Gender inequality in the film industry is an issue that continues to limit women working in all areas of the movie business. Fortunately Europe’s recent pledge to increase opportunities and representation awarded to women working in all areas of the field, should improve the current situation.
For those unaware of the shocking inequalities that still exist in the film industry, here are some statistics. Between 2009 and 2013, only 4.7% of major films were directed by women whilst 2014 saw 38% of films employ one or no women in major production roles. The situation for actresses is not much better. It was recently revealed that only 28% of speaking roles in films belong to women, whilst 1 in 2 must be ‘thin’ and 2 out of 3 female characters are under 40.
Many female actresses have stepped up to voice their concerns over gender inequality in the film industry. Perhaps the most notable of these is Emma Watson, who spoke about the issues of sexism that affect women across the globe and called for male supporters to help fight for gender equality during her HeForShe speech which went viral in 2014.
The declaration for gender equality was adopted during the Sarajevo Film Festival at a conference that aimed to address gender issues. It aims to “make full use of the skills, talents and creativity of women and men alike”, within the film industry. With representatives from European cultural ministries and film funds offering support to the cause, the gender equality declaration should help lift the gender imbalances that currently exist in the film and television industries.