This Saturday, August 15, we gathered the participants of the program as well as all those interested at the Round Table “Women in Media and Culture”, held through the Zoom platform. We opened the discussion by identifying the position of women in the media and culture, mapping the key challenges and necessary changes to improve their position in the future, and we especially looked at the new circumstances caused by the epidemic of the KOVID-19 virus.
This year’s participants of the Program had the opportunity to meet 4 experts who were ready to share their experience, but also to bring us closer to the current atmosphere for women in these spheres.
We talked about these topics with Iva Parađanin, journalist and host of the podcast show “Tampon Zone”, Katarina Mitić, Music Storyline and Charm Music manager, Vanja Đurić, N1 reporter and Jelena Knežević, executive director of Bitef. The debate was moderated by the manager of the Share Your Knowledge project, Zorana Milovanović.
Research shows that a typical representative of an active audience in almost all cultural categories of women, either younger or older. However, women not only appear as an audience, but also make up the majority of employees in cultural institutions, news and media agencies, while a smaller number of them are in leading positions. One of the speakers, Katrina Mitic, had the opportunity to confirm this to us, talking about her experience as a member of the organizing team in various international events. By her example, she refutes the prejudice that women cannot carry out complex organizational procedures, and as she says, “professionalism comes first, and when you put it that way, gender becomes less important.”
The problem is in the very way of presenting women in the media, especially in the case of victims of violence, which inspired Iva Parađanin to launch the podcast “Tampon Zone”, dedicated to women’s topics. The fact that the voice of only 22% of women is heard in the press, television and radio shows is quite devastating, so Iva recognizes the endless possibilities provided by digital media to change that, and singles out the initiation of dialogue as one of the most important.
We spoke with Vanja Đurić about women’s solidarity and the protests that marked the end of this year’s parliamentary and local elections, inspired by her and other great reporters who did their job professionally despite the risks, and concluded that questions such as why reporters report in crisis situations not reporters pointless, because the danger does not distinguish gender. Because, as Vanja says, “if we withdraw, society stays where it is and there is no progress.”
The crisis due to the KOVID-19 virus has hit the cultural sphere hard, but it has been shown that the institutions run by women are successfully fighting the new circumstances. A positive example is the work of Bitef, led by Jelena Knezevic. Not only did they successfully cope with the financial challenges during the crisis, but they also managed to satisfy the cultural thirst that has been noticeable to the public these months.
Once systemic gender inequality is observed, it is difficult to overlook it. Culture shapes public opinion, and the media are a significant weapon in the fight against inequality and thus together form the main actors towards its change. However, within these spheres, there is still a struggle of women to prove their qualities and abilities, as well as a struggle to come to leading positions.
Round tables on the program Share your knowledge are a regular activity that is carried out with the aim of initiating discussions on the position of women in different areas of the profession and the importance of women’s solidarity for its advancement.