Procedure : 2017/2210(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0031/2018

Texts tabled :

A8-0031/2018

Debates :

PV 16/04/2018 - 23
CRE 16/04/2018 - 23

Votes :

PV 17/04/2018 - 6.10

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0101

REPORT     
PDF 438kWORD 82k
23 February 2018
PE 612.271v02-00 A8-0031/2018

on gender equality in the media sector in the EU

(2017/2210(INI))

Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

Rapporteur: Michaela Šojdrová

AMENDMENTS
MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs
 INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on gender equality in the media sector in the EU

(2017/2210(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Articles 11 and 23 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to Articles 2 and 3(3), second subparagraph, of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and Article 8 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to Directive 2006/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation(1),

–  having regard to Directive 2010/13/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2010 on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services (Audiovisual Media Services Directive)(2),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 26 April 2017 for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on work-life balance for parents and carers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU (COM(2017)0253),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal on the third medium-term Community action programme on equal opportunities for women and men 1991-1995 (COM(90)0449),

–  having regard to the resolution of the Council and the representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council of 5 October 1995 on the image of women and men portrayed in advertising and the media(3),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 7 June 2000 entitled ‘Towards a Community framework strategy on gender equality (2001-2005)’ (COM(2000)0335),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 9 June 2008 on eliminating gender stereotypes in society,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 24 June 2013 on advancing women’s roles as decision-makers in the media,

–  having regard to the European Pact for Gender Equality (2011-2020), adopted by the Council in March 2011,

–  having regard to the Roadmap for equality between women and men 2006-2010 of 1 March 2006 (COM(2006)0092),

–  having regard to the Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015 of 21 September 2010 (COM (2010)0491),

–  having regard to the Commission staff working document of 3 December 2015 on Strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019 (SWD(2015)0278),

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 July 1997 on discrimination against women in advertising,

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 September 2008 on how marketing and advertising affect equality between women and men(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 March 2013 on eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 28 April 2016 on gender equality and empowering women in the digital age(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 September 2016 on creating labour market conditions favourable for work-life balance(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 September 2016 on application of Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation (‘Employment Equality Directive’)(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 June 2017 on the need for an EU strategy to end and prevent the gender pension gap(9),

–  having regard to its resolution of 4 July 2017 on working conditions and precarious employment(10),

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 October 2017 on women’s economic empowerment in the private and public sectors in the EU(11),

–  having regard to its resolution of 26 October 2017 on combating sexual harassment and abuse in the EU(12),

–  having regard to the Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe of 10 July 2013 on gender equality and media,

–  having regard to Recommendation 1555 of 24 April 2002 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Image of women in the media,

–  having regard to Recommendation 1799 of 26 June 2007 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on The image of women in advertising,

–  having regard to the Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe of 27 September 2017 to member States on gender equality in the audiovisual sector,

–  having regard to the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) study of 2013 entitled ‘Review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the EU Member States: Women and the Media – Advancing gender equality in decision-making in media organisations’,

–  having regard to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and its annexes thereto, adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women in September 1995,

–  having regard to the Council of Europe report of 2013 entitled ‘Media and the image of women’,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality and the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A8-0031/2018),

A.  whereas equality between women and men is a core principle of the European Union, as enshrined in the Treaties in Article 8 of TFEU stating that, in all its activities, the Union shall aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote equality between women and men; whereas EU policies to promote gender equality have helped to make life better for many European citizens;

B.  whereas the media act as a fourth power, have the capacity to influence and, ultimately, shape public opinion; whereas the media are one of the cornerstones of democratic societies and, as such, have a duty to ensure freedom of information, diversity of opinion and media pluralism, to promote respect for human dignity and to combat all forms of discrimination and inequality by, among other things, portraying diversified social role models; whereas, therefore, media organisations have to be sensitised;

C.  whereas the fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, recognised the importance of the relationship between women and the media in achieving equality between women and men, and incorporated two strategic aims into the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA):

(a) to increase the participation and access of women to expression and decision-making in and through media and new technologies of communication;

(b) to promote a balanced and non-stereotyped portrayal of women by the media;

D.  whereas the portrayal of women and men in the media may convey unequal representation in various contexts, including political, economic, social, academic, religious, cultural, and sports contexts – with men appearing mainly in active social roles and women being confined to more passive roles; whereas of all the stereotypes affecting the image of women and men, the prime example is the sexualisation of the female body, which can be seen most clearly in the tabloid press and in advertising; whereas the eroticisation of violence and objectification of women in the media have a negative effect on the fight for the eradication of violence against women; whereas gender stereotypes are often combined with other stereotypes involving discrimination on any grounds;

E.  whereas the media have a significant impact on cultural gender norms and on how social representations associated with both women and men are formed and evolve, and influence the audience with stereotyped body images and ideas of masculinity and femininity, for example, the representation of women in advertising and the way products target potential consumers tend to perpetuate traditional gender norms; whereas in cases where the media continue to present stereotyped representations of women and men, including those of LGBTI individuals, people very often view these depictions as legitimate, thus making it difficult or impossible to call them into question;

