Supporting Arts, Culture and Sports for the promotion of Women’s Human Rights

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The African Women’s Development Fund will be hosting a thematic convening on arts, culture and sports from October 22-24th under the theme “Weavers of Intersectionality: Amplifying Women’s Rights, Social Justice and Feminist Narratives in Arts, Culture and Sport.”

The first of its kind, this convening will bring together key women creatives from multidisciplinary fields of art, cultural production and sports to talk about their experiences, connect with one another and devise new strategies to strengthen the voices of women within their industry and on the continent as a whole.

It is no secret that the multidisciplinary fields of arts, cultural production, and sports have a huge impact on how people across the world engage with one another and the African continent is no exception. Over the years, African traditions rich with oral history, visual imagery, poetry, proverbs, dance, theatre, and sports have used these tools for education, entertainment, conflict resolution and community building. However, these cultural industries have historically been dominated by men which limit women’s participation in these spaces.

Women’s engagement in arts and in sports has led to the birth of radical ideas, beliefs and attitudes about the immense value and contributions of women. It has also invigorated connections and possibilities for communities across the continent and the world at large. Through both the arts and sports, women have challenged and broken stereotypes, amplified the demands of women and feminist movements, raised resources, and spread messages of social change.

In spite of this work, women practitioners in arts, cultural production and sports face persistent restraints from intimidation, harassment, and theft of work to isolation, immobility, burnout and limited access to networks of care, support, and resources of sustainability. By working through a lens of intersectionality, African women are in a key position to speak out against multiple oppressions – gender, sexuality, disability, race, class, ethnicity, geography, etc. – within their fields of work. This convening will help connect women whose work has been instrumental in telling the stories of african women’s lives and who have used their various mediums to amplify women’s rights, social justice and feminist narratives. The multidimensional nature of the convening will promote cross learning and solidarity. It will be a creative, engaging space that will help spark new momentum for change within various creative industries on the continent.