Donne in quota

05 Luglio 2017

Intervento della Presidente Donatella Martini ai minuti 15:36 (ora locale) avvenuto a Bruxelles  il 26 Giugno 2017 durante il Public hearing on Gender equality in the media sector in the Eu - Committee on women's rights and gender equality, European Parliament, visibile QUI

Brussels DonneinQuota

Qui di seguito il testo dell'intervento, scaricabile anche in formato PDF

FEMM Committee – Brussels, June 26, 2017

Thank you for your invitation, we appreciate it a lot as we strongly believe in Institutions and always work in order to make them better. To be here today it’s a sort of recognition of our work, as it is difficult to be valued in our country as feminist activists.
Now, let me concentrate on the object of this hearing (Gender Equality in the media sector) as I have 15 minutes and many things to tell you.

DonneinQuota (DQ) is a member of the EWL (European Women’s Lobby), the largest umbrella organization of women’s associations in EU.
In 2013, together with the French association Chiennes de garde (Marie-Noelle Bas, their president, is sitting among the public), we founded WECAMS, a coalition of European groups fighting against media sexism.
EWL and WECAMS believe it’s necessary to prohibit gender discrimination in the media.
WECAMS even launched a petition to ask the European Union to strengthen its laws against sexism in the media in line with the views of the European Parliament (2008/2038; 2010/1751; 2012/2116), issuing a directive.
We strongly need a directive as resolutions are not followed at all.
I’ll focus on Italy because it is representative of all Europe, apart from France who recently committed against media sexism.
At the beginning of July, Cedaw Committee, governments and civil society will meet in Geneva in order to discuss the implementation of the Convention on the elimination of discriminations against women.
As a preview, I’ll be happy to read you report we wrote as part of a group called INWR (Italian Network for Women’s Rights).

(with ref. to the seventh periodic Report of Italy on the CEDAW)

3.1 Lack of national legislation addressing sexist attitudes in the media and advertising industries
Recommendations 24 and 25 Cedaw/C/ITA/CO/6 – Cedaw Articles 2 and 5

Unlike other EU countries, Italy still does not have a law addressing stereotypical and sexist attitudes in the media and advertising industry, though since 2010 some draft laws have been filed with the Parliament.
Since 2011, in violation of Cedaw Article 2 and specific Recommendations 24 and 25 of August 2nd, 2011 the only measure adopted in order to ensure that the public broadcasting networks act in compliance with the principles enshrined in the Convention was the already mentioned NAP (the Extraordinary National Action Plan against Sexual and Gender Violence launched by the Hon. Giovanna Martelli) involving the proposed creation of expert panels to monitor and assess the impact of sexist stereotypes on the representation of gender violence.

However, the Plan failed to provide any specific indication as to the selection criteria adopted for such panels, and their actual scope. Anyway, to this day, the Plan has not yet been implemented.
Compared to what had been documented in the 2011 Shadow Report, to date there does not exist any Governative monitoring service on the persistence of sexist stereotyping, in women’s portrayal and in the narration of violence, by information and in the media in general.
There are three gender monitoring services, carried out by the Journalists National bar Association, AGCOM and RAI – the two first do not make their outcomes public, while RAI does, but without imposing any corrective measures or sanctions as a result of the analysis. In France, for instance, the CSA (Conseil Supérieur de l’audiovisuel) just sanctioned a company called D8 because of their sexist tv program.
Such measures are utterly inadequate to reach their own goals. We can therefore conclude that no proper legal or other measure has been adopted to this day in order to ensure that the public broadcasting networks act in compliance with the principles enshrined in the Convention, and that all the media and the advertising industry cease every practice with constitutes discrimination against women.

