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Today media and entertainment unions across the world celebrate the International Women’s Day.

Screen and stage are powerful tools for creating public opinion. The way women are portrayed on screen and stage affects the attitudes towards women in our societies. The involvement of women in all aspects of life and society in a balanced manner remains a challenge in our industry. This needs to change!  Awareness raising and training, mainstreaming of a gender-sensitive approach to gender portrayal, positive actions as well as monitoring are necessary tools to make progress and to improve gender portrayal in a meaningful way. We call on industry, governments and funding agencies to work together with trade unions to elaborate, implement and enforce gender portrayal policies on all screens and stages.

UNI MEI is committed to step-up the unions fight against harassment, violence and retaliation against women. Sector-specific features of the media and entertainment industries such as broader gender-based discrimination and the widespread use of non-standard forms of work strongly encourage sexual harassment. Violence and sexual harassment affect all media and entertainment workers. Cases of harassment and violence against workers who work behind screen or set are often less made public.  We are committed to focus our work in the coming months and years to support these workers and to put an end to discrimination, violence and harassment behind screen and stage.

Our project on promoting dignity and preventing violence at work behind screen & set seeks to increase the capacity and expertise of trade unions to successfully prevent and address violence and sexual harassment and to establish a code of conduct on dignity at work and prevention of violence in international film and TV productions. We call international employers’ associations to work with us in order to develop joint policies and strategic plans that will lead to achieving a safe workplace and that effectively protect women from any forms of harassment and violence.

Despite progress made, gender pay gap remains a significant challenge in media and entertainment industries globally. We call on employers to work together with trade unions to do away with this form of discrimination against women. We urge industry to elaborate and implement equal pay action plans, which include proven tools such as gender-neutral remuneration systems, salary adaptation mechanisms after return from maternity leave and measures to eliminate segregation. We request that employers engage to negotiate and review specific chapters on equality and equal pay in collective agreements or in separate framework agreements.

Better work-life balance policies are essential to create a sustainable, fair and inclusive environment. Successful policies exist and they need to be tailored to the needs of women. We call on employers to implement and review regularly work-life balance policies through social dialogue responding effectively to changing needs. We need a change of culture that privileges effective working time management and inclusive policies instead of excessive hours and policies that have adverse effects on the careers of women.

We are media and entertainment. We say #BalanceforBetter !