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Suffragettes and Iron Ladies • Educational Activity

6 September 2019
Carolanne Dionne

Tool's Title
Suffragettes and Iron Ladies [➦] 

✎ French
✎ English

Target Audience
• Teenagers

• Educational Activity

2 hours (excluding additional activities)

Conception by
Matthew Johnson of MediaSmarts

Release Date and Last Update
2015 (no update as of the review date)

This lesson considers how the media portrays women in politics. Students explore capsule biographies of female political leaders, from ancient times to current events – crafted from snippets of media coverage such as newspapers, magazines, TV news and encyclopedias – to understand bias in how female politicians are portrayed. Based on this, the class prepares a “portrait of a female politician” – a catalogue of the negative attributes frequently ascribed to women in politics by the media. 

Looking at this portrait, students are asked to consider which of these would be considered positive or neutral attributes if they were found in a male politician, and discuss how coverage of women in politics could be made less biased. Finally, students are asked to write a biography and position paper for themselves which casts them in a positive and politically active light.

*** Note that this description was written by MediaSmarts. ***

Official Reference
Johnson, M. (2015). Suffragettes and Iron Ladies. [Activity Book]. Ottawa : MediaSmarts. Retrieved from http://mediasmarts.ca/lessonplan/suffragettes-and-iron-ladies-lesson

To Access the Tool
☛ http://mediasmarts.ca/lessonplan/suffragettes-and-iron-ladies-lesson

Clarifications by the Review Team
Media, television, newspapers, politic, politician, women, gendered biases, sexism, journalism


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