F.  whereas in modern-day societies the advertising industry plays a major role within the media landscape, as it communicates by using images and ideas that appeal to our emotions and can hence shape our values, attitudes, and perceptions of the world; whereas, by conveying a distorted gender image, advertising may resort to sexism and replicate discriminatory practices; whereas an advertisement may be considered discriminatory or sexist if a gender is portrayed in a degrading and insulting way or as less capable, intelligent or as inferior;

G.  whereas new technologies are transforming traditional media business models; whereas the audiovisual sector is a highly important industry of economic value which alone directly employs over one million people in the EU; whereas, in order to cope with the new online communication and multimedia systems, the necessary adjustments have to be made to the oversight of the arrangements at national level, as well as to self-regulation schemes without prejudice to the outcome of the negotiations on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive;

H.  whereas the perspective of both women and men should be taken into account equally in order to achieve a complete and diversified picture of every facet of social reality; whereas it is important not to lose out on women’s potential and skills in communicating information, facts and opinions about the challenges faced by women in the media, while acknowledging that women cannot be treated as a homogenous group;

I.  whereas the continued projection of negative and degrading images of women in media communications – electronic, print, visual and audio – must be changed; whereas gender inequalities are also created and replicated through the language and images disseminated by the media; whereas children are confronted with gender inequalities at a very young age through role models promoted by television series and programmes, discussions, games, video games and advertisements; whereas gender roles are shaped mostly during childhood and adolescence with an impact throughout life; whereas the education and training of media professionals are powerful tools for combating and eradicating stereotypes, raising awareness and promoting equality;

J.  whereas women constituted 68 % of journalism and information graduates in the EU-28 in 2015(13), while employment data for the EU-28 over 2008-2015 show that the percentage of women employed in the media sector on average is continuously languishing at around 40 %;

K.  whereas, moreover, the share of women in decision-making in media in the EU-28 in 2015 was still below the gender balance zone (40-60 %) at just 32 %, while the share of women as board presidents was a mere 22 %(14);

L.  whereas gender pay and pension gaps are a persistent problem in the EU, and are evident in different economic sectors, including in the media, where the gender pay gap is 17 %;

M.  whereas women continue to face a glass ceiling in the media and might not have equal opportunities for promotion or career advancement owing to a variety of factors, including the procedures of an organisational culture which is often unfavourable to a work-life balance with a competitive environment characterised by stress, inflexible deadlines and long working hours; whereas women have less decision-making power in setting the news agenda due to their underrepresentation in senior management positions;

N.  whereas media organisations in the Member States can establish their own equality policies, which leads to a wide spectrum of practices in the EU: from very comprehensive policy frameworks covering media content and providing for a balanced representation of men and women in decision-making bodies, to there being no such policy in place;

O.  whereas research has shown that only 4 % of news coverage is against stereotypical portrayal; whereas women account for just 24 % of the people we hear or read about in the news(15); whereas around 37 % of stories from both online and offline news sources are reported by women, a situation which has demonstrated no prospect of improvement in the past 10 years(16); whereas women are mostly asked to provide a popular opinion (41 %) or personal experience (38 %) and are seldom quoted as experts (just 17 % of stories); whereas research has also shown that less than one in five experts or commentators are women (18 %)(17);

P.  whereas women are disproportionately under-represented in the news and information media and are even less visible in the domains of sport, politics, the economy and finances, notwithstanding the variety of media outlets across the Member States; whereas the women of history are almost entirely absent from related media content, such as biographical documentaries;

Q.  whereas female participation on an equal level with men in reporting content and serving as information sources is crucial not only for reasons of representation, but also for reasons of equal opportunities and the full recognition of their expertise and knowledge; whereas, within the European media landscape, there are obstacles to engaging in a responsible approach to gender equality given the financial constraints and working conditions, including job insecurity and the levels of professional experience, combined with the growing speed of information and commercial considerations;

R.  whereas there are women in the media working at a top professional level, including renowned film makers, journalists and reporters, who, although performing equally well as men, are more exposed to gender-based violence and workplace discrimination and may not be given the same level of appreciation as their male counterparts;

S.  whereas women engaging in social media are encountering increasing levels of harassment; whereas this harassment has the potential to silence women’s voice and weakens their participation in society; whereas data collected globally shows that half of the women employed in the media have experienced sexual abuse, one quarter of them have experienced acts of physical violence and three quarters have experienced intimidation, threats or abuse(18); whereas there is increasing concern about cyber violence against women and girls and it is estimated that one in ten women in the EU have experienced some form of cyber violence since reaching the age of 151; whereas there is a lack of data and research on cyber violence against women and girls at EU level; whereas psychological and sexual harassment are human rights violations; whereas the media and national and international regulators should lay down rules, including sanctions to be applied by media organisations, to deal with these matters;

T.  whereas female investigative journalists in particular are often subjected to violence and the target of deadly attacks, as evidenced by the cases of Veronica Guerin or Daphne Caruana Galizia;

