Gender equality and empowering women are the central themes of a new international networking project between Liverpool Hope University; Bluecoat Arts Centre; Christ University in Bengaluru; and FACT.
Articulating Women is multi-organisational, multi-national, and multi-disciplinary project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
It aims to explore theoretical concepts of gender through artistic expression and representation, and the experiences of professionals who make on-the-ground interventions. These include teachers, volunteer trainers, academic leaders, and those in charges of arts organisations.
Professor Cynthia Hamilton, who is involved in the project on behalf of Liverpool Hope, said: “Gender equality is of central importance to progress within an increasingly global world, but gender roles and attitudes to gender shaped centuries ago continue to influence cultural, social and economic behaviour. Too often, policy commitments to equal opportunities for women and rhetorical statements of the importance of women’s contribution to society mask real-life behaviours that inhibit women’s advancement; indirectly, if not directly reinforce women’s subordinate position; and translate multicultural anxieties into conflicts over gender roles and behaviours.
“Articulating Women seeks to raise awareness of the complexities of gender expectations and constraints as these operate within different cultural contexts. We believe that understanding paves the way for actions, and that understanding is therefore a step toward achieving greater gender equality.”
As part of the project, a mini-documentary film competition has launched, which is open to all students in Higher Education in the UK and India. The judges are looking for filmmakers to explore the theme of ‘women in community’, and the best pieces will be incorporated into training materials and discussion packs for teachers and volunteer community workers.
The documentaries should highlight gender role expectations within different communities, and the way women in these communities negotiate a range of competing commitments and expectations. Winning entries will be screened at film festivals in Liverpool and Bengaluru, India.