Friday, 17. December 2021



In 2021, the MaLisa Foundation continued its work on gender representation and the visibility of other diversity factors in (audiovisual) media. Among many other activities, this included the publication of two television studies and collaboration on the firstintersectional online guide to diversity in German media. Another focus of the foundation’s work and publications was the topic of gender equality in the music industry.

On the subject of gender equity in the music industry, the MaLisa Foundation cooperated with the international initiative Keychange for a “Study on Gender Diversity in the Music Industry and in Music consumption”. The results were presented at the Reeperbahn Festival in September 2021.

In advance of the Reeperbahn Festival, the MaLisa Foundation published the results of its own research on gender distribution in music awards. Using a sample of five German music awards, the analysis addressed both the processes for allocating awards and the winners. The results show a clear need for action to achieve more gender equality in this area.

In addition, the MaLisa Foundation initiated and facilitated talks between representatives of the music industry and Themis, the independent trust centre against sexual harassment and violence in the film, television and theater industries. The positive result: As of January 2022, the trust centre will expand its counselling services to parts of the music industry. The Federal Music Industry Association (BVMI) and the Association of Independent Musicians and Music Companies (VUT) will then be part of the Themis network. This step means that employees from the music industry will also be able to turn to the trust centre in the event of sexual harassment and violence.

New research results on diversity and the portrayal of violence against women on German television

On October 5th, the MaLisa Foundation and its partner institutions published new study results on diversity in German television. Within the framework of the study “Diversity and Visibility: Progress Study on Audiovisual Diversity” by the University of Rostock, the dimensions of gender, age, sexual orientation, ‘migration background’ /ethnic attribution and disability were examined. Compared to the first study on audiovisual diversity from 2017, progress was made regarding gender distribution, while there was need for action to achieve more visible diversity. The results of the progress study on audiovisual diversity for the film sector will be published in early 2022.

How is gender-based violence portrayed in audiovisual media? In advance of the “International Day Against Violence Against Women,” the MaLisa Foundation and UFA GmbH drew attention to this important but previously under-examined question. The joint study provides the first overview of the representation of gender-based violence on German television. The results of the study “Gender-based Violence on German Television. A Media Content Analysis” by Wismar University of Applied Sciences were published in November 2021.

In the context of the foundation’s work in this area, longer-term partnerships with various stakeholders and organizations have been initiated and will continue in the coming year. Among other activities, a series of workshops with various industry partners is planned for 2022.

Workshops and intersectional collaboration on diversity in the media

In 2021, the workshop series “Beyond Stereotypes – Diversity-Conscious Storytelling” continued. It is a cooperation of the MaLisa Foundation with the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF and the Erich Pommer Institute. The focus is on finding practical solutions for differentiated fictional storytelling that corresponds to the diversity of society while avoiding persistent stereotypes.

Another focus of the foundation’s work was to expand networking and cooperation with organizations that work on various dimensions of diversity in the media. Together with the New German Media Makers (Neuen deutschen Medienmacher*innen, NdM), the MaLisa Foundation initiated an intersectional alliance that includes projects and initiatives such as Leidmedien, the Lesbian and Gay Association in Germany, ProQuote Medien and the Queer Media Society. In December 2021, the alliance, under the leadership of NdM, published guidance, facts and checklists for intersectional diversity in German media for the first time. The intersectional diversity guide is available online at The cooperation will continue in 2022.

In 2021, the MaLisa Foundation’s diverse activities for more gender equality also included participation in the “Dialogue Forums against Sexism,” specifically in the working group on culture and media. As a result of the dialogue forums, a handout with 30 measures against sexism was published in June 2021 and a joint declaration against sexism and sexual harassment in October.

Last but not least, the Foundation is pleased to be one of the two winners of the Seventh Soroptimist International Germany Award 2021. The award was already announced in 2020. The award ceremony will take place in March 2022.