Enhancing gender equality in the Brazilian audiovisual sector
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In 2013, the Secretariat of Audiovisual Activities of the Ministry of Culture and the Secretariat of Women’s Policies of the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil launched the “Carmen Santos Award – Cinema by Women” to meet civil society’s demands for greater recognition of gender equality in public policies and implement the 2013-2015 National Plan of Women’s Policies.
The Carmen Santos Award aims at giving increased visibility to the cinematographic work of women’s directors and technicians, in order to promote equal opportunities among men and women in the Brazilian audiovisual sector. With this program, short and medium-length films directed by women and focused on women are awarded every year. The competing films can be either fiction, documentary or animations focusing on equality between women and men and the civic rights of women, and addressing the diversity of women in rural and urban settings. A particular interest is being paid to indigenous women, black women and women from vulnerable groups.
Out of 417 works submitted from all over Brazil, ten short films and six medium-length films were awarded with around 13,500 USD and 26,500 USD respectively.
At the same time, Brazilian civil society is mobilizing to enhance women’s contribution to the audiovisual industry and achieve a better representation of and opportunities for women as creators and producers of cultural products.
Premised on the conviction that female narratives are under-represented, the Mulheres no Audiovisual’s NGO was created to support the creation, production and distribution of critical artistic and audiovisual content made by women. To this end, the association launched an interactive and collaborative digital platform. Inspired by Netflix, the platform provides video streaming services, gathering not only women's audiovisual productions, but also relevant information on the history of women in cinema and promoting the participation of new female filmmakers in national productions.
These two initiatives specifically acknowledge and promote women’s contributions to cultural life, strongly supporting the implementation of Goal 4 of the Convention. SDG 5 on women’s empowerment is also directly addressed by ensuring effective visibility and equal opportunities for women in the audiovisual sector (Targets 5.C and 5.5).