Issues relating to sexual harassment and bullying create considerable exit points for women in the Australian cultural arts sector and have a direct relationship to gender inequity. ScreenMATE is an adaptation of MATE, tailored to the performing arts industry, allowing for a more nuanced and effective approach to preventing gender-based violence in this context.
ScreenMATE was developed and is delivered in conjunction with Women in Film and Television (Australia).
A confidential poll undertaken by Women in Film and Television NSW in 2017 revealed 58% of respondents have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, with 72% having experienced either harassment or discrimination which has negatively affected their career. These figures reflect the pattern identified by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2017, showing 53% of women had experienced sexual harassment during their life. The Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2018 survey in this area showed that the screen industry rates far higher than the national average.
Following these exercises, participants are introduced to MATE’s bystander intervention framework, and provided with a suite of options that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, can draw from to interrupt harassment and discrimination. This is reinforced by providing a solid understanding of ‘what lies beneath’ gender-based violence in our culture, so that as bystanders, we can identify and challenge it.
Facilitators create a safe, comfortable space for open discussion to be held while educating participants on sensitive topics that we rarely get the opportunity to discuss in a group setting.
MATE utilises scenario-based activities to ensure participants recognise problematic behaviour within the cultural arts and screen industry context. Participants are given the opportunity to practically apply the bystander approach and framework, to real-life examples, allowing them to explore and discuss their personal approach as a bystander compared to that of others.
This workshop will provide participants with the tools to promote positive and equal environments and contribute to the long-term cultural change we need to ensure we prevent gender-based violence and promote gender equality for generations to come.