The Council of Europe, the European Union’s biggest human rights body, has been investigating gender bias in the film industry and have come to an undeniable conclusion: it exists.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the organization is urging corporations and governmental bodies to do something about it. In their “first-ever pan-European recommendation” they are advocating for practical solutions for getting more women involved in media-making on every level:
It condemned a “lack of awareness of the prevalence of gender equality,” “conscious and unconscious gender bias at all levels” and “unequal funding for audiovisual content among women and men.”
From a legal perspective, there is no obligation to take up the Council’s recommendation, but it does put political pressure on the film industry to make changes. Having a human rights organization call you out can sometimes do that.
Eurimages, the co-production fund for Europe, has been collecting data on the media gender gap for years. A spokesperson from the organization told THR that they’re happy to be getting some more definitive suggestions from the Council:
“We’re delighted the 47 member states of the Council of Europe have adopted the recommendation on gender equality in the audiovisual sector, which is packed full of useful ideas to tackle gender inequality, including monitoring mechanisms, performance indicators and useful links. It also has detailed strategies that member states can use to address and counter gender inequality directly.”
The more respected bodies using their platform to talk about this, the better.