The myth if Dutch tolerance: silencing of women politicians within parlement

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The thesis set out to analyze how the media’s treatment of female politicians of color differs from white female politicians, and the influence this has on empowerment within parliament. At a time where there is a lot of conversation regarding representation, both in the entertainment as well as the political landscape. Therefore, it was important to examine the role the media plays in something that has such a large impact on society. The main question of this thesis asks, “How does the media’s portrayal of female politicians of color compared to white female politicians affect disempowerment in parliament?”. Theories on political representation, political disempowerment, and intersectionality were used to find a theoretical answer to this question. However, there was a gap in the research due to various studies being done in the United States and this not being generalizable because of the difference in political system. The methodology was a content analysis using three Dutch newspapers, De Telegraaf, Algemeen Dagblad, and De Volkskrant. Articles on Members of Parliament (MPs) Sylvana Simons from BIJ1 and Esther Ouwehand from PvdD were examined to see what type of coverage they received in the press. The goal was to examine how the media spoke about the MPs and if it influenced their profession by analyzing media coverage on legislations they proposed. However, newspaper coverage focused on debates and parliamentary meetings. What was found was that microaggressions, both gender and racial, were perpetuated within parliament. This then trickled down into the news cycle. At the same time, MP Simons and Ouwehand both experienced disempowerment in the form of silencing, belittling, disregarding, ignoring, and trivializing.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen