Women in Media and artificial intelligence
Gender equality, media and information technologies at the Council of Europe
In European societies, media, including the Internet and social media play a major role as both a source of information and as a shaper of opinions. There is a gender equality dimension related to media as a profession as well as to media content. Regarding media as a profession, women are under-represented in media ownership, information production, and in decision-making positions. Gender inequalities are even more blatant in media content: women are under-represented from both a quantitative and a qualitative perspective. In Europe, women represent only about a quarter of the persons heard, read about or seen in the news, they are rarely represented in an expert capacity and some fields are still very male dominated (e.g. front-page stories, politics and government, economy). In addition, the persistence of gender stereotypes in media content, the prevalence of sexist hate speech in social media, the scarcity of counter-stereotypes, and the often sensationalist media coverage of issues such as violence against women, are issues that need to be urgently addressed.
In 2013, the Committee of Ministers adopted a Recommendation on gender equality and media, spelling out 16 measures to be implemented in six areas: gender equality policy and legislation, indicators, provision of information and promotion of good practices, accountability channels, research and publication and media literacy and active citizenship. A comprehensive Handbook to support the implementation of this Recommendation by member states was published in 2015. Combating gender stereotypes and sexism, including in media is one of the priority objectives of the Council of Europe Strategy on Gender Equality.
The Council of Europe Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI) also works on gender equality issues and has undertaken a series of activities on this topic.
Internet governance and the challenges of artificial intelligence (AI) at the Council of Europe
The Internet plays a growing role in the everyday activities of European citizens. It is therefore essential that this environment is safe, open and enabling for everyone without discrimination. The Council of Europe Internet Governance Strategy for 2016-2019 aims for instance to monitor action taken to protect everyone, in particular women and children, from online abuse, such as cyber-stalking, sexism and threats of sexual violence.
The ethical challenges of algorithms and artificial intelligence and the choice of the type of data used by an algorithmic model of learning are also to be taken into account. Artificial intelligence raises specific challenges in terms of equality between women and men and of gender stereotypes. The use of algorithms is likely to spread and reinforce existing stereotypes, thus perpetuating discrimination and sexism. In addition, the serious underrepresentation of women as both students and professionals in the information and communication technologies sector (16% in the EU) also raises the question of their exclusion from an area that is economically dynamic and powerful.
Media, as well as internet governance and artificial intelligence have significant impacts in terms of gender equality. Specific measures to ensure gender equality as well as the integration of a gender equality perspective in these areas are therefore essential to ensure that these sectors are truly inclusive and that they contribute to social changes.
See also sections on gender mainstreaming in audio-visual policy and on gender mainstreaming in cultural and natural heritage.
Council of Europe's Standards
- Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)4 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the protection of journalism and safety of journalists and other media actors, 2016
- Recommendation CM/Rec(2013)1 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on gender equality and media, 2013
(Croatian; French; Portuguese; Spanish; Azerbaijani)
- Recommendation CM/Rec(2011)7 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on a new notion of media, 2011
- Resolution 1751(2010) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Combating sexist stereotypes in the media, 2010
- Recommendation 1799(2007) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, The image of women in advertising, 2007
- Recommendation 1555(2002) of the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Image of Women in the Media, 2002
- Recommendation CM/Rec (84) 1 of the Commitee of Ministers to member states, Equality between women and men in the media, 1984
Council of Europe's publications and other resources
- Online violence against women increasingly targets female journalists, Video, Information Society Department, Council of Europe, 2020
- Gender Equality and Media, Analytical Report, Gender Equality Commission and Steering Committee on Media and Information Society, 2020
- Gender equality and media freedom in Azerbaijan, Project, Council of Europe, 2019
- Discrimination, Artificial Intelligence and Algorithmic Decision-Making, Study, Anti-discrimination Department of the Council of Europe, 2018
