Media Use & Interest in Politics - Yemen
SWMENA survey respondents were asked about the frequency of using different media sources to obtain news and information about developments in Yemen.
- Satellite TV channels are the most frequently used information sources by women in Yemen: 36% of women report watching satellite channels on a daily basis. Local TV is also used frequently with almost three in 10 Yemeni women saying they watch it on a daily basis. Many Yemeni women resort to word of mouth (discussions with family, friends, neighbors) to learn about local developments: 30% say they engage in such discussions daily and 22% do so on a weekly basis. Radio stations are used daily by 20% of women and weekly by 10% of women.
- Qatt chewing sessions are a unique Yemeni phenomenon where people gather and sit for long hours and exchange news and stories. Nineteen percent of women say they join Qatt sessions on a daily basis to obtain news and information about local and national developments in Yemen and another 18% say they do so on a weekly basis.
- Newspaper and magazine readership is extremely low with less than 2% of women saying they read these print media on a daily basis to obtain news and information about developments in Yemen. Mobile messaging and internet use are also very limited (Figure 20).
- When comparing the daily use of different information sources by gender, we notice that men tend to generally use different information sources more than women (Figure 21). For instance, half of surveyed men say they watch satellite TV on a daily basis compared with just over a third of women. Men tend to also engage in daily discussions with family, friends, or neighbors to learn about developments more than women (38% for men versus 30% for women).
- The use of local TV and radio is similar between the sexes: 30% of men and 29% of women watch local TV on a daily basis, and 17% of men and 19% of women tune in to the radio daily to obtain news and information.
- Qatt chewing sessions are more common among men than women: twice as many Yemeni men (39%) than women (19%) say they attend such sessions daily to obtain information about developments in Yemen. Men are also much more likely than women (16% versus 2%) to obtain news and information from mosque attendance, religious speakers, and religious scholars.
- In terms of interest in matters of politics and government, Yemeni women tend to show less interest in these matters than men: while nearly a third of women say they are very (10%) or somewhat (22%) interested in matters of politics and government, a 57% majority of men say they are very (24%) or somewhat (33%) interested in these matters.
- When looking at women’s interest in politics and government by education groups, we find that interest in matters of politics and government increases systematically with educational attainment. Interest levels range from just 24% for women with no formal education to more than double this level for women with a secondary education or higher. However, it must be noted that even among women with a university education or higher, more than two in five women (44%) are not too interested or not at all interested in these matters.
- When examining the pattern of interest in these matters by age group, we see that younger women tend to show higher interest than older women. For instance, while 39% of women who are younger than 24 are very or somewhat interested in matters of politics, only 12% of women who are 55 or older are interested in these matters. This relationship may reflect the correlation between age and education in Yemen as younger women tend to have a higher educational attainment than older women.