’Behave as professionals’

WOMEN in the creative sector that attended a three-day workshop on Gender Equality in the Creative Sector at Theatre in the Park last week have vowed to take positive steps in addressing their misrepresentation in the sector.


The workshop, organised by Arterial Network and Unesco, which took place from Wednesday to Friday, was meant to explore challenges faced by women in the creative industry and to map a way forward.

Arterial Network national coordinator, Florence Mukanga, said women agreed to do their work in a more professional way and avoid falling prey to abuse by their male counterparts.

“We had realised that women continue to lament their situation but do they have leadership qualities? We have challenged ourselves to change attitudes and behave as professionals. We are not going to sit down and continue to cry,” she said.

“You should not sleep with a producer because you need help to produce a play or a director so that you get cast into a play or a promoter for your music to be promoted.”

Mukanga said some women did not have knowledge on how to access funding, while others continued to suffer from cultural prejudices that restrict them to certain responsibilities.

“Most of them are working under established men-led institutions, so if they are empowered with the knowledge on how to get funds and other resources they will then become independent,” she said.

Arterial Network secretary general for Africa, Tojo Yharimanana, reiterated that limited access to resources was affecting women in the creative industry.

“Women are not only severely under-represented in the workforce, particularly in key creative roles and decision-making positions, but they also have less access to resources and face substantial gender pay gaps,” she said.

London-based Spanish Igor Vrzelai said the issue of gender disparity was something they were still working on.

“I don’t really know the reality here but it is a very important issue that we are working on. There is a lot of work to be done in London as well,” he said.


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