at the CYWIFT International Film Festival
Monday, November 15, 2021- 2nd LARNACA BIENNALE
I would like to thank you very much for tonight’s invitation and I warmly congratulate the Women in Film and Television in Cyprus Foundation and especially Ms. Petra Terzi for organizing this event. It is particularly important to promote and establish the work of women, mainly in the fields of cinema, television and the arts, but in general to preserve and disseminate the traditional art and culture of Cyprus. My Office warmly supports your effort to contribute to the cultural events of our country.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Women, in the intervening decades, have managed to achieve a lot, through hard and intense struggles, collective demands and mobilizations, despite the admittedly numerous adversities, discriminations and challenges they have been called to face.
However, despite the progress that has been made, it seems that the road to full and substantive equality is still a long way off, as steps forward are taking place at a relatively slow pace, both at European and international level.
According to a recent report by the European Commission on Gender Equality, women in the 21st century are still the majority of the economically inactive, more vulnerable to poverty, social exclusion and violence, facing even greater financial difficulties than that men and be under-represented in important decision-making positions.
Deeply entrenched social prejudices and stereotypes, authoritarian relations between the sexes and the multifaceted gender discrimination that pervades all aspects of the public and private spheres constitute a serious violation of fundamental rights, as well as a serious deficit of democracy that we face. in a direct and effective way.
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is well known that television and the audiovisual media in general reflect the society in which we live and walk. A society with gender, unfortunately discrimination. The field of audiovisual media such as cinema, theater and television is unfortunately flooded with a multitude of gender stereotypes and discrimination.
The European Women’s Audiovisual Network (EWA) growing concern worldwide about the marginalisation of female directors in our film culture and aims to provide the evidence to inform policy change at national and European level contacted a research and the findings are very important. The findings show that the structure of Europe’s film industry does not support gender equality. Inequality is perpetuated by a combination of factors, such as competitive market habits, modern industry structures, the impact of new technologies and erroneous assumptions about women’s abilities and business risk.
The report shows that there is a significant under-representation of women managers at all levels of the industry. In addition, only one in five films in the seven European countries surveyed is directed by a woman (21%). This means that four out of five films are NOT directed by a woman. The vast majority of funding (ie 84%) goes to films that are NOT directed by women, while low funding perpetuates the rarity of films directed by women in circulation, which in turn influences the willingness of markets to invest and create with it. way a vicious circle.
The pay gap is well established in the field of audiovisual. Nor did Queen Elizabeth II succeed as an exception to the so-called “gender pay gap”. Of course, we are talking about the actress who performs Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom in the TV series “The Crown”, who was paid less than the actress who performs her husband, Prince Philip, proving the universality of the phenomenon, even in the most glamorous professions.
The state in the context of promoting Gender Equality has set the Elimination of gender stereotypes and social prejudices among the seven priority areas of the National Action Plan for Equality between Men and Women 2019-2023, which was approved by the Council of Ministers. In this direction, it supports and promotes the implementation of actions, which aim at deconstructing established perceptions and mentalities around the roles of the sexes in society, especially through the education system and the media.
Particularly important is the recent preparation, by the Broadcasting Authority, of a Code of Conduct, which is an easy-to-use and practical tool for media executives. The code, which is expected to be promoted for adoption in the audiovisual industry, is expected to strengthen national efforts to promote and consolidate a culture of equality and respect for human rights in all sectors of the public sector. and private life.
Silence, non-assertiveness, indifference, phobia to face problems or unjust situations, is a social compromise that stereotypes and deep-seated perceptions lead us to behave in this way.
In many areas of life there are two meters and two weights. It is up to us to demand a fair share. In rights, in responsibilities, in rewards, in behaviors, in respect, in dignity, in treatment.
But it is curious that for centuries now this scale has always weighed on the side of women. No rights were taken for granted for women. Next to each won right is the word claim.
In closing, I want to emphasize the strong impact of the audiovisual media on our societies. Utilizing the full potential of women in the audiovisual media, our industries will be strengthened and diversity will be represented more successfully on our screens.