Raising Films was formed to support all parents and carers working in film – but also because we recognise that, due to both practical issues, and social attitudes, parenting and caring predominantly affect the ability of women to start and sustain careers in all roles across the film industry.
That’s why we’ve become members of EWA – the European Women’s Audiovisual network. EWA made headlines last week when their Declaration on Gender Equality [PDF] was ratified by a conference of Europe’s Committee of Ministers at the Sarajevo Film Festival. The declaration calls on all members states to implement policies to reduce gender imbalance in the European audio-visual industry, and also introduces gender equality for the first time to the Eurimages film fund.
Eurimages have been studying gender inequality in European film for a few years. Based on their data and the declaration, their future activities will include several strategies that are also key to Raising Films, and will assist us in our mission to change the film industry for working parents and carers. Eurimages will:
- encourage member states to produce gender-based statistics and analyse the causes of the marginalisation of women;
- We think that the stigmatisation of motherhood, and practical barriers created by cultural stigma, will be found to be among the causes
- encourage member states to adopt equality policies aimed at improving the access to public funding for women;
- We believe that for access to be truly equal, public funding needs to include measures that reflect the evidenced differential effect of motherhood on workplace progression and earning potential
- develop measures for improving gender balance in decision-making posts in the industry;
- We propose that this needs to involve measures to facilitate working parents in taking high-level decision-making posts, including flexible work hours, job shares, and childcare
- enhance the visibility of female filmmakers;
- We argue that this will be partially dependent on the provision of childcare for film festivals and promotional duties, as well as changing attitudes throughout the industry
- raise awareness through conferences, publishing studies collecting and disseminating examples of best practice.
- We aim to participate in collecting and disseminating examples of best practices around parent-filmmaking, whether via state support, commercial funding, or individual innovation
Francine Raveney, EWA Director and Eurimages Project Manager, told Women and Hollywood, “This declaration is an important first step, as it gives a mandate for the Eurimages film fund to take some pro-gender-equality measures. The declaration will also be discussed at a high-level meeting involving representatives of 47 governments. It is expected that they will approve preparations for a recommendation, which would impact on how 47 countries manage their public funding for film with gender equality firmly in mind.”
This is a huge step that has been reported globally, and we are thrilled to be part of the EWA network at such an important moment. And we are working with EWA to arrange a deal for European Raising Films members who would also like to join: so become a member now and join the gender revolution!