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