Media Space for Female Political Representatives in Sri Lanka: A Study on Women Politicians Appearing on TV Programs


Adeline Molamure, Sri Lanka's first female legislator, entered the State Council of Ceylon in 1931 by winning a by-election following her father's demise. Forty-eight years later, in 1979, Sri Lanka officially initiated television broadcasting. The newly introduced audio-visual media soon turned into the citizens' primary source of information. On June 5, 1797, the government took over the ITN, the very first TV station, In the course of television’s evolution in Sri Lanka, political programs became part and parcel of their lineup. In this research, the focus is on how television media space has been granted to female political representatives for political programs. For this study, seven state and private channels will be selected. In the period of three months in 2023, the total broadcast political program on those channels will be studied for 3000 hours. Different content aired around the clock will be taken into account. This has been analyzed using the SPSS data analysis method with a theoretical basis based on agenda-setting and framing effects. At present, there are 12 women on the politically selected list, with one being appointed to the cabinet and two given state ministerial portfolios. This research can reveal how much less media space female political representatives have been given compared to their male counterparts. Accordingly, we would be able to identify women in politics as a special influence group that has not been given adequate attention through this research.

Author Information
Hewa Pathirannehelage Sajitha Lakmali, Hallym University, South Korea

Paper Information
Conference: PCAH2023
Stream: Media

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon