Women and the Media
Dr Melissa Yoong, Assistant Professor of Sociolinguistics, Chair of Art and Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee, UNMC.
Dr Melissa Yoong’s main area of EDI research expertise is in gender inequalities surrounding women and work in Malaysia and the current barriers that impede women’s access to the labour market and decision-making positions. Dr Yoong explores how media text production processes, media commodification, and societal norms and values shape the discourses deployed within women’s media. She also investigates how legislative frameworks around pregnancy discrimination and sexual harassment contribute to prevailing inequalities in the workplace and society at large. Her research demonstrates that dominant discourses do little to alter the status quo. Her book, Professional Discourses, Gender and Identity in Women’s Media, makes key recommendations to media practices and institutional policies that would challenge gender discrimination, proposing alternative ways in which the media could talk about employed women to help advance gender workplace equality. Her book proposes overarching policy recommendations to affect positive changes to gender, employment and family care in Malaysia.
Dr Yoong has also worked collaboratively with Professor Mullany at UNUK and they have published research on gender and political leadership in Asian contexts. Their research on gender and representations of political leadership in the Malaysian media has been consulted by two global consultancy experts on gender, communication and the media through the international consortium, Media4Democracy. They have included Professor Mullany and Dr. Yoong’s research findings in a specially commissioned EU delegation report for the Malaysian government, to address systematic gender inequalities and change behaviours of key stakeholders including journalists in the Malaysian media and members of political parties. The report has informed ongoing discussions with the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.