Talk like a man, walk like a woman: an advanced political communication framework for female politicians

Tsfira Grebelsky-Lichtman*, Liron Bdolach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


One of the most significant developments of the past decade in the political arena has been the integration of women into senior political positions. Previously, there was a common assumption that female politicians wishing to succeed had to adopt the male communication model, both verbally and non-verbally. This study aims to examine the communication patterns of women in the political sphere. Twenty-four speeches by 12 female politicians in senior political positions from five democratic Western countries were analysed. All speeches were delivered in the respective countries’ legislatures, between 2009 and 2012. This study presents a theoretical framework that maps gender accountability structures of verbal and non-verbal communication patterns. The findings delineate an advanced communication model that indicates that female politicians’ communication consists of a combination of feminine non-verbal communication patterns and masculine verbal communicative expressions. The study expands the theoretical and analytical research on female politicians and develops a gender-communication approach to political communication.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)275-300
Number of pages26
JournalThe Journal of Legislative Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Political communication
  • female politicians
  • gender communication
  • non-verbal communication
  • verbal communication


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