Chapter 50: Changing Media Representation of Femicide as Primary Prevention

Book Publication


Femicide is neither inevitable nor excusable, though the mainstream media often represents it as such. This chapter explores existing research on media representations of femicide, with the goal of increasing the media’s capacity to operate as a primary prevention tool. Through a review of international literature, this chapter finds that the dominant media template of femicide renders social structures such as patriarchy, racism, and colonisation invisible, and enacts symbolic violence by presenting femicide as natural, inevitable, and the result of individually driven circumstances. We argue that research, advocacy, and journalist education must work to disrupt this template — to directly challenge the myths and omissions present in existing coverage. In Western contexts, in particular, these interventions must include resisting constructions of “worthy” and “unworthy” women and girls that result in othering femicide victims from racialised, immigrant, Indigenous, and/or religious communities, and shifting practices to cover femicide as a public health crisis and as human rights violations, with a focus on increasing calls for community and state responsibility.

External Authors

Jordan Fairbairn




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