U.  whereas according to a study by the European Women’s Audiovisual Network (EWA)(19), only one in five films in the seven European countries examined is directed by a woman, and the vast majority of funding resources go into films that are not directed by women, even though approximately half of all film school graduates are women;

V.  whereas media companies should adopt self-regulation systems and codes of conduct setting out procedural rules and criteria on careers and media coverage to safeguard and promote gender equality; whereas self-regulation and conduct codes of this kind should be drawn up in collaboration with the industry’s trade unions, pursuing a clear policy on gender equality;

Women’s presence in the media

1.  Highlights the fact that although women in this field at graduate level constitute a substantial workforce, they are underrepresented in management and top-level positions; considers that both public and private media services have a responsibility to ensure equality between women and men and prevent any discrimination; calls on the Member States to develop policy incentives to reduce barriers to women’s access to management posts and leadership in media organisations;

2.  Regrets the fact that the representation of women in public service media in the EU is low on average, in both strategic and operational high-level posts and on boards (in 2017: 35.8 % for executive posts, 37.7 % for non-executive posts and 33.3 % as board members)(20);

3.  Recalls that, with a view to monitoring the critical areas of the BPfA relating to women in media, the EIGE developed the following indicators:

–  the proportion of women and men in decision-making posts in media organisations and on the boards of media organisations in the EU;

–  the proportion of women and men on the boards of media organisations in the EU;

–  policies to promote gender equality in media organisations;

4.  Recalls that while the Audiovisual Media Services Directive states that its objectives ‘cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can be better achieved at Union level’, it contains no reference to equal representation in media organisations;

5.  Notes that despite being insufficiently represented in them at present, women are still more likely to be recruited or promoted to high-level positions in public service media than in private media organisations(21);

6.  Calls on the Member States and media organisations to support and develop incentive measures, including quotas, for the equal representation of women and men in decision-making posts, and for the effective monitoring of such efforts to be given greater prominence in these organisations; calls on the Commission to step up its efforts to unblock the Directive on Women on Boards, which has been on hold in the Council since 2013;

7.  Takes note of the long tradition of employing both freelance and permanent staff which exists in the media sector and of its continued digitisation which has led to reductions in traditional circulation and advertising revenue, which has an impact on the type of employment contracts offered in the sector; points out, furthermore, that women are over-represented in many atypical forms of work across the labour market; notes that the increasing pressures on the media sector to maintain its economic viability is likely to lead to a growing number of these forms of contracts;

8.  Considers that stereotypes can lead to a negative social environment for women and can contribute to gender discrimination in the workplace; notes the importance of a positive social environment in helping workers to deal with high levels of work intensity;

9.  Recalls that media organisations are at liberty to determine roles for their employees, both men and women, but urges them to do so with the utmost respect for personal dignity and professional quality; observes, in this context, worrying instances of female reporters deemed more suitable for television journalism for their perceived attractiveness to the audience, and being subsequently replaced by younger colleagues as they get older;

10.  Condemns, furthermore, the widespread occurrence of sexual harassment and other types of abuse, especially in online gaming and social media, and encourages media companies to create safe environments that are responsive to any instances of harassment; calls, therefore, for different measures, including awareness-raising, internal rules on disciplinary sanctions for offenders, and psychological and/or legal support for victims of these practices, to prevent and combat bullying and sexual harassment at work as well as in online environments;

11.  Strongly condemns attacks against female journalists fearlessly reporting on major political and criminal issues, and calls for the greatest possible efforts be made to ensure the protection and safety of all journalists;

12.  Urges public and private media organisations to adopt internal polices such as equal opportunities and diversity policies which include anti-harassment measures, maternity or parental leave schemes, flexible working arrangements that support work-life balance allowing women and men to benefit equally from parental leave and encouraging men to take up paternity leave, ensuring the fair distribution of childcare, as well as mentorship and management training programmes, the use of teleworking and flexible working arrangements for both women and men on a voluntary basis and without prejudice to career advancement;

13.  Calls on the media to respect the right of women and men to benefit from maternity, paternity, or parental leave; points out that no pregnant woman should be discriminated against on account of her condition and no woman should be refused employment because she might decide to become pregnant;

14.  Suggests that media organisations establish databases of women experts in a number of areas, particularly those in which women are underrepresented, with a view to utilising them, when appropriate; encourages furthermore, the collection of sex-disaggregated data on all possible media content;

15.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to increase the participation and access of women to expression and decision-making through media and new technologies of communication;

16.  Considers that all media workers could benefit from the general advancement of conditions for women in the workplace; considers, however, that such improvement has not been sufficient and that inequalities remain; stresses the need for Member States and the Commission to promote and ensure the principle of equal pay in accordance with Article 157 TFEU, including by combatting the gender pay and pension gap, reducing precarious work(22), ensuring accessibility to affordable and quality childcare and better work-life balance policies, and ensuring collective bargaining rights;

17.  Reiterates that the media must, as a matter of urgency, implement the policy of equal pay for equal work, including pay transparency obligations, while enabling women to enjoy the same promotion and training opportunities and any other additional benefits on equal terms with men;

