Towards greater gender equality: Promoting the role and image of women in the Southern Mediterranean audiovisual sector.

In the Southern Mediterranean, as elsewhere, the audiovisual sector represents a high-potential and strategic segment of the creative industry, in terms of economic value and job creation but also as a builder of social collective narrative, an effective and popular driver of social inclusion, knowledge, democracy, cultural diversity and innovation. The sector today significantly contributes to youth employment and favours the participation of women compared with more traditional sectors. Nevertheless, women still remain under-represented, both on the screen and behind the camera, thus limiting the positive influence of films and audiovisual products on public opinion and their power to encourage new perceptions among citizens in the region about equal opportunities and the role of women in society.

SouthMed WiA aims to strengthen the capacities of female professionals and operators of the audiovisual sector in 7 countries of the Southern Mediterranean (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia) and to contribute to sustainable development and cultural diversity by enhancing the image of women in the film sector. The project addresses weaknesses and issues related to gender equality and the under-representation of women in the audiovisual sector, including the perpetuation of stereotypes relating to the image of women in South Mediterranean countries, with the ultimate goal of influencing widespread cultural attitudes and public opinion.

SouthMed WiA will have a series of direct and indirect impacts as it will address SouthMed and European audiences, SouthMed film industry operators and film festivals, local and national authorities such as Ministries (culture, communication, etc.), cinema and audiovisual regulatory bodies, youth institutions and networks, cultural organisations and women’s associations. SouthMed WiA will also contribute to public policy-making and foster societal change in the region through a more active citizenship. A particular effort will be made to facilitate synergies with other relevant EU and related initiatives.

Activities

  • Launching two calls for proposals to supportprojects by SouthMed organizations –Civil society organisations (CSOs) and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from the 7 target countries.
  • Training of sub-grantees and of other audiovisual professionals, in particular, women, to help them increase their skills in different relevant areas, such as pitching, access to finance and co-production, marketing and distribution.
  • Offering to sub-grants beneficiaries, and other (female) professionals, opportunities to attend different events for networking purposes.
  • Researching the current situation in the seven target countries relating to women’s role in the audiovisual sector, to collect reliable figures and data regarding creation, production and distribution.
  • Outreaching activities on gender equality among audiovisual professionals and regarding the role of women in the sector in the Southern Mediterranean region. Such activities are aimed at raising the awareness both of relevant stakeholders and the general public.
  • Creation of a stable regional network for women of the Southern Mediterranean region in the audiovisual field.

SouthMed WiA is co-funded by the European Union under the Med Film regional programme, implemented by Interarts (project leader), Culture & Media Agency Europe (CUMEDIAE), Permanent Conference of the Mediterranean Audiovisual Operators (COPEAM), the Screen Institute Beirut (SIB) and the Superior School of Audiovisual and Cinema (ESAC), and in association with European Women’s Audiovisual Network (EWA). 

Start date

1 February 2017

Objectives

  • To strengthen the capacities of female professionals and operators of the audiovisual sector in 7 countries of the Southern Mediterranean (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia).
  • To contribute to sustainable development and cultural diversity by enhancing the image of women in the film sector.

Impact

  • Greater presence of female film professionals in the film industry.
  • Enhanced the image of women in the film sector.

Results

  • Effective implementation of at least 6 projects involving local operators of the audiovisual sector to support women equality in the film sector.
  • Manuals and informative material on gender equality in the audiovisual sector.
  • One regional and seven national campaigns to arise awareness on the importance on women’s involvement in the film sector.
  • SouthMed women’s audiovisual network.
  • Project website and a collaborative platform online.
  • A documentary on young female film-makers.
  • A regional final event.

SouthMed WiA website

Links