A report launched by UNESCO under the title “Gender and Creativity: Breakthroughs on the precipice” underlines the need for policy measures to achieve gender parity in the cultural and creative industries, despite recent progress in promoting gender equality.
The report explores the existing – and sometimes growing – gaps between men and women in this area, especially in the context of COVID-19, as detailed by the UN antenna in a press release. It thus calls for a new commitment and transformative actions to promote gender equality.
“Technologically, the digital gender divide leaves women and girls behind in all areas of political, economic, cultural and social life, resulting in isolation and limited access to tools and reliable information, declared the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay. Achieving gender equality will involve overcoming these vulnerabilities and this is especially true for women working in the cultural and creative sectors.” The digital divide remains a pressing concern, with women disproportionately facing barriers to accessing digital tools for artistic creation and distribution, including music platforms, online tutorials, and sound mixing software. It is estimated, for example, that on a global scale, women are 250 million less likely than men to use the Internet; women still represent only 21% of performers at electronic music festivals in Europe and North America.
According to the report, without the systematic application of a gender perspective to policy responses, COVID-19 could have a lasting regressive effect on gender equality in the cultural and creative industries as women are disproportionately represented in culture and other sectors most affected by the pandemic.