Gender inequality persists in the world of culture, underlines a new report

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© UNESCO

Women have been particularly marginalized from cultural life. They face many barriers to access, contribute and participate equally in theatre, cinema, arts, music and heritage, which prevents them from developing their full potential and impedes social and inclusive sustainable development.

The UNESCO report on Gender Equality, Heritage and Creativity demonstrates the need to enhance debate, research and awareness-raising regarding equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for women and men, girls and boys in the areas of heritage and creativity. The report points out symptoms encountered in other areas of socio-economic life: limited participation of women in decision-making positions; discrimination in certain activities; restricted opportunities for continuing education, capacity building and networking; women’s unequal share of unpaid care work, poor conditions of employment (e.g.,part-time, contract or informal work) as well as gender stereotypes and fixed ideas about culturally appropriate roles for men and women, not necessarily based on the consent of those involved.

Initiated by the Culture Sector of UNESCO, the report brings together for the first time research, policies, case studies and existing statistics on gender equality and empowerment of women, conducted by the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed, by government officials, research groups, think tanks, academics, artists and heritage professionals. This report includes recommendations in the areas of heritage and creativity for governments, policy makers and the larger international community.