Describe the main features of the measure/initiative:
The initiative is a gender-focused program working towards equal rights for women, through cross-cutting activities that amplify and affirm women’s creative competencies in shaping policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. Through emphasis on creative expressions, as a medium of communication, programming specifically focuses on women’s access to platforms where they can draw attention to barriers that impede artistic expression and creation, sustainable livelihoods, mobility, socio-economic status, participation in cultural life and the flow of their cultural goods and services. Overall, the measure underscores commitment to the protection and promotion of women’s rights in the arts and culture sector. It achieves this by implementing intervention strategies that respond to gender equality operational actions recommended in the Convention’s 2018 Global Report. These highlight the need to: • Integrate a gender perspective into all cultural policies and measures • Increase availability and quality of sex-aggregated data • Ensure equal access to funding and opportunities • Support women as creators and producers of contemporary cultural content
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the measure/initiative?:
• The Women in Theatre and Television Program, curated under this initiative, has extended vocational training to women creatives, with a specific focus on advancing their recognition as not just performers but creative entrepreneurs who produce and disseminate creative content. Funding availed through this platform, has a dedicated percentage share for creation, production and distribution. • The Digital Resilience Program, launched in 2020, in partnership with PEN International, has designed a targeted digital training program for women, to further their digital literacy and technical skill competencies that can be leveraged in accessing emerging digital market opportunities. The training component of the program is a response to the under-representation of women in technical professions. Within a backdrop of the experience of the Bulawayo Arts Festival where there was 40% representation of women in videography and 0% representation in lighting and sound, the program is a timely and strategic intervention seeking to increase the participation and visibility of women in the digital environment ecosystem. It leverages on the dictates of the African Free Continent Trade Area, to provide a gendered lens to domestication and in the identification of technical skills required for women creatives to maximise on the opportunities of this trade agreement • The SOWAP Media Watch program, profiled and analysed the coverage of women creatives through a gender culture lens. Analysis generally showed that the visibility of women’s cultural and artistic expressions is much higher in state-owned media, in comparison to privately owned media. Upon qualitative analysis, this was attributed to the page / column percentage share allocated to arts/ entertainment within national owned media • The Unified Women Project, an all women cultural exchange program between UK and Zimbabwean artists, provided a collaborative peer-to-peer exchange platform for women aged between 18-25 who were identified as emerging from the most marginalised communities, where access to opportunities is limited, particularly for women who are artists. Some women who were identified for the exchange, were recruited from vulnerable communities such as refugee organisations and women at risk of domestic violence.The collaboration between these artists, while celebrating the diversity of cultural expressions, raised awareness of the need to be critical of opportunity and funding disparities that exist within the hierarchical nature of how women creatives are classified.