UNESCO partners with UN Women on a black women, men and youth social justice and development programme

UNESCO has embarked on a partnership with UN Women to strengthen women-and youth owned businesses in the cultural and creative industries in the Caribbean sub-region, Latin America and Africa. The programme will also highlight Afro descendant women’s role and contribution to sustainable development through cultural exchanges, knowledge sharing and movement-building.

The announcement of this initiative came as part of activities to launch UN Women’s new Global Black Women Programme where Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi moderated a panel discussion of black women creatives, entitled ‘”Ain’t I a Woman? Black Women, Creativity and Development”. It was sponsored by UN Women MCO-Caribbean, in collaboration with NYU Africa House, UNESCO, and the EU-funded UNESCO-Transcultura Programme.

Representative UN Women MCO Caribbean Tonni Brodber explained the goal of the new project: “We will contribute to enhancing the economic empowerment and resilience of women-and youth owned cultural and creative MSMEs through strengthened networks and opportunities for employability and entrepreneurship in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa; through strengthened digital transformation, financial management and basic and advanced digital technologies skills for women in the cultural and creative industries (including art, design, music, film, beauty) with particular focus on marginalized and economically disempowered groups.”

Panellist, South African Carol Bouwer, Founder of Mbokodo Awards for Women in the Arts stressed that the world has not yet begun to understand that black women are a larger part of society whose creativity should be seen as creativity within the broader conversation of art, heritage and culture.

Sierre Leone and Canadian filmmaker, Ngardy Conteh said there is a huge gap in opportunities for black women to thrive.

UN Women also hosted “A Force for Change”, a global art exhibition and online auction in New York City, featuring 26 women artists of African descent. Fifty percent of the proceeds will go to the artists, while the other fifty percent will support implementation of the UN Women’s Afro-descendant Women’s Programme.