Lebanese American University

Tomorrow’s Leaders

TLS students Earn Good Practices to Fight Gender Inequality in the Film Industry

Faysal Al Haddad and Ouday Yahya,  two LAU television and film students have often witnessed a gender imbalance pattern onset which led to an unpleasant feeling but they thought that nothing much can be done until they knew about MEPI TLS program. Aiming at fostering a cross-disciplinary culture of gender mainstreaming in coursework among undergraduate students, El Haddad and Yahya found from the TLS program a golden opportunity that will enable them to mind the gap of gender equality in the film industry and act upon it. 

Through a student-based learning program, El Haddad and Yahya discussed and critiqued scholarly work, attended gender expert-led webinars, participated in workshops on masculinity and women entrepreneurship, which allowed them to work on a succinct research paper under the title of «Gender Discrimination in Film Industry ».

To start with the research, El Haddad and Yahya interviewed their female colleagues (from different years). Interviewees gave their input from their own experiences on film sets. These were analyzed and paid attention to in the paper. Additionally, El Haddad and Yahya also relied on international data such as reports coming from the European parliament, European Women’s Audiovisual Network (EWAW), The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and a test called the Bechdel Test.

Tackling gender discrimination at the workplace is one of the MEPI TLS program objectives, however, what made the progress of the learning experience and outcome amazing is the diverse perspectives because of the interdisciplinary representation of students. Coming from the film industry, El Haddad and Yahya; two young and smart gentlemen shed light on the challenges their female colleagues face currently. Their documentary demonstrated the narratives and the body language of the interviewed girls as they express their description of the constraints they have in making their choices in the film production and sets.  As Tomorrow’s Leaders scholars, their recommendations focused on the need to focus on increasing awareness on the significance of women in reaching all types of work and in reducing the pay gap, as well as in the issues related to sexual harassment.

« TLS program has really helped open my eyes on what is happening worldwide and in Lebanon. This course inspired me and Yahya to write a 10 page paper for our history of film class about the toxicity of gender stereotyping in Disney Princess Films – Yes, a subject so simple yet so impactful. As  aspiring future filmmakers, we will break the stereotypes. » Affirm El Haddad and Yahya

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