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Girls: clearly under-represented in TV worldwideThis was the largest media study ever conducted about children’s television, tracking some 26,500 main characters in children’s fictional TV from 24 countries. It revealed that of all the main characters on children’s TV, 68 percent are male and only 32 percent are female. In the children’s and family films produced for cinema, the ratio is even worse: here, only 28 percent of all speaking characters are female. But it is not just the quantity which is open to criticism: stereotyped, clichéd depictions of many female characters are still being perpetuated worldwide: the female friend and helper, the consumption-fixated glamour puss, or the beautiful princess awaiting rescue. Thankfully, there are some positive examples of strong and complex female characters as well, such as Bibi Blocksberg,Lilly the WitchPippi Longstocking or Kim Possible. However, as these make up just 10 percent of all fictional programming for children, they unfortunately remain the exception. And yet as Leonie’s comment shows, they could play an extremely important role.

Norway’s doing substantially better than any other country featured here. Is this due to their active commitment to legislate gender equity?