A new report by British writer/producer Stephen Follows has revealed damning statistics about gender equality in the film industry. The report, entitled “Gender in Film Crews,” analyzed data from 2,000 blockbuster films since 1994 to look at the distribution of roles in film crews between men and women.
According to the report, just 22.6% of all film crew positions are held by women. Women only make up the majority of positions in traditionally female departments such as costume and make-up. Furthermore, women are severely underrepresented in key creative roles: for example, women make up only 5% of all directors on blockbuster films since 1994.
"It’s terrifying. Every time I did a small bit of research I couldn’t believe how unrepresentative the industry was," Follows told The Guardian. “Honestly, when I first saw quite how big the divide was, how overwhelming it was, I went back and did my research again just to double check.”
Former college basketball player Natalie Nakase first gained notoriety for her killer jump shot. Now the 34-year-old assistant video coordinator for the Los Angeles Clippers has another goal in mind — to become the first female head coach in the NBA.
Breaking barriers is nothing new for Nakase. She served as the head coach for a men’s professional league in Japan and landed a spot as an assistant coach on the Clippers’ bench during a two-week NBA Summer League, something no woman has ever accomplished.
"There’s going to be a woman at some point in the NBA," says Nancy Lieberman, an assistant manager of the Dallas Mavericks. "We don’t want to be hired because we’re girls. We want to get hired because we’ve earned it and we have the qualifications for the job."
The first ever Girl Summit is being held by UNICEF and the UK Government to rally support to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriage. According to newly released data: “more than 130 million girls and women have experienced some form of FGM in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the harmful practice is most common.”
"The numbers tells us we must accelerate our efforts," UNICEF Director, Anthony Lake said. "We can’t let the staggering numbers numbs us— they must compel us to act."
“When girls are empowered, we all do better. Female genital mutilation [FGM] and child marriage destroy childhoods, but supporting girls and women will boost the lives of boys and men too,” said Priyanka Chopra, Indian actress and singer. She is lending her voice to urge others to take a stand to end FGM and child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) within a generation.
It is estimated that more than 700 million women worldwide were married as children, and more than 130 million girls and women have been cut in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where FGM is concentrated.
These practices violate the fundamental rights of girls and women, and hold back social and economic development, leaving girls at higher risk of dying from pregnancy-related causes, and contribute to a cycle of poverty.
Farrah Khan, a survivor of sexual assault, wrote this satirical list of tips on ”How to Avoid Rape” based on the kinds of tips she herself received after she was assaulted. Tired of the constant victim blaming that promotes rape culture, Khan decided to take a stand. “These kinds of safety tips shame and blame survivors. They fail to recognize institutional barriers and that the responsibility for the assault is on the perpetrator,” she says.
Eleven parents of Nigeria’s abducted schoolgirls died, and their hometown Chibok is under siege from militants, residents report. Seven fathers of kidnapped girls were among the 51 bodies brought to the local hospital after an extremist attack on a nearby village. At least four more parents have died of illnesses related to the trauma caused by the kidnapping of their children.
"One father of two of the girls kidnapped just went into a kind of coma and kept repeating the names of his daughters, until life left him," said community leader Pogu Bitrus.
More danger is imminent: Boko Haram is closing in on Chibok and has been invading the towns surrounding it, forcing the villagers to seek refuge there. Because of the towns swelling population resources are depleted.
Community leader warns: “there is a famine looming.”
A New Delhi teenager who was allegedly raped and thrown into a well in Western India survived by hanging on to a ledge for 15 hours until she was rescued. A report by the New Delhi Television Station said the 17-year-old girl “was sexually assaulted by her neighbor when she went to work in a field in the town of Bhilwara in Rajasthan state. The attacker then pushed her into a nearby well.”
In 2013, reports of crimes against women increased by nearly 27%. Police attribute the rise in reports to greater widespread awareness and anger fueled by recent high-profile attacks against women in India.
A 10-year-old girl who was brutally raped by a mullah at a mosque faces yet another crisis. Authorities say that her family plans to carry out an “honor killing” against the girl. Despite having this information, local policemen have removed the girl from a Women for Afghan Women shelter and returned her to her family.
The accused mullah argues that it was consensual sex and that the girl is much older than 10, despite medical evidence refuting his claims.
Rights advocates worry about the future of women’s rights in Afghanistan as Western troops withdraw. “We already see the signs of losing the support of the international community,” says Nederah Geyah, head of the women’s affairs office in Kunduz “And I think what gains we have achieved the last 13 years, we’re slowly losing all of them.”
IMAGINING EQUALITY: Your Voices on Women’s Human Rights, An Online Media Project.
Mariya Taher experienced female genital cutting (FGC), or khatna, as a child. In this piece she weaves her voice with the stories of six other women who underwent this horrific procedure between the ages of five and seven. All six women were born in or have spent the majority of their lives in the United States and have some form of higher education.
Taher says she “hope[s] to break the isolated feeling, the unspoken taboo surrounding [FGC]. We are not alone. FGC is a shared experience by many women, bound by tradition, living today.”
Those of us who have won the lottery of birth can help spread opportunity and join the growing movement to eradicate global poverty. International Justice Mission’s #LocustEffect reminds us that compassion comes in many different forms.
Street artist Anat Ronen has created a mural of Malala Yousafzai as Rosie the Riveter at the Avis Frank Gallery in Houston, Texas.
“Malala has become a symbol for women’s rights in the Muslim world, mostly by spreading her story throughout the western world,” Ronen told Buzzfeed. “I felt I wanted to combine a symbol of western ‘warrior’ with her image, to maximize the symbolism and through somewhat controversy, promote her agenda. […] Being a woman, it is important for me to be a part of this agenda and help as much as I can. Being a street artist provides me the opportunity to deliver my message through my art.”
Introducing the world’s first Insta-documentary, created from Instagram footage in honor of girls affected by child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation. The film calls for an end to these harmful practices ahead of the world’s first Girl Summit. You can show your support here.
If a prominent man were to make sexist remarks about a prominent woman — for instance, claiming ”I know it sounds sexist to say that she is pretty, but that makes her telegenic, even if what she has to say is total nonsense” — that man would certainly come under fire for his misogynistic statements. However, if those same statements were made by a prominent woman about another prominent woman (which, in the case of this quotation, was indeed what happened), the public tends to react differently. Often there is little reaction at all.
In an op-ed for the Washington Post, writer Keli Goff discusses the problem of women making sexist comments about other women. “When men do this to women [i.e. dismiss a woman on the basis of her appearance] it’s labeled sexism, and rightly so, and is cause for widespread outrage,” Goff asserts. “But when women do it to other women, such behavior is either met with silence or a shrug, even though such attacks are just as damaging as those from men, perhaps even more so.”