UNESCO’s Create|2030 Talks - “You Are Next”: Empowering Women in the Digital Arts

When :

from Tuesday 11 December, 2018
to Tuesday 11 December, 2018

Type of event :

Special Event

Where :

UNESCO Headquarters, Room II, 7, place de Fontenoy, 75007, Paris, France

The creative economy is becoming increasingly digitized. While artists are finding new and innovative ways of expressing themselves in order to capitalize on the digital revolution, the participation of women in digital arts remains a tremendous challenge.
Promoting gender equality and supporting the digital creative industries are among the core actions of UNESCO. It recognizes that there are significant inequalities between women and men as creators and producers of cultural goods and services in all sectors of the digital creative industries from book publishing to music, cinema or visual arts. Women artists and digital creative industry entrepreneurs from the Global South, face additional challenges due to the overall lack of infrastructure, funding, training and regulatory frameworks in such countries.

A 2018 UNESCO Global Report, RE|Shaping Cultural Policies, shows that women are not only less connected, but benefit less from the very few digital literacy and skills training programmes that exist. Women are less likely to be hired by tech companies and are underrepresented in tech conferences or creative industry marketplaces. Women entrepreneurs remain invisible in the digital creative industries even though they represent half of those employed in these sectors worldwide. Women are also largely missing in senior management and leadership positions.

To address this issue, Sabrina Ho, a cultural entrepreneur and philanthropist, has partnered with UNESCO to launch, “You Are Next”. This global initiative is designed to create opportunities for women under 40 from the global South and support their access to funding, infrastructure, equipment and co-production opportunities in the digital creative industries.

Four projects have been selected for funding in 2018:

- #BeYourVoice (Mexico): a project to provide girls with skills in virtual reality technology;
- WAVE (Palestine): a training programme to provide young women with audiovisual education and skills based training;
- DigitELLES (Senegal): a digital programme to provide young women in the music industry with technical training and entrepreneurial skills;
- Academy of Digital Arts (Tajikistan): creation of a digital academy for female cultural entrepreneurs in Tajikistan and Afghanistan.