Following a ‘Gender Policy’ workshop today in Dublin, The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys, has said that, “we need to ensure that everyone is given the opportunity to participate” in cultural production and events.
The Minister asked the cultural institutions present to implement gender policies in time for the centenary of women’s suffrage in 2018.
Today’s event included the participation of The Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, as well as the Irish Film Board, Waking the Feminists, The Arts Council and Culture Ireland, and is part of a wider Creative Ireland programme.
Minister Humphreys says:
“The Creative Ireland programme aims to drive personal and collective creativity and provides us all with a positive platform to promote the benefits of engaging in artistic activity. If we are to enable creativity in every community, as the programme aspires, we need to ensure that everyone is given the opportunity to participate.
“The role of women in contemporary arts and culture has been brought into sharp focus following the centenary year and in no small part due to the advocacy work of the Waking the Feminists movement. Today I brought together representatives from our National Cultural Institutions, as well as the Irish Film Board, the Arts Council, Culture Ireland to ask them to consider how they could go about implementing gender policies in time for the centenary of women’s suffrage in 2018.
“Our cultural institutions are uniquely placed to consider the issues surrounding women’s participation and representation in the arts. I fully respect the autonomy and curatorial independence of each institution, and it will ultimately be up to the board and management to decide how to take this initiative forward, but I must say I was hugely encouraged by the enthusiasm in the room today and the willingness of all of the institutions to take up this challenge.
“Today’s workshop allowed for the sharing of ideas; some of our cultural institutions and organisation are already well advanced in terms of developing gender policies, and were in a position to share their work to date with their colleagues. I hope today’s discussions can lead to further positive action to ensure female voices and stories are shared and heard through our primary cultural organisations. It also got us all thinking about how we can use the centenary of suffrage as an opportunity to highlight the role of women in Irish society today and set ourselves challenging goals for the future.”
This also comes after the National Women’s Strategy asked cultural institutions, including Women in Film&TV Ireland, to submit to their gender plan for the coming years. And also Humphreys’ recent commitment to start assessing funding of bodies along gender lines.