WOMEN’S Affairs minister Monica Mutsvangwa has urged local female artists to register if they are to receive the same funding being enjoyed by their male counterparts.

Mutsvangwa made the remarks last week while addressing a female artist empowerment seminar in the capital, where she also acknowledged that the arts sector contributes significantly to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“The importance of regularising and registering of female artists not only opens up more opportunities for them as credible artists, but also allows them to benefit from government initiatives and support,” she noted.

“In many parts of the world, the arts sector contributes a significant percentage to GDP. It is imperative that female artists take the lead in initiating and taking up leading roles in this sector. They should seize opportunities and engage the government”.

Mutsvangwa reiterated that women are no longer excluded from the national development process in all sectors, adding that regularising and registering of female artists was crucial for their credibility and government support.

“The government acknowledges the lack of financial success for women in the arts industry. We are committed to supporting registered female artists and small and medium entrepreneurs, recognising their potential for economic growth,” she said.

Keep Reading

Mutsvangwa said it was disheartening that women had served the arts industry for years, yet their talents and efforts have not fully translated to financial success.

“As a ministry, we recognise this disparity, and we are committed to supporting registered female artists in the same way we have supported other small and medium entrepreneurs in different sectors. Art is equally important and has the potential to grow and contribute to the development of our economy,” she said.

The minister bemoaned challenges such as lack of resources, knowledge gap and discrimination which she said were hindering women artists from achieving gender balance in the corporate world.

“We cannot overlook the challenges and obstacles that still hinder women artists in their quest to improve their social and economic standing and from occupying space, particularly in the corporate world,” she noted.

“This recurrent reality is detrimental to the progress made in achieving gender balance, and it deserves urgent attention. The arts sector must prioritise gender balance, acknowledging and celebrating the contributions of women artists, and promoting their growth opportunities and societal outcomes.”

She said there was a need to renew efforts in advocating gender balance in the arts sector.

“It is about time to acknowledge the outstanding contributions made by women artists, celebrate their achievements and promote them to take up more space, creating better growth opportunities and outcomes in society.”