UNESCO celebrates Tanzanian women in the creative sector

UNESCO, British Council and Make it Matter organized an event to celebrate the contribution of women in the creative sector which was held on 15 April 2021 on World Art Day. The event was a valuable occasion for over 70 creatives and cultural professionals to come together in the spirit of furthering the Tanzania’s cultural and creative industries. “The creative sector have high potential to foster inclusive and sustainable development.” said Honorable Innocent Bashungwa, Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports.

The panel discussion on how women as a collective play a catalytic role in transforming the creative sector shed a light on some of the achievements and challenges faced by women leading creative economy initiatives. Some of the challenges women in the creative sector encounter include, lack of business management skills necessary to run their enterprises sustainably; not adequate role models; lack of parental support compared to male counterparts; income and tax conditions; and transition to digital technology. UNESCO’s 2005 Convention for the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions has recently published an Open roadmap with guidelines for supporting artists’ transition to the digital environment.

There is an urgent need to address issues of social protection, market access and exposure for artists and their works locally and globally. Professionalizing the status of artists and defining their working conditions is essential to reaffirm freedom of artistic expression. UNESCO highlighted the need for promoting gender equality in the culture and creative sector. On the International Women’s Day this year, UNESCO published special edition report on the state of gender equality in the cultural and creative sectors, in order to highlight the consequences of gender inequalities for the promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions.

World Art Day promotes the development, diffusion and enjoyment of art. It is also an occasion to shine a light on arts education in schools, as culture can pave the way for inclusive and equitable education. UNESCO is committed to support environments where artists and artistic freedom are promoted and protected.

The year 2021 was declared the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development at the 74th United Nations General Assembly and The African Union declared the Year 2021 as “The AU Year of the Arts, Culture And Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want”. For a truly inclusive and prosperous creative economy to take shape, we must step up our efforts to promote gender equality in this sector.


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