Louise Bernard and AFP 11:17, November 19, 2021

It is a clear finding.

In a report, the High Council for Gender Equality points to sexism in articles and in print media.

Six dailies, two weeklies and three women's magazines were analyzed in order to carry out this study. 

Women less often cited in articles, editors more responsible for culture than sport: the written press in France contributes to sexist stereotypes, denounced Thursday the High Council for Gender Equality (HCE), which calls for quotas, or even a system of "bonus-malus" in public aid to newspapers.

This bias "is visible even within the editorial staff and in the way in which the published articles are written", affirms this independent consultative body in its third "inventory of sexism in France".


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30% of women in general press editors

The authors of the report first looked at the proportion of women among the journalists of six dailies, two generalist weeklies and three women's magazines, but also their weight within the various sections and in management positions. The editors of

Le Monde

, Le






Ouest France


Sud Ouest


20 minutes

, Le







Marie Claire


Femme Today

were thus examined


Result: on average there are only 30% of women in the general press (but 50% if we include the women's press), and 20% in the "political" section.

The situation is heterogeneous, however, since at

the Obs

77% of the journalists of the international column are women.

On the other hand, among all the journals studied, there is no publication director.

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As for the content of the articles - examined for the purposes of this report on a single date, December 3, 2020 for the weeklies and monthly and December 7 for the dailies - women represent on average only 23% of the people mentioned. and 21% of those cited.

Overall, articles in which a woman is the main subject constitute less than 20% of the content analyzed.

The need for "quotas of women in decision-making positions"

"Flamboyant redhead", "petite blonde", "sexy actress": the physical appearance of women or their age are more often mentioned than those of men, further deplores the report. To improve things, we must "change the paradigm" because "counting women is not enough", asserts the HCE. The organization calls for "quantified objectives of progress each year", accompanied by "an obligation under penalty of sanctions". He pleads for "quotas of women in decision-making positions" in the editorial staff, but also for a "progressive system of bonus-malus" in the aid paid to the press.

The newspapers should also equip themselves with "counting systems, computerized if possible, on the composition of the editorial staff, as well as on the articles published", and appoint from among them, as Mediapart has done, a "gender editor" which would become the "watch of a more equal treatment of information".