In 2018 the British Council commissioned the economic development agency PPV Knowledge Networks to carry out a study of the position of women and girls within the creative and cultural industries (CCIs) in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine. The research was funded by the UK Government's Conflict Stabilisation and Security Fund as part of a wider programme of support to the creative industries managed by the British Council.

The aim of the research was to provide an overview of the current landscape of gender equality and empowerment within the creative sectors across the region, to analyse the main barriers which discourage or prevent women from pursuing careers in the CCIs, and to set out recommendations for policy-makers, educators and other relevant stakeholders to address these barriers.

The research team conducted their field study from January to March 2018, reaching almost 200 people across the CCIs in the four countries, through 40 interviews and 17 focus groups. The team broadly grouped their observations from the focus groups and individual interviews in seven topics and defined a list of specific tendencies that reflected the most interesting attitudes and practices.

“Answering these questions [about gender roles], we feel as if we are walking on minefield. It’s such a hot topic, you want to be forward-thinking, but you have this foundation in you” – male, film industry, Ukraine

“Many creatives [people whose job involves creative work] experience a gap between what they consider right and what they have to do, because there is research data, consumer profile. During the last two years I have been accused two times that we are doing sexist ads. I understand that we indeed are doing this, but [...] It’s important to understand that advertisement is reacting to trends, it doesn’t set them. The art sets trends, cinema sets trends, journalism sets trends, and society sets trends” – female, advertisement, Ukraine

“I think it is a fault of society. We push them to be beautiful, with these specific dogmas of beauty standards. Even if I consider myself as the most open-minded person, sometimes I catch myself being influenced by beauty standards. We perceive women as objects and not as human beings” – video-artist, male, Georgia

To learn more about the research findings, please follow the link below:

  • Gender Equality report (Adobe PDF 2MB)
  • Gender Equality report executive summary (Adobe PDF 253KB)