EuroFIA - News details

15.01.2007

EuroFIA Project 2007-2008

Changing gender portrayal: Promoting employment opportunities for women in the performing arts

Introduction to the Project:
This EuroFIA project ran from September '07 to December '08. It received funding from the European Commission in 2007, within the overall context of the European Year of Equal Opportunities for all. The portrayal of women and men in theatre, television and film have a significant impact not only on gender image and perception by the public, but also on the employment opportunities of performers. It is a fact that women are less represented than men in ALL media. A comparative European study of male and female participation in television programmes carried out in Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden (in the resources section below) showed clear signs of unequal and stereotypical gender representation. For this project, it was decided to address the discrimination issue from the perspective of older female performers, whose employment opportunities are limited because of their gender and age. The European Commission acknowledged that these are grounds for discrimination that should be addressed at European level. Performers’ trade unions have a crucial role in combating gender stereotypes, through close and on-going cooperation with all media and entertainment institutions. The results of such cooperation should contribute to presenting a realistic picture of the skills and potential of women in modern society and avoid further portrayal of women in a degrading, offensive or non-realistic manner, in theatre and television, which are all medias with powerful educational vocation.

The main activities of the project were the organisation of two key events and the undertaking of an ambitious piece of research on gender portrayal and employment opportunities for performers in Europe.

Project Research - Questionnaire, Interviews, Report:
The research ran from March 2008 when the questionnaire was launched, to October 2008 when the final reserach report was completed. The research report was drawn up on the basis of the responses received.

Project Events:
The two key events of the project were the launching conference and the final conference. The launching conference took place in April 2008 in Riga, Latvia. The final conference took place in London in the Drill Hall Theatre on the 15-16 September 2008.

Resource Section on Gender Portrayal in the Performing Arts:
Within the framework of this European project, FIA has begun gathering existing resources on this topic together and has received contributions from several European countries. FIA will continue to bring these together in its Gender Equality Policy section and to make them available as a valuable resource for all members working on this issue. Your contributions to this section are also most welcome.