All-female Emmerdale production is just a ridiculous gimmick

Sharon Griffiths says the all-female edition of Emmerdale is a silly idea

Sharon Griffiths says the all-female edition of Emmerdale is a silly idea - Credit: Newmarket Holidays

Emmerdale are doing an all-female episode next year to mark International Women's Day which has Sharon Griffiths lost in the irony of it all

I can't believe it was actually a woman's idea…

To mark International Women's Day next year, the female executive producer of the TV soap Emmerdale has announced that it's going to be an all-female production – women producer, director, scriptwriter and all-female cast.

What a gimmick. It has as much to do with true equality as a kindergarten graduation ceremony has to do with higher education. It's contrived. It's play acting.

It's saying 'Look at us! Aren't we clever girls?' No. It proves nothing and defeats the purpose

The irony is that despite the great publicity it won't actually be an all-woman production – because there are no women to do some of the crew jobs. So some men will have to be drafted in as well. But, hey ho, maybe we won't mention them.

Oh yes, and the women are planning to bring their children in to work and demand that the men look after them. Well, that's really going to make friends and prove a point, isn't it?

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Instead of adult women doing challenging jobs, it somehow all smacks of a sixth form lark.

Like all-women shortlists – another idea of the devil – such schemes immediately cause doubts. Is the woman the best person or is she getting the job just because she's a woman?

Such thoughts do no-one any favours – least alone the women involved.

There's already talk that the next Archbishop of York will be a woman, just because, well, it would be nice to have a woman. Maybe, but that's just the sort of thinking that undermines women in top jobs, however much they deserve them.

There are still battles to be won. I know myself` all too well the old prejudices against women in the TV industry. Times have changed but women still have a lot of ground to make up. But there are better ways to go about it.

I'm torn two ways.

It's very hard these days to be a feminist AND the mother of sons – because you see their glum acceptance that top jobs don't necessarily go to the best person, but to the best woman – sometimes, but not always – the same thing.

It's just substituting another sort of inequality and not what we campaigned for at all. Unfairness is unfairness, whichever way it goes.

There have been many breakthroughs – such as news programmes presented and produced by all women teams, all women judges sitting on appeals, all women businesses and departments – but these have happened because women have worked damned hard to get there - not because of any artificial tinkering of the system. Or gimmicks.

If Emmerdale had just done their all-women production and just said so afterwards, it would have had a lot more impact.

But the greatest breakthrough of all is when it's so common that it's no longer even worth mentioning. Nothing to make a drama about at all.

Nobody knows what car to buy any more

British car sales have slumped. No surprise there. No one knows what to buy.

The government misled us about diesel cars. And after we all rushed out and bought them, we found out that no, actually, we're killing the planet and poisoning our children.

Manufacturers misled us about emissions tests. What else might they be misleading us about?

Electric cars were going to save the world. But are they? Really? More likely that motorway services will be crammed with hundreds of people drinking over-priced coffee that they don't want while they wait forever for their car to charge before they can do the next hundred miles.

And who wants to spend 45 minutes at motorway services in the first place?

I've done my bit to wreck the British car economy. I normally change my car every two years, but have been dithering so much that my Honda diesel is now nearly five years old with 100,000 miles on the clock and I still have no idea about its replacement.`In a haze of indecision and conflicting information, I shall probably carrying on driving it until its death.

By which time, new diesels might just be the flavour of the month again.