18.  Notes the positive role of women’s councils and women’s equality officers in workplaces; calls for gender equality to be promoted as a cross-cutting human resources policy within the media; considers that achieving equality for women at all levels, and particularly decision-making levels, in the media requires an employee-centred culture and a gender-sensitive senior management team; recommends that national regulatory bodies and media organisations follow the Commission recommendation on strengthening the principle of equal pay between men and women(23), draw up guidance on fair selection procedures, establish comprehensive equality policies, covering media content and providing for women’s advancement in decision-making bodies, and set up internal procedures dealing with harassment in the workplace; calls on the Commission to continue to monitor the proper application and enforcement of Directive 2006/54 which reverses the burden of proof for cases of discrimination on grounds of sex;

Media content and women

19.  Stresses the role of the media as an agent of social change and its influence in the shaping of public opinion and calls on the Member States to promote content on gender equality in public media; points out that until now any regulatory action on sexism and stereotypical gender portrayals in media content has been a competence of the Member States; recalls the prohibition of sex-based discrimination in media under the Audiovisual Media Services Directive; stresses, furthermore, that while regulatory action is subject to due considerations of the principle of freedom of expression, editorial freedom should not, under any circumstances, serve to encourage or legitimise degrading portrayals of women and LGBTI people; urges the Member States, in safeguarding the aforementioned freedoms, to regulate access to video games with harmful online content, and to pornography on the internet;

20.  Stresses that economic arguments cannot be an excuse for the perpetuation of gender stereotyping in media content;

21.  Stresses that violent and sexist media content is negatively affecting women and their participation in society; expresses concern about certain commercial audiovisual communications that are causing psychological or physical damage to children and young people; urges the relevant stakeholders and authorities to address the issue of advertising that indirectly encourages eating disorders such as anorexia, and to take other steps to protect particularly vulnerable persons, including girls and young women, against such content;

22.  Urges that media content, including advertising, related to family planning, sexual and reproductive rights, maternal and child health, and education be aimed at both men and women;

23.  Stresses the importance of fostering media literacy and providing all relevant stakeholders with gender-sensitive media education initiatives so as to encourage young people to develop critical thinking skills, and to help them to identify and speak out against sexist portrayals and discrimination, gender-based violence, cyber-bullying, hate-speech, etc.; underlines the need for preventive measures including encryption and parental control with a view to ensuring safer internet usage and digital and media literacy; draws attention to the fact that stereotypes in advertising and in other media products have a potential impact on children’s socialisation and, subsequently, the way they view themselves, their family members and the outside world; points out that advertising can be an effective tool in challenging stereotypes; calls therefore, for a greater focus on professional training and education activities as a way to combat discrimination and promote gender equality;

24.  Recommends that soft measures such as gender equality plans or guidelines should be given even more prominence in media organisations and advises that these protocols set the standards for the positive portrayal of women in advertising, news, reporting, production or broadcasting and cover all sensitive content areas such as the depiction of power and authority, expertise, decision-making, sexuality, violence, diversity of roles and the use of non-sexist language; encourages, furthermore, public and private media to mainstream gender equality in all their content and to adopt equality plans in order to reflect social diversity;

25.  Recommends that regulations issued by authorities competent for media and communication set out the criteria guaranteeing stereotype-free portrayals of women and girls and that they include the possibility of removing or suspending offensive content; further recommends that specialist organisations such as national equality bodies and women’s NGOs are involved in the monitoring of the implementation of these regulations;

26.  Points out that Member States must ensure, by all appropriate means, that the media, including online and social media, as well as advertising, is free from any incitement to violence or hatred directed against any person or group of persons; underlines the need to collect gender-segregated data and to conduct research, in cooperation with the EIGE, to address cyber violence, online sexual harassment, threats, sexist remarks and hate speech against women and girls; stresses that special attention needs to be paid to training on how the media report on cases of violence against women; suggests that continuous training on gender depictions in media content be made available for media professionals, including those in leadership positions; recommends that gender equality be reflected in the teaching modules in undergraduate and postgraduate journalism and communication courses;

27.  Calls on the Member States and the Commission to promote self-regulation and co-regulation in the media through codes of conduct;

Examples of good practice

28.  Notes with enthusiasm the various examples of good practice that can be observed in all Member States, including: media campaigns, specific legislation, awards or anti-awards for stereotypical and sexist advertising, databases of women experts, training courses for industry professionals, and media organisations’ equality plans, codes of conduct and equal opportunity and diversity policies, and the minimum thresholds set for representation of the sexes in the governing bodies of media regulators;

29.  Encourages the Member States to support campaigns such as the Belgian Expertalia tool, the Czech ‘Sexist Piggy’ awards or the Swedish #TackaNej (‘No, thanks’) initiative, among others; invites the Member States to hold regular information and awareness-raising campaigns about gender-based discriminatory content in the media, and to report regularly on gender equality trends in the media; calls on the Commission to earmark special funding for sub-programmes focusing on the advancement of women in the media industry and to support media associations and networks in putting in place public and sectoral awareness-raising campaigns; further calls on the Commission to establish an EU award for students in the media field for work related to gender equality;

