COVID-19: How male and female leaders differ in their political discourse

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COVID-19: How male and female leaders differ in their political discourse

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In situations of crisis, language and communication matter — particularly at the highest levels of political leadership. But do men and women use language differently when they are in positions of power? A new study sets out to investigate, and MNT spoke to its authors about the implications of their research for global health policy.

Recently, there has been much discussion in the media about gender imbalance in the COVID-19 response.

Journalists and scientists alike have drawn attention to the unequal representation in decision-making bodies, the social impacts that disproportionately affect women or pose unique challenges for transgender people, and heightened effects on other marginalized groups.

In this context, a team of researchers set out to analyze another interesting aspect of COVID-19 politics through the lens of gender: political discourse.

The study found that, although all leaders talked about the economic impact of the pandemic, “women leaders spoke more frequently about the impact on a local or individual scale.” 

Furthermore, women leaders described more often “a wider range of social welfare services,” such as those tackling “mental health, substance abuse, and domestic violence.”

Click here to read the full article published by Medical News Today on 23 December 2020. 

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