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Women's voices are "silenced and sidelined" on the economy Reuters

Women's voices are absent in economic commentary with 80% of newspaper articles on the economy showing a male bias, a report by the Fawcett Society has found.

An analysis of all coverage of the economy over the period of the 2015 general election campaign in six national newspapers found the vast majority of articles were written by men.

Sam Smethers, Fawcett CEO, said: "Women are being silenced and sidelined on the economy and in 2015 that is just not on.

"Just as we saw during the period of austerity and more recently with tax credit changes, measures which will be announced in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review will undoubtedly have a significant and potentially disproportionate impact on women's lives. So where are women's voices on the economy?"

Ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review on 25 November, the Fawcett Society is calling on the media to increase the number of women it references and quotes as part of its coverage on the economy.

Although no newspaper attained equal representation in terms of quotes and references, the report found that the tabloids performed slightly better in terms of percentage of women's views. The Mirror achieved 25% and The Sun 22% of quotes from women. The Daily Telegraph fared the worst, with only 14% of those quoted being women.

"150 years after the Fawcett Society was first founded to advocate for women's rights, what this research has found is deeply disappointing. Fewer than 1 in 5 articles quote women and men equally or name women more than men. This failure to include female voices means that the debate and agenda continues to be largely shaped by men."

"We are not suggesting that journalists, male or female, deliberately exclude women from their articles, rather the imbalance is more likely to reflect a mix of unconscious bias and the tendency to return to tried and tested contacts," Smethers said.

"Newspapers and the wider media play an important role in public life and as such they have a responsibility to respond to our challenge and increase the female voices in their economic commentary."