- Mapping study on cyber violence, Recommandations on the Working Group on cyberbullying and other forms of online violence, especially against women and children, Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention Committee, 2018
- Media coverage of elections with a specific focus on gender equality, Study, Council of Europe, 2017 azerbaijani
- Journalists under pressure-Unwarranted interference, fear and self-censorship in Europe, Study, Council of Europe, 2017
- Internet Governance Strategy 2016-2019, Council of Europe, 2016
- Encouraging the participation of the private sector and the media in the prevention of violence against women and domestic violence: Article 17 of the Istanbul Convention, Study, Council of Europe, 2016 (Ukrainian-Albanian-Serbian)
- Implementation of Recommendation CM/Rec (2013) 1 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on gender equality and media, Handbook, Council of Europe, 2015 (Azerbaijani)
- Gender Equality and the Media at National Level, Compilation of good practices from member states, Council of Europe, 2015
- Conference "Media and the Image of Women” and conference report, 2013
- Women and Journalists First, A challenge to media professionals to realise democracy in practice, quality in journalism and an end to gender stereotyping, Handbook, 2013
(Azerbaijani;English; Croatian; Portuguese)
- Combating gender stereotyping and sexism in the media, Factsheet
Joint Programmes with the European Union
- Guide for Journalists, Media Against Racism in Sport (MARS), 2012
- MARS – An Online Resource Centre on Media, Diversity and Sport
- MEDIANE – Media in Europe for Diversity Inclusiveness
- The Chilling: global trends in online violence against women journalists, Research discussion paper, UNESCO, 2021
- Online violence against women journalists: a global snapshot of incidence and impacts, Report, UNESCO, 2020
- Where are the women? Mapping the gender job gap in AI, Report, The Alan Turing Institute, 2020
- Pact for an Egalitarian Artificial Intelligence Between Women and Men, Laboratoire de l'égalité, 2020
- IFJ Guidelines for Reporting on Violence Against Women, International Federation of Journalists
- Reporting on violence against women and girls; a handbook for journalists, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 2019
- Guidelines on Media Reporting on Violence against Women, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 2019
- Advancing Gender Equality in Media Industries Project – includes resources, a database of good practices and learning units, 2019
- All things being equal: Gender equality guidelines from public service media, European Broadcasting Union, 2019
- Achieving greater diversity in broadcasting - special focus on gender; Benefits and best practice approaches, Background Paper, European Platform of Regulatory Authorities, 2018
- Baromètre Diversité et Égalité, High Audiovisual Council, Belgium, 2018 (French only)
- “Reporting on domestic violence - Guidelines for journalists”, Guide, OSCE Mission in Kosovo, 2018
- European Parliament resolution on gender equality in the media sector in the EU, European Parliament, 2018
- European Parliament resolution on empowering women and girls through the digital sector, European Parliament, 2018
- Gender Equality in the media Sector, Study, European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, 2018
- The underlying causes of the digital gender gap and possible solutions for enhanced digital inclusion of women and girls, European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, Background Paper, 2018
- Gender equality and youth: the opportunities and risks of digitalization, European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), 2018
- Gender equality and digitalization in the European Union, European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), 2018
- Depictions, Perceptions and Harm, Report on gender stereotypes in advertising, UK Advertising Standards Authority (United Kingdom), 2017
- Women's representation in television advertisements, Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (France), 2017 (French only)
- European Parliament resolution on gender equality and empowering women in the digital age, European Parliament, 2016
- Empowering women on the Internet, Study, European Parliament, 2015
- Gender-sensitive indicators for media, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 2015
- Global Media Monitoring Project - Europe, co-ordinated by the World Association For Christian Communication, 2015
- Collection of methods, tools and good practices in the field of women and the Media, Report, European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), 2013
- Gender Stereotypes and Sexism
- Preventing and combating sexism
- Mobilise against sexism in Romania!
- Mobilise against sexism in Belgium!
- Mobilise against sexism in Bulgaria!
- Mobilise against sexism in Ireland!
- Mobilise against sexism in Croatia!
- Mobilise against sexism in Hungary!
- Mobilise against sexism in Portugal!
- Mobilise against sexism in Spain!
- Mobilise against sexism in the Netherlands!
- Combating Sexist Hate Speech
- Women in Media and artificial intelligence
- Preventing and combating sexism