30.  Invites civil society organisations to draw up communication strategies, not just for traditional media, but also for online media, in order to widen the scope for influencing and monitoring the media agenda;

Further recommendations

31.  Calls on the Member States, in conjunction with equality bodies, to fully implement the existing legislation addressing gender equality, and to encourage regulatory bodies to pay attention to the presence and advancement of women and to non-stereotypical media content; encourages the Member States to carry out regular evaluations of the above-mentioned areas and to develop, if this has not yet been done, legislation focusing on non-stereotypical media content; emphasises the role of Member States in making better use of existing resources in the media within their remit to perform their public service role while reflecting a more gender-balanced and democratic society;

32.  Calls on the Commission to conduct further research into the participation of women in senior positions in the media; commends the EIGE for its work in the field and calls on it to continue to develop and monitor the relevant set of indicators, including but not limited to women’s presence in decision-making, their working conditions and gender equality in media content, while extending its attention to the new social media technologies in order to develop methodologies to prevent gender-based violence and harassment in social media;

33.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to support and promote women’s organisations which are active in the sphere of promoting gender equality in the media, including organisations which support women and girls who are victims of gender-based violence, intersectional discrimination or sexual harassment;

34.  Calls on the Member States to implement action programmes which ensure women’s involvement in the design and implementation of effective and efficient gender-sensitive policies and programmes within media organisations;

35.  Calls on the Member States to develop programmes to improve women’s skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects that are important for careers in the media sector with a more technical focus, such as sound and audiovisual technicians; stresses the importance of vocational education and training in diversifying career choices and introducing women and men to non-traditional career opportunities to overcome horizontal and vertical exclusion;

o

o    o

36.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

(1)

OJ L 204, 26.7.2006, p. 23.

(2)

OJ L 95, 15.4.2010, p. 1.

(3)

OJ C 296, 10.11.1995, p 15.

(4)

OJ C 295E, 4.12.2009, p. 43.

(5)

OJ C 36, 29.1.2016, p. 18.

(6)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0204.

(7)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0338.

(8)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0360.

(9)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0260.

(10)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0290.

(11)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0364.

(12)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0417.

(13)

UNESCO OECD Eurostat (UOE) joint data collection, available from: http://eige.europa.eu/gender-statistics/dgs/indicator/ta_educ_part_grad__educ_uoe_grad02

(14)

EIGE, Gender Equality Index 2017.

(15)

https://www.womenlobby.org/IMG/pdf/factsheet_women_and_media.pdf

(16)

Lenka Vochocová, FEMM public hearing ‘Gender equality in the media sector in the EU’, 26 June 2017, recording available at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/en/committees/video?event=20170626-1500-COMMITTEE-FEMM

(17)

Global Media Monitoring project, regional report for Europe (2015), available at http://cdn.agilitycms.com/who-makes-the-news/Imported/reports_2015/regional/Europe.pdf

(18)

International Federation of Journalists’(IFJ) campaign on gender-based violence at work, https://www.ifj-stop-gender-based-violence.org/

(19)

‘Where are the women directors in European films? Gender equality report on female directors (2006-2013) with best practice and policy recommendations’, http://www.ewawomen.com/en/research-.html

(20)

Gender Equality in Power and Decision-Making. Review of the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the EU Member States, 2017 (Source: EIGE Gender Statistics Database – Women and Men in Decision-Making).

(21)

European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE): Review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the EU Member States: Women and the Media – Advancing gender equality in decision-making in media organisations (2013).

(22)

European Parliament resolution of 4 July 2017 on working conditions and precarious employment.

(23)

https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/justice-and-fundamental-rights/discrimination/gender-equality/equal-pay/gender-pay-gap-situation-eu_en


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

This report deals with equality between men and women in the media across the EU. The media is the fourth power, and it wields a great deal of influence over politics and society. We must therefore take great care to ensure that it can function properly and in a balanced way, which necessarily involves ensuring that there is a balance between women and men. Given that the media – both public and private – is supposed to serve society as a whole, its structure and its work should reflect the fact that women make up half of society.

The report focuses on the situation of women working in the media as reporters or commentators, but also draws attention to the lack of women in decision-making positions. This latter situation is particularly worrying: only 30-40% of directorial posts in the media are occupied by women, although the majority of media graduates are female. Not only can this imbalance affect the content and focus of the media, but it also contributes towards the general widening of the pay and pension gap between women and men.

Women also encounter significant difficulties as reporters and moderators: they are under huge pressure to conform to high standards of attractiveness for their audiences, and they are rarely given important political or economic issues to work on. The situation of women is also often more difficult because of a greater need to reconcile their family (maternal) duties and their professional duties. We would like to offer as much support as possible in this area.

A special chapter is devoted to the depiction of women in the media and the advertising industry, where they are subject to stereotypes or even sexism. The situation is similar in the area of new social media, which is not covered by this report due to lack of data and research. This area should not be omitted in future, however.

