Radio and TV are doing without female talent, French CSA warns
On 12 February 2014, the "Women's rights" working party set up by the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel – France's audio-visual authority – published a report on its first work. The picture it paints of the place that women occupy in television and radio is far from encouraging.
Set up in 2013 at the initiative of Olivier Schrameck, chairman of the CSA, and led by Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette, the "Women's rights" working party is a platform for discussion designed to help radio and television achieve a better balance of men and women.
The first task that the working party ambitiously set itself was to put together a report about the role that women currently play on television and radio in France. The findings from this first project are unambiguous: women are both under-represented and are the victims of stereotyping. Despite the fact that they account for 56% of television viewers, 49.6% of radio listeners and 50% of Internet users (according to Médiamétrie, 2012), women account for only 37% of people shown on screen, all programmes taken together. And when it comes to specialists guesting on information programmes, fewer than 20% of them are women.
Fewer than 10% of the films shown on television in 2011 and 2012 were directed or codirected by women. When it comes to fiction, American TV series – which are very popular in France – do not fare better: only 38% of their characters are women.
Given these findings, the CSA is now trying to encourage content producers to feature more women in their audio-visual output. These producers, following consultation with the working party, have now made a number of commitments in terms of female representation and equal professional opportunity rights for men and women. As the report points out, "when it comes to applying women's rights to audio-visual media, both their representation on television and radio and the role they play in the economic sector have to be factored in".
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