London: A new report has claimed that there is a perpetual ‘pervasive stereotyping of women and girls’ film industry and a 13-year-old girl on-screen is as equally sexualised as a 39-year-old female character.

According to the UN-backed report, less than a third of all speaking roles in films across the globe are given to women – and females are twice as likely as males to be hypersexualised on camera, while just 30.9 per cent of all speaking characters in films are women, and less than a quarter of the on-screen workforce is made up of women (22.5 per cent), the Independent reported.

The report commissioned by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, looked at popular films across 11 countries, including the UK, US and India and concluded that “girls are nowhere to be ‘scene’” in an industry that is characterised by “deep-seated discrimination” and “pervasive stereotyping of women and girls”.

Geena Davis, founder and chair of the institute, said that the findings reflect wider-reaching problems in international society and the fact is – women are seriously under-represented across nearly all sectors of society around the globe, not just on-screen, but for the most part we’re simply not aware of the extent.

The ‘Thelma and Louise’ star said that media images exert a powerful influence in creating and perpetuating our unconscious biases and the changes on-screen could go some way to catalysing change in the real world.

The report also found that when films featured a woman director or writer, the number of female characters on-screen increased significantly, thereby indicating that hiring more female film-makers could help to alleviate the problem.

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Free Press Journal