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Europe and gender equality

Dur­ing a ple­nary ses­sion held in Brus­sels on Octo­ber 27, 2011, the Euro­pean sec­toral social dia­logue com­mit­tee for the audio-visual field for­mally adopted a frame­work of action on gen­der equal­ity, rep­re­sent­ing a suc­cess­ful out­come to two years of nego­ti­a­tion between social part­ners. The agree­ment aims to improve the sit­u­a­tion in the sec­tor in the fol­low­ing areas:

- Gen­der rep­re­sen­ta­tion;
– Gen­der role at work;
– Wage equal­ity;
– Decision-making equal­ity; and,
– Bal­ance between career and home.

Drawn up by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of sev­eral employer and worker orga­ni­za­tions, the plan of action takes the diver­sity of social part­ners into account. The good prac­tices it rec­om­mends cover all devel­op­ment stages of gen­der equal­ity policies.

In July 2010 the Inter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Actors also released their Hand­book of Good Prac­tices: to Com­bat Gen­der Stereo­types and Pro­mote Equal Oppor­tu­ni­ties in Film, Tele­vi­sion and The­atre in Europe; the recent Sex and Power Report for 2011 showed that only 8.3% of arts orga­ni­za­tions in Britain are chaired by women and the Arts Coun­cil of Eng­land is review­ing its plans for diver­sity; and Spain, France and Nor­way have quo­tas in place for board mem­bers of organizations.

Despite all this activ­ity over­seas, here in Canada the dis­cus­sion appears much less lively. The report A Sta­tis­ti­cal Pro­file of Artists in Canada from Hill Strate­gies (Based on the 2006 cen­sus) shows that women make less than men in all areas of the arts yet the inter­est that is reflected by the stud­ies, best prac­tices and leg­is­la­tion pop­ping up in Europe well sur­passes the amount of dis­cus­sion hap­pen­ing here at home. Are Cana­di­ans less con­cerned about this issue or are we just qui­eter when voic­ing our concerns?

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