The report focused on ten nations, both developed and developing, where men and women were asked questions about domestic and international news. Despite the diversity of the ten sample countries – Australia, Canada, Colombia, Greece, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, the UK, and the US – women answered fewer questions correctly than men in every country.
10,000 participants took part in the study, which tested their knowledge of broadcast, print and web journalism. They were asked a combination of questions based on hard and soft news reports including recent international events. The hard news questions pertained to topics such as national unemployment, while soft news related to sports personalities and celebrity scandals. The level of gender equality in the nations surveyed was based on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap index ratings.
Professor James Curran, Director of the Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre at the University of London, was surprised to find that gaps in political knowledge are wider in countries that have done the most to promote gender equality. These gender gaps in Norway, the UK and the US are as large, or larger than gaps in South Korea and Japan.