It is right that the EU does not regulate equality between men and women in the media, but the absence of such laws does not relieve us of our duty to deal with the matter and call on the relevant people and bodies to act. Responsibility lies with the media, the regulatory and supervisory bodies and civil society to draw attention to the various issues. National and EU bodies can, however, ensure that anti-discrimination laws are properly enforced and improve the legal framework for reconciling work and family life.


OPINION of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (24.1.2018)

for the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

on Gender Equality in the Media Sector in the EU

(2017/2210(INI))

Rapporteur: Lynn Boylan

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs calls on the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 September 2016 on creating labour market conditions favourable for work-life balance(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 September 2016 on application of the Employment Equality Directive(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 June 2017 on the need for an EU strategy to end and prevent the gender pension gap(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 4 July 2017 on working conditions and precarious employment(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 October 2017 on women’s economic empowerment in the private and public sectors in the EU(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 26 October 2017 on combating sexual harassment and abuse in the EU(6),

–  having regard to the European Commission proposal of 26 April 2017 for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on work-life balance for parents and carers and repealing the Council Directive 2010/18/EU (COM(2017)0253),

1.  Strongly regrets that while women make up a majority of journalism and media graduates in the EU at 68 %(7), they are still significantly under-represented in the media, especially at decision-making and leadership levels; notes that across all management levels women averaged 32 % of senior staff in decision-making positions, with female positions at the highest strategic level of CEO etc. even lower at 16 %; further notes that female board membership is also low at 25 %(8); notes that this under-representation contributes to the negative and stereotypical portrayal of women in the media in the EU;

2.  Considers that these stereotypes can lead to a negative social environment for women and can contribute to gender discrimination in the workplace; notes the importance of a positive social environment in helping workers to deal with high levels of work intensity;

3.  Stresses the importance of ensuring equal opportunities between men and women so that talent is rewarded regardless of gender, race, age, religion, disability, state of health or economic status;

4.  Calls on the Commission, the Member States and the social partners to promote gender equality in media organisations, representative bodies and training institutions, especially in their boards, and to closely monitor and follow up the progress made;

5.  Considers that all media workers could benefit from the general advancement of conditions for women in the workplace; considers, however, that such improvement has not been sufficient and that inequalities remain; stresses the need for Member States and the Commission to promote and ensure the principle of equal pay in accordance with Article 157 TFEU, including by combatting the gender pay and pension gap, reducing precarious work(9), ensuring accessibility to affordable and quality childcare and better work-life balance policies, and ensuring collective bargaining rights; calls on the Commission and the Member States to tackle precarious employment, including undeclared work and bogus self-employment, in order to ensure that all types of work contracts offer decent working conditions and social protection with proper social security coverage in line with the ILO Decent Work Agenda, Article 9 TFEU, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Social Charter;

6.  Believes that gender stereotypes reproduced by the media contribute to segregation in the labour market; condemns portrayals of women that diminish their human dignity, for instance through sexual objectification in broadcasting and advertising; stresses that economic arguments cannot be used as an excuse to perpetuate gender stereotyping in media content; points out that there are often far fewer women than men in the media covering the most important topics of political and economic affairs; notes, furthermore, that it is unacceptable for age and attractiveness to be the main factors determining whether a particular presenter will appear on screen or not;

7.  Notes the long tradition of both freelance and permanent staff which exists in the media sector; notes that the continued digitisation of the sector has led to reduced traditional circulation and advertising revenue which impacts on the type of employment contracts offered in the sector;

8.  Recommends that media organisations respect the right of women and men to benefit equally from parental leave; encourages men in particular to take paternity leave;

9.  Considers that achieving equality for women at all levels, and particularly decision-making levels, in the media requires an employee-centred culture, a gender-sensitive senior management team, transparency in pay systems, gender-neutral job evaluation and classification, transparency in promotion and recruitment procedures, and effective measures to end sexual harassment; calls on the Commission to continue to monitor the correct application and enforcement of Directive 2006/54 which reverses the burden of proof for cases of discrimination on grounds of sex;

10.  Notes a recent European Parliament study highlighting the growing precariousness of all forms of work; recognises a higher risk of precariousness in atypical forms of work such as fixed-term, temporary, freelance and discontinuous work in the media sector; further notes that, as is true across the labour market, women are over-represented in many atypical forms of work(10); notes that the increasing pressures on the media sector to maintain economic viability due to continued digitisation impacts on the type of employment contracts offered in the sector and is likely to aggravate this trend; further notes that women on these forms of contract may be more vulnerable to workplace harassment due to the relative ease with which they can be dismissed from the organisation;

11.  Notes, with reference to Eurofound’s forthcoming report on ‘Pay transparency in Europe: First movers’ experiences with gender pay reports and audits’, that only one third of Member States have implemented at least some gender pay transparency measures as per the European Commission Recommendation (C(2014) 1405 final), and some have only recently changed legislation or have mature plans, while more than half of the Member States have not implemented any of the four pay transparency measures to date;

