UNESCO is committed to economic justice and rights for women and girls through the creative industries.


Over the next five years, UNESCO will:

  • expand decent work and employment for women working in formal and informal creative economies in Africa through the implementation of a business accelerator programme to increase the number of creative industry enterprises owned and led by women in Africa;
  • on a policy level, provide technical assistance to African countries to introduce gender responsive social protection measures to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 and similar economic shocks on the creative industries in Africa and especially on women artists (in accordance with their obligations under the 1980 Recommendation on the Status of the Artists and the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions);
  • develop, promote, and campaign for women’s freedom to create, free of violence, sexism and sexual harassment in the creative industries in Africa;
  • UNESCO will invest 5 USD.


Turning Words into Action, UNESCO will 



  • enhance the visibility of women artists and cultural professionals, create space for networking and improve their access to markets, notably in the film, music and digital sectors through major cultural events, support for the mobility of women artists and digital campaigns.  


Examples of past and relevant advocacy actions include Jazz Women in Africa (launched in 2021), The Voice of the Resilient: Women Creators from West Africa (launched in 2020) ; #WeAreYennenga (launched in 2019 at FESPACO to address violence against women in the African film industry); Dakar Declaration on Gender Equality in Music, Launch of the ResiliArt movement and gender-focused debates around UNESCO’s publications on gender and creativity.




  • position gender equality and diversity of cultural expressions firmly on the political agenda
  • promote multistakeholder dialogue and the collection of sex-disaggregated data to support the design and implementation of gender transformative policies and measures for creativity
  • provide technical assistance and peer-to-peer learning mechanisms to effectively reduce the gender divide in the creative industries, notably in the digital environment




  • create mentoring and training schemes supporting women artists and cultural professionals to promote gender equality in the culture and creative sectors and combat horizontal and vertical discriminations, notably in Africa


Examples of past and relevant examples: Nara Residency for Young African Women Filmmakers established with Japanese film director Naomi Kawase, Women's Creative Entrepreneurship in Africa, starting with a pilot diploma programme to provide women with business, financial and communication skills in Senegal, ResiliArt Accelerator pilot project in Zimbabwe.




  • Re|Shaping Cultural Policies (2015, 2018, 2022)