• To introduce a legal definition of sexist advertising
• To adopt a law addressing stereotypical and sexist attitudes in the media and advertising industry
• To establish an independent ad hoc reporting mechanism, with effective and adequate administrative sanctions

3.2 Ineffectiveness of the self-regulation mechanism addressing sexist attitudes in the media and advertising industry
Recommendations 24 and 25 Cedaw/C/ITA/CO/6 – Cedaw Articles 2 and 5
The situation remains critical as denounced in 2011 Shadow Report.
As affirmed in the Governative Report, the only possible action against sexist advertising is reporting to the Self-regulatory Institute on Advertising (IAP).
The MoU between the DEO (Department of Equal Opportunity) and the IAP already proved insufficient in reducing sexist advertising, as it is still unimplemented to this day. The IAP is a private body created by advertising professionals as an offshoot of the lobby of advertising users UPA, and therefore it stands in a conflict of interests as for its very goal. To worsen the situation in comparison with the year 2011, the IAP’s new composition does not include any expert in gender issues who can evaluate the sexist nature of an advertisement.
Though women’s organizations have been promoting the recourse to this agency, the records show the poor effectiveness of its action, as the IAP can provide precautionary advice upon request, but has no power to prevent the publication of sexist advertisements, and can ask a company to stop an advertising campaign, but cannot even impose economic sanctions in case the company does not comply with its decision.

In addition, no assessment has been carried out on the effectiveness of the ANCI (National Association of Italian Municipalities) ) mechanism in monitoring local advertising.

3.2.1 Guidelines on the portrayal of women in national public broadcasting (RAI)

According to the Governative Report, the RAI has adopted specific guidelines to improve women’s portrayal, but this statement is incorrect. The indicated link refers to RAI guidelines for fictional television series, which do not include any reference to a correct depiction of women’s role, while this reference is included in RAI’s social budget.
Remarkably, the failure in complying with these general guidelines does not involve any consequence, neither concerning broadcasting nor other sanctions.
In 2016 the RAI concession expired. In order to renew the concession, the Department of Economic Development launched a civil society consultation, but the criteria for the selection of the participant organizations were not clear.
Women’s NGOs with a long term expertise in the work against sexism in the media and for gender par condicio were excluded, despite the protest expressed by DonneinQuota, Aspettarestanca e Rete per la Parità.
The exclusion of women’s groups constitutes a direct violation of the Convention by the Government, as it prevented gender clauses to be introduced in the very act with which the Government established the principles that RAI is bound to respect in providing the public service, having a 10-year duration.
According to the concession terms, every five years (in the past, every three) a service contract has to be stipulated.
For the renewal period of the 2010/2012 contract – that is still in force - , the Department of Economic Development had failed to involve the civil society in a consultation n process, and it was only thanks to the insistence of the most representative women’s NGOs, which demanded to be considered an interlocutor, that 13
gender amendments were introduced. For 2013/2015 renewal period, women’s NGOs had submitted new amendment proposals, which were approved, to ensure the contract’s compliance with the CEDAW recommendations.
Even though the new service contract has ended the legislative process, it has never entered into force.
There is no mechanism ensuring that the “CEDAW amendments” are maintained in the next service contract, as this decision lies with the political will of the Minister of Economic Development.

3.2.2 Absence of guidelines on the portrayal of women in private broadcasting

The guidelines for public broadcasting service do not apply for private television networks, as they are part of the RAI social budget.
The monitoring authority for the whole public and private audio-television sector (AGCOM) carries out a gender-sensitive monitoring but without making its outcomes public nor using them as a basis for actions of improvement.
The situation has gone worsening compared to the previous reports, because both the Monti government and the following ones cancelled the expert panel cancelled the expert panel that was established in 2012 at the DEO for the elaboration of a self-regulation code providing guidelines for a correct portrayal of women in the media.

• To fully implement CEDAW 2011 C.O. 24-25
• To adopt a strategy to continuously examine the private and public media for consolidated gender stereotypes and counteract them
• To create a common code of conduct on sexist stereotyping for public and private media, providing for corrective actions in case of violation
• To introduce an express legal ban on gender discriminatory advertisement
• To provide for the compulsory introduction of gender clauses in public service concession and in RAI’s service contract. These clauses should be defined in co-operation with women’s NGOs and independent experts on women’s rights
• To provide for an independent observatory with a joint membership between DEO and the women’s NGOs





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