12.  Stresses the role of the media as agents of social change and their influence in shaping public opinion, and calls on Member States to promote gender equality content in public media; encourages public and private media to mainstream gender equality in all their content and to use non-sexist language; encourages broadcasting organisations to adopt an equality plan for both their internal structures and content production;

13.  Calls on the Member States to implement action programmes which ensure women’s involvement in the design and implementation of effective and efficient gender-sensitive policies and programmes within media organisations;

14.  Reiterates the European Parliament’s call on the Commission and Council for the swift adoption and implementation of the Women on Boards Directive which sets up a quota system in both public and private listed media organisations in order to ensure women’s equal representation at decision-making level; reminds the Commission of its responsibility to take any action that could help break the deadlock in the Council as regards the adoption of the Women on Boards Directive;

15.  Notes in particular the disturbing scale of harassment suffered by female journalists; notes that, according to a recent IWMF/International News Safety Institute study from 2013(11), at international level 64.8 % of female media workers have experienced intimidation, threats or abuse in relation to their work and 31.7 % of those said that most of the intimidation and abuse occurred in the workplace and was perpetrated by a male boss, supervisor or co-worker; calls on media organisations to establish internal bodies, where not previously present, to assist victims of harassment throughout the process of speaking out; further calls on these organisations to ensure the existence of clear and specific internal policies, including a process for whistleblowing, that specifically aim to tackle a workplace culture which allows the fostering of gender-based discrimination and harassment; welcomes initiatives such as the #MeToo movement that highlighted the scale of sexual harassment and violence against women; strongly supports all the women and girls who have participated in the campaign, including those who denounced their perpetrators;

16.  Calls on Member States to develop programmes to improve women’s skills in STEM subjects that are important for careers in the media sector with a more technical focus, such as sound and audiovisual technicians; stresses the importance of vocational education and training in diversifying career choices and introducing women and men to non-traditional career opportunities to overcome horizontal and vertical exclusion;

17.  Calls for the Commission and Member States to support and promote women’s organisations which are active in the sphere of promoting gender equality in the media, including organisations which support women and girls who are victims of gender-based violence, intersectional discrimination or sexual harassment;

18.  Recognises that an increase in the proportion of women in leadership roles in the media sector is an important step and calls on media organisations to introduce best practice measures to that effect; encourages such organisations to actively consider measures such as those incorporated by the Nordic Public Services Broadcasters(12), and to strengthen their internal measures such as codes of conduct, equality audits, gender equality plans, reporting mechanisms and training on harassment and gender stereotypes, as well as training and mentoring and role model programmes for female colleagues who, according to Eurofound, are less likely to receive employer-paid training than their male colleagues in the media sector; suggests that such actions should be reinforced with monitoring mechanisms setting clear and realisable yearly targets; believes that such measures could contribute to a higher proportion of women in strategic decision-making positions;

19.  Appreciates the positive role of media workers’ unions and professional associations which promote gender equality more effectively within their internal structures than has been achieved in the workplace; considers that such professional associations should play a key role in developing strategies for gender equality; notes also the pro-active role that can be played by national equality bodies and national media regulatory bodies to monitor and address gender inequality in the sector;

20.  Acknowledges that women cannot be treated as one homogenous group, but that women of different ethnicity, religion, gender alignment or sexual orientation and women with disability face specific gender-based obstacles and sources of stress at the workplace, including harassment, exclusion, discrimination or gender stereotypes;

21.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to ensure the full implementation of existing relevant European legislation on equal treatment in employment and on non-discrimination; regrets that only a few Member States have systematically ensured that all existing legal texts are in line with the principle of equal treatment(13);

22.  Calls on Member States to develop, fund and encourage training on workplace policy related to anti-harassment, equality and diversity, including the use of non-discriminatory language and avoiding gender stereotypes in the media, in order to combat harassment at the workplace; stresses that special attention needs to be paid to training on how the media report cases of violence against women;

23.  Insists that it is important to ensure that women enjoy a work-life balance, especially in view of the irregular working hours in the media sector; notes a recent Eurofound study(14) containing reports by media workers in the printing and publishing sectors of poor work-life balance, with the highest levels reported in small and medium-sized workplaces in the media and communications sector; welcomes therefore the Commission’s proposal on work-life balance as a response to repeated calls from the European Parliament, and insists that the outcome of inter-institutional negotiations result in effective legislation; notes that the equal sharing of responsibilities, costs and care between men and women will help eliminate gender inequalities;

24.  Calls for Member State governments to encourage measures to avoid discrimination between men and women in companies that obtain public concessions; notes the positive role of women’s councils and women’s equality officers in workplaces; considers that these organisations should continue to work alongside employers in delivering appropriate measures to deliver gender balance within media organisations;

25.  Regrets the under-reporting of all forms of discrimination at the workplace and highlights that the lack of objective data makes it more difficult to prove the existence of discrimination; calls on the Commission and Member States to follow up on the indicators developed by EIGE and to collect equality data within the scope of the Employment Equality Directive in an accurate and systemic way and with the involvement of social partners, national equality bodies and national courts; further recommends that national, regional and local authorities, law enforcement bodies, including labour inspectors, national equality bodies and civil society organisations increase their monitoring of the intersectionality between gender and other grounds in cases of discrimination and practices.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

