A study report today by Media Action Nepal showed that Nepali media accorded less priority to issues of women and people with different sexual orientations.

The report titled 'Gender Sensitivity in Nepali Media' found that newspapers and online media in Nepal had not published gender issues as a matter of public importance.

Out of 21,919 news items published in 20 media outlets, only 76 had bylines of female journalists. This is only about 0.30 per cent of the total news published by those media, the study revealed.

According to the study, of the total number of media materials published in those media over the period of two months, only 388 or 1.67 per cent news stories are about women and people belonging to different sexual orientations. Of those 388 about women and people with different sexual orientations, 386 are on women's issues and only two about sexual minorities.

Underscoring that Nepali women are constantly facing gender discrimination and problems arising out of patriarchal power relations, Media Action Nepal urged media to highlight these issues and make the relevant stakeholders accountable. "Giving more space to women and people with different sexual orientations is more urgent than ever. There is a growing need to make the media inclusive by ensuring gender equality through the implementation of the Gender Sensitive Indicators and the Code of Conduct for Journalists," it said in a press release.

This study had assessed a total of 23,515 media contents published by 20 media outlets - three national dailies and three online news portals operating in Kathmandu, and one national daily and one online news portal each from seven provinces. It analysed news stories and other materials published by 14 media outlets (seven daily newspapers and seven online news portals) from the seven provinces during the period 1 August to 30 September 2021 and six media outlets (three daily newspapers and three online news portals from Kathmandu) from 30 August to 1 November 2021.

A version of this article appears in the print on January 8, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.