This is not how it should be!

We proudly share the letter of EWA member and PROA's Vice-president Miriam Porté, published in the magazine of Catalan Producers Association (PROA)

After Francesc Escribano's  quote at Infoproa #85  ("perhaps in our country, we are so used to things as they are,  that we often forget what they should be like"), I get inspiration for  my first intervention as first vice-president of PROA. In this I don't refer to public television and how it is funded, but to women and their place in our industry. 

We are accustomed to seeing only between 12 and 15 % of the films and other audiovisual content directed,written or produced by women, but this is not how it should be. We are accustomed to the composition of the boards of public and private television, professional associations and institutions being mainly male, but this is not how it should be. We are accustomed to seeing that the producers who decide which projects should be developed are mostly men, therefore these contents offer the male point of view, but this is not how it should be. We are used to seeing young women graduating from Film schools, in a number significantly higher than men. Women who are afraid to face the difficult task of directing, writing and producing and end up seeking professional opportunities at a lower level, and this is not how it should be. 

We are accustomed to hearing that there is no such thing as a lack of equal opportunities when the figures prove the opposite. We are used to hearing managers who claim they have in their companies more women than men,  however, they are in medium or low profile jobs and this is not how it should be.

And we are accustomed to it all happening in the culture arena, where we should expect a higher level of reflection. This is really how it should be.

It is an uncomfortable debate. When this question is stated, the usual reaction is denial. It is striking to see how poor the debate on gender equality is. Is this blindness due to the fact that we are too much accustomed to it? Or perhaps it is the fear that what has been so hard to get might be taken away from us? We must not be afraid.  Introducing more women in the industry and allowing them to share their point of view will undoubtedly enrich our contents, our films and ultimately our sector.

We must not forget that our audience is in a greater percentage, female. We can't solve this inequality until we face the problem. And  it has been a long time since the first feminist writer Christine de Pizan spoke about women's rights, six centuries ago. We are so accustomed to this situation of inequality that  there is a risk of it  becoming chronic, leaving us women behind..

But this is not just a problem of our country. Kathryn Bigelow has been the only woman to win the Oscar for best directing and Patricia Arquette stood up for equal wages at last Oscar Ceremony. Neither of them came from Afghanistan, both worked at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, United States.

Although we are used to it, this is not how it should be.

Miriam Porté