Representation of Women in the Media

Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 16th October 2014.

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Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Labour, Sheffield Central 9:30 am, 16th October 2014

What steps he is taking to ensure better representation of women in the media.

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

The Government are committed to improving equality of opportunity for women in the media industry. The Government are also helping women across all industries by reducing the cost of child care, addressing the gender pay gap, increasing flexible working, and introducing shared parental leave.

Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Labour, Sheffield Central

I thank the Minister for that reply, but may I ask her to address another aspect, which is the sexualisation of women and girls in the media? That was raised as a serious concern with me during a recent community consultation. Does she agree that this representation of women and girls is affecting behaviour across society? If so, what is she doing about it and will she join me in backing the Good Night Out campaign, which is working with pubs, clubs, bars and other venues to end harassment on nights out?

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

The hon. Gentleman makes an important point. This is an important area and the Government are taking a lead. Through our body confidence campaign we have been working with industry to develop positive and diverse representations of women and girls in the media and to tackle and get rid of outdated stereotypes. The women’s engagement programme is also working hard, through a series of round-table meetings, to deal with many of the issues that the hon. Gentleman raises.