Gender issues are systematically monitored and adequate policies are designed by the government and parliament bodies for the promotion of gender equality: the Governmental Office for Gender Equality, the Committee for Gender Equality of the Croatian Parliament, and the State Ombudsperson for Gender Equality. However, the programmes and initiatives in this field in the cultural and creative sectors are rare and are not part of an overall policy in this field.
Among such initial initiatives was a round table on gender inequality in the audiovisual sector organised by the Governmental Office for Gender Equality in July 2008 entitled ‘Visibility of women in Croatian cinematography’ that resulted in policy recommendations for the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC). It can be said that some of these recommendations later on contributed to changes in decision making and also to a publication of a booklet promoting women workers in the industry entitled ‘Cinderellas, Queens and Godmothers of Croatian Film 2012/2013’ prepared by HAVC (2013) and financed by the European Women’s Audiovisual Network (EWA), and a brochure ‘Women in Croatian Film 2015/2016’ (HAVC 2016). The cooperation with EWA continued and in 2016 resulted in the study “Where are the women directors in European films? Gender equality report on female directors (2006-2013) with best practice and policy recommendations”, that was executed in Croatia and other six European countries and showed further gender inequalities in the film industry. In 2019, the Croatian Film Directors Guild international conference, entitled ‘Women in Film Industry’, was organised in Zagreb. As a continuation of actions in this field, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) has commissioned a study on this topic that was still in preparation at the time of the writing of this report.
The project ‘Women in Media’ by the Agency for Electronic Media (AEM) started as part of the activities of the working group ‘Women and Gender’ by MNRA, of which AEM is a member. The aim of the project is to build awareness on the position of women in Croatian society, achieve better understanding of both the media and the general public on the representation of women in media as well to provide better visibility of women in media and contribute to diminishing stereotypes. As part of this project AEM published ‘The Recommendations on better news coverage of women’s sport in electronic media’, ‘The Media Codex-Recommendations on News Coverage on femicide and violence against women’ and other relevant research publications. An important part of the project is the web portal ‘Žene i mediji’ (Women and Media) that was established in 2019, which publishes news on the events and research as well as different inputs from the partner organisations.
Selected initiatives are emerging also from professional associations and non-governmental organisations and portals. For example Prostor plus, an NGO from Rijeka, published results of research on the position of women artists in the city of Rijeka and its surroundings in 2018 that illustrated their precarious position. The independent portal ‘Vox feminae’ should also be mentioned for their coverage of (issues related to) women artists and cultural workers.
In February 2020, The Art Pavilion in Zagreb opened its season with the exhibition ‘Zagreb, the City of Female Artists / Works of Croatian female artists from the late 19th to the 21st Century’. This is the first exhibition since the independence of the Republic of Croatia devoted solely to the work of women artists that encompasses such a long period and that includes works in all media forms– from classic painting and sculpture to contemporary forms of artistic expression. Due to severe earthquake damage the Art Pavilion in Zagreb has been closed since 22nd of March 2020.