As the world grapples with consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cultural and creative industries are experiencing a rapid digital migration, with increasing digital consumption of culture, digital art production and streaming viewing. Yet, in this digital transition, women are facing many challenges.
To address these issues, UNESCO will host ‘You Are Next: Empowering Creative Women’ on 25 November 2020, with an online debate to celebrate women’s creativity in the digital sphere. The debate also marks the conclusion of the UNESCO Sabrina Ho initiative strengthening the technical and entrepreneurial skills of young women in Mexico, Palestine, Senegal and Tajikistan.
Women are less connected, possess lower digital literacy skills, have less access to training programmes, and are less likely to be hired by technology companies, according to the 2018 UNESCO global report ‘Re|Shaping Cultural Policy’. The report also found that women entrepreneurs often remain invisible in the digital creative industries, even though they represent half of those employed in these sectors worldwide.
The UNESCO Sabrina Ho initiative was designed to strengthen gender equality within the digital creative industries. It addresses the different needs, aspirations, capacities and contributions of young women working in the digital creative industries in developing countries, building the technical and entrepreneurial skills of women under the age of 40, as well as advocating for national policy initiatives and strategies that address gender equality in the cultural and creative sectors.
“There is a strong link between investing in creative and cultural potential and sustainable development,” said Ms. Ho, founder of Chiu Yeng Culture Limited, explaining the connection to UNESCO as the only UN agency with a cultural mandate.
The online debate, as part of UNESCO’s ResiliArt movement, will bring together renowned artists, cultural professionals and digital entrepreneurs from Asia and the Pacific to share their experiences, serving as a source of inspiration for new generations of creative women.
The first session covers the theme ‘Digital Creativity and Women Entrepreneurship’ featuring Niyoza Ayni (Tajikistan), Nhung Nguyen (Vietnam), Eeda Rijal (Nepal) and Khyati Trehan (India). The second discusses ‘Gender Equality Policies for the Asia-Pacific Region’, with contributions from Dian Herdiany (Indonesia), Nguyen Thi Thu Ha (Vietnam), Jane Sloane (United States) and Kay Poh Gek Vasey (Singapore).
The debate “You Are Next: Empowering Creative Women” will take place on 25 November 2020 from 13.30 to 17.00 Thailand time (GMT +7). For further information and registration, please visit www.you-are-next.org. – BusinessNewsAsia.com