Women know less about politics than men do, a controversial study shows.
A group of researchers from universities in 10 countries said they were shocked to discover an "unmistakable" gender gap in what men and women knew about current affairs. Sociologists said the results reflected how marginalised women still feel from public life, where the majority of leading figures are men.
"The fact that throughout the whole world women know less about politics than men and that this is as true for people in Norway as it is in Colombia is really very surprising," said James Curran, a media professor at Goldsmiths, University of London, one of the project's 15 researchers.
In Britain, while men averaged 58 per cent in a current affairs quiz, women got an average of 39 per cent.
In all 10 nations surveyed, women scored significantly lower than males when asked about the news.
The global research project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, tested knowledge in Australia, Canada, Colombia, Greece, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Britain and the United States.
It found the gender gap persisted regardless of the country's wealth or policies.
Many women's lack of interest in news reflected how little they are portrayed in the media, the study found. News coverage continues to be weighted towards male sources even in countries where gender equality ratings are relatively high. Women were interviewed or cited in 30 per cent of TV news stories in the nations surveyed.