Tune in: half of radio listeners are women

In their recent columns on the supposed lack of female voices on Irish radio, Gerard Howlin and Alison O’Connor failed to consider all aspects of this problem.

Recent JNLR surveys show that RTÉ Radio 1 has strong female listenership, with a 50/50 gender balance across its programming.

Newstalk, which Ms O’Connor marks out for criticism, has had a 25% increase in the number of female listeners in the last two years and now has a 65/35 gender divide among its listeners, having previously had a very heavily male listenership. In all, over 50% of radio listeners are women.

So, if the lack of “female voices” on Irish radio is such a big issue, then why have female listeners continued to tune in in such huge numbers?

Why did your columnists not consider this?

And, more importantly, why did the National Women’s Council of Ireland, which funded the “female voices” survey, with the assistance of huge amounts of taxpayers’ money, not consider this, either?

And, finally, 76% of secondary teachers, and 83% of primary teachers, are women, meaning that the 50% of children who are male barely see a male role model outside their own homes (if they even have one at home).

When can we expect Mr Howlin and Ms O’Connor to use their columns to call for recruitment quotas for male teachers to address this?

Barry Walsh



Dublin 3

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