Women in the War: A Gendered Analysis of Media Coverage of the Russian-Ukraine War

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In recent years several commentators have observed the trend of mainstream media ignoring and distorting women’s perspectives and experiences in armed conflicts. Both in the reporting and the wider discourse about conflicts, women tend to be cast less as political actors and more as helpless victims, often paired with children in accounts of war incidents. Carolina Marques de Mesquita (2016), in her study of media coverage of recent wars and conflicts, observed that while major media outlets tend to represent the scale of violence in a conflict through the harm and death inflicted on women, they are otherwise often neglected. This contention sets the backdrop for our study that aims to explore the Russian-Ukraine War from a gendered lens. We examine the coverage of the ongoing conflict in four news outlets to see whether or not they reflect the established pattern of gendered representations of war. Our analysis reveals, by and large, persistence in the pattern of coverage of the war that corroborates the charge that media reportage of conflict tends to underrepresent women and distort their involvement in wars through narrow role characterizations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7
JournalJournal of International Women's Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Femininity
  • Gender hierarchy
  • Hypermasculinity
  • Media representation of women
  • War

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies


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