Women remain "underrepresented" in media

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Actress Geena Davis. Photo: UN Women/Catianne Tijerina (file)

Women continue to remain underrepresented in the media across the world according to the UN agency which focuses on gender issues, UN Women.

The agency says there has been some improvement over the last decades, but more needs to be done.

International experts have been discussing the issue on the sidelines of the UN's Commission on the Status of Women being held in New York.

Daniel Dickinson has more details.

The entertainment and news media have traditionally been dominated by men.

There has been some improvement but the UN says women should be given more opportunities to exercise leadership in those sectors.

Hollywood actor Geena Davis who attended the discussion at UN headquarters said that the portrayal of female characters in movies is a first step to raising the profile of women in the industry.

She said men who work in film often don't realize women are underrepresented. 

"The good news for us is how stunned they are, they are absolutely shocked, their jaws drop until they are on the ground when they hear the numbers. For example, in crowd scenes in films, only 17 per cent of the characters are female. Maybe Hollywood writers think that women do not gather. I think this room here is proof that we do and that we get along very nicely."

Women in the media is one of the 12 critical areas of focus in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which was agreed by the international community 20 years ago.

The Declaration is considered as the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing women’s rights.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1’21″

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