Gender Equality and Portrayal

For performers, the question of gender equality in their working lives has a very particular resonance: on the one hand, cultural production has a specific role in promoting equality among men and women, as well as plurality of thought and opinion. These values are fundamental in democratic society and culture is a vital medium for upholding them and exploring them and may also, at times, offer an important critical eye and voice. The work of performers is at the heart of this sector. It is often they who hold up a mirror to our societies. On the other hand, performers are also affected by stark inequalities in their working lives: women performers tend to have shorter careers and earn less than men; their choice of work is likely to be narrower and decrease significantly around the age of 40; they face a significant struggle in balancing work and caring responsibilities.

FIA has sought to better document and understand the challenges that performers face and to call for change. It continues to be a voice advocating for equal opportunities in the arts, as well as for a balanced representation of men and women on stage and screen, free of stereotyping and sexualisation. FIA affirms that all performers must have full and equal access to all the professional and social advantages obtained by the workers in the sectors in which they are active. 

Key pieces of work in this area include the publications included below from FIA’s 2008 and 2010 projects on these topics; the European Framework of Action on Gender Equality and the Federation’s Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Charter. In 2017, FIA also contributed to the Council of Europe Recommendation on Gender Equality in the Audiovisual Sector.