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Framing female candidates for office: a comparison of newspaper coverage of the 2008 and 2009 Kuwaiti parliamentary elections




Alghaith, Shaikhah, author
Christen, Cindy T., advisor
Rouner, Donna, committee member
Anderson, Karrin Vasby, committee member

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The way newspapers framed their news coverage may have influenced the perceptions of the Kuwaiti female candidates for office. This study examined if the Kuwaiti female candidates who ran unsuccessfully in 2008 but were elected in the 2009 parliamentary election were framed differently in the 2008 and 2009 news coverage. It looked at and compared the frames that were used by the Kuwaiti press in 2008 and 2009 to see if there was any association between the way female candidates were framed and the two different election results. A qualitative content analysis was used to identify the way Kuwaiti newspapers framed Kuwaiti women candidates. Using a census sample of news articles from three Kuwaiti newspapers, a comparison was done between the frames used in the coverage of the 2008 and 2009 Kuwaiti parliamentary elections. The results of this study showed that Kuwaiti female candidates received more newspaper coverage in 2009 than 2008. Most of the frames used by the Kuwaiti newspapers when covering female candidates occurred in both 2008 and 2009 coverage. iii More positive associations were used in the 2009 coverage of female candidates. Kuwaiti newspapers framed women candidates with gender-specific frames and were mostly used favorably. Kuwaiti women candidates were framed as agents of change in Kuwaiti parliament more frequently in the 2009 election coverage. In this study, framing theory explained the selections of frames that were used for the female candidates and the positive ways they were directed whereas priming explained the relationship between the positive attributions that were used by the newspapers’ coverage of female candidates and the result of the 2009 election, where women candidates won seats in the Kuwaiti parliament. The readers may have been primed by the positive frames used for women candidates in 2009 when deciding whom to vote for.


Covers not scanned.
Print version deaccessioned 2022.

Rights Access


Women political candidates -- Press coverage -- Kuwait
Women -- Political activity -- Press coverage -- Kuwait
Newspapers -- Objectivity


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