, Absence of older women undermines BBC claims of gender parity, The Nzuchi Times

Absence of older women undermines BBC claims of gender parity

, Absence of older women undermines BBC claims of gender parity, The Nzuchi Times

The BBC’s claim that it has reached gender parity has been over-played, critics have said, as older women are not being fairly represented on screen.

The corporation this week revealed that the number of organisations meeting the targets of its scheme to achieve a 50:50 gender balance among contributors had risen.

However, members of the Acting Your Age Campaign have argued that female contributors, such as reporters and commentators, over the age of 35 are not being given equal treatment – with those aged over 65 faring the worst.

They point to 2018 figures from Ofcom which show that 67 per cent of BBC One and BBC Two contributors aged between 45 and 54 were men, rising to 71 per cent for 55 to 64-year-olds and to 74 per cent for those aged between 65 and 74.

“Under the BBC’s Charter responsibilities they are required to represent all their audiences equally,” the campaign said.

“The Acting your Age Campaign has written to the BBC Director General Tim Davie asking the BBC to address this gendered age gap urgently and to meet to discuss the issue of equal representation for all women inline with their audience demographic.

, Absence of older women undermines BBC claims of gender parity, The Nzuchi Times

“It’s clear that until there is gender parity for women of all ages with men, there is gender parity for no women of any age.

“If women attempted to pay the percentage of the licence fee in terms of their representation on screen this would be illegal. The Acting Your Age Campaign makes clear that in the UK TV & Film industry, on screen men have a whole life and women only a shelf life.”

The BBC’s 50:50 scheme involves the gender of contributors to the organisation’s content being tracked with the aim of achieving equal representation between men and women.

More than 100 organisations, including the Financial Times and Australia’s ABC News, have signed up to the scheme. Within the BBC, 670 teams have pledged to achieve the 50:50 goal.

Half of the organisations taking part in the initiative met the target in March.

The BBC was contacted for comment.

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