extremely poor, it lacks the feminist perspective, & also some times the press is quite insensitive. Even some journalists are reported to have stated that, the media does not pay proper attention to the women’s organizations & women’s issues. Chapter 7 summarizes the issues, the implications & the major findings, & then also suggests some measures, which address the issues involved. Towards the end of each of the Chapters, Notes have been provided. In all there are 95 such notes. Six Appendices provide, other relevant details. The Bibliography contains a total of 333 references. Summing up, this book is an important contribution. It is considered useful for media professionals, mediaanalysts, women activists, as well as the researchers.