23.1.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

42

3

5

Members present for the final vote

Guillaume Balas, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Enrique Calvet Chambon, David Casa, Ole Christensen, Michael Detjen, Geoffroy Didier, Martina Dlabajová, Lampros Fountoulis, Arne Gericke, Marian Harkin, Czesław Hoc, Agnes Jongerius, Rina Ronja Kari, Jan Keller, Ádám Kósa, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Jean Lambert, Jérôme Lavrilleux, Jeroen Lenaers, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Javi López, Thomas Mann, Dominique Martin, Anthea McIntyre, Joëlle Mélin, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, Emilian Pavel, João Pimenta Lopes, Georgi Pirinski, Marek Plura, Dennis Radtke, Terry Reintke, Claude Rolin, Siôn Simon, Romana Tomc, Ulrike Trebesius, Marita Ulvskog, Tatjana Ždanoka

Substitutes present for the final vote

Georges Bach, Lynn Boylan, Rosa D’Amato, Tania González Peñas, Krzysztof Hetman, Paloma López Bermejo, António Marinho e Pinto, Edouard Martin, Ivari Padar, Flavio Zanonato

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Morten Messerschmidt

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

42

+

ALDE

Enrique Calvet Chambon, Martina Dlabajová, Marian Harkin, António Marinho e Pinto

EFDD

Rosa D’Amato

GUE/NGL

Lynn Boylan, Tania González Peñas, Rina Ronja Kari, Paloma López Bermejo, João Pimenta Lopes

PPE

Georges Bach, David Casa, Geoffroy Didier, Krzysztof Hetman, Ádám Kósa, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Jérôme Lavrilleux, Jeroen Lenaers, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Thomas Mann, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, Marek Plura, Dennis Radtke, Claude Rolin, Romana Tomc

S&D

Guillaume Balas, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Ole Christensen, Michael Detjen, Agnes Jongerius, Jan Keller, Javi López, Edouard Martin, Ivari Padar, Emilian Pavel, Georgi Pirinski, Siôn Simon, Marita Ulvskog, Flavio Zanonato

VERTS/ALE

Jean Lambert, Terry Reintke, Tatjana Ždanoka

3

-

ENF

Dominique Martin, Joëlle Mélin

NI

Lampros Fountoulis

5

0

ECR

Arne Gericke, Czesław Hoc, Anthea McIntyre, Morten Messerschmidt, Ulrike Trebesius

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

(1)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0338.

(2)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0360.

(3)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0260.

(4)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0290.

(5)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0364.

(6)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0417.

(7)

Advancing gender equality in decision-making in media organisations, EIGE Report, 2013, p. 17.

(8)

Advancing gender equality in decision-making in media organisations, EIGE Report, 2013, p. 29-33.

(9)

European Parliament resolution of 4 July 2017 on working conditions and precarious employment.

(10)

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/587285/IPOL_STU(2016)587285_EN.pdf.

(11)

https://www.iwmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Violence-and-Harassment-against-Women-in-the-News-Media.pdf

(12)

http://www.nordicom.gu.se/sites/default/files/mediefakta-dokument/Gender_Media/Making_Change/1-12_makingchange_lr.pdf

(13)

cf. European Resolution resolution of 15 September 2016 on application of the Employment Equality Directive.

(14)

https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/publications/information-sheet/2014/working-conditions/media-and-communications-working-conditions-and-job-quality.


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

20.2.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

4

0

Members present for the final vote

Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Malin Björk, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, André Elissen, Iratxe García Pérez, Arne Gericke, Anna Hedh, Mary Honeyball, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Florent Marcellesi, Maria Noichl, Pina Picierno, Terry Reintke, Liliana Rodrigues, Michaela Šojdrová, Ernest Urtasun, Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Maria Gabriela Zoană

Substitutes present for the final vote

Sophia in ‘t Veld, Lívia Járóka, Urszula Krupa, Edouard Martin

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Krzysztof Hetman, Monika Hohlmeier, Lukas Mandl, Pavel Svoboda, Patricija Šulin


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

25

+

ALDE

Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Sophia in 't Veld

GUE/NGL

Malin Björk

PPE

Krzysztof Hetman, Monika Hohlmeier, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Lívia Járóka, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Lukas Mandl, Michaela Šojdrová, Patricija Šulin, Pavel Svoboda, Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi

S&D

Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Iratxe García Pérez, Anna Hedh, Mary Honeyball, Edouard Martin, Maria Noichl, Pina Picierno, Liliana Rodrigues, Maria Gabriela Zoană

VERTS/ALE

Florent Marcellesi, Terry Reintke, Ernest Urtasun

4

-

ECR

Arne Gericke, Urszula Krupa, Jadwiga Wiśniewska

ENF

André Elissen

0

0

 

 

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

Last updated: 28 February 2018Legal notice