In the recent years, women empowerment has become a central element of development policies in all sectors to the extent that women empowerment means reducing discrimination against women in areas such as education and labour markets. This has been a core focus to attaining gender equity and ensuring there’s development. As a writer, I am yet to smile and say yeah, we are empowered. We do not have a stable and consistent platform same goes for artists, dancers, graphic designers, instrumentalists, photographers & film makers, musicians and fashionistas. We have not been adequately represented and we are not at par with international writers as Kenyans. Not just women, but Kenyans. But let’s talk about women.
In the creative space, research asserts that women are outnumbered by men in the creative industry but a survey of one of Kenya’s largest formal settlement; Eastlands in Umoja shows that for every 10 households, women creatives outnumber men. So, why the low statistics? Most of the women that I have met do not know or understand the value of their talent. Others, do not see it as a career or a revenue generation platform. Although the number of women in the creative space are many, men have made tremendous and incredible efforts towards the betterment of their talent. So, what about women? How do their talent contribute to development?
There has been a link between women empowerment and development. This means that empowering women is accelerating the economic growth right? Yet, in the creative space; girls and women generally see creativity as solitary. Furthermore, there are numerous stereotypes that surround the sector such as defiance and the predominance of strong male environment. These stereotypes, make it difficult to reconcile talent and professionalism among women. So, what’s to be done about this? What happens to women in the creative space? How are they empowered?
Empowerment, as a bottom up process means that development agencies cannot claim to empower women. Women, can only empower themselves. This is possible by providing platforms and opportunities rather than handouts. It entails providing women with reliable platforms and affordable yet great services that they are actually happy to pay for and be a part of.
Creatives Piazza is coming up with events and forums to ensure that women in the creative space are also equiped with a sense of responsibility in the process of development. That’s the CP way of women empowerment, in the creative space. They are creating a platform for EVERY creative, regardless of gender; hence anyone can sign up at CP. They are creating a platform for everyone while giving women a boost through exposing them to various ideologies and cultures. This entails the men that have already established, the women that have defied odds et.al. They get to meet and interlink. That’s how they are going to empower women, through a handup, as once stated by Kenya’s radio Queen at BBC; (who said that? Well…that’s a mystery only you, can solve). They also aim at empowering women by making sure they are connected with other Creatives globally.
Women empowerment, is an indispensable issue across the globe attributed to the fact that it is the age where women are being empowered to be at per with their male counterparts. CP acknowledges that women empowerment in the creative space have not been adequately exploited compared to other field like sustainable development, education, agriculture and economic development and that’s the main focus as Creatives Piazza.
They are creating value for women by provision of a platform and a voice to attain gender equity. Creatives Piazza is playing an enabling role and the website is the first step to ensuring this happens. CP allows all creatives to sign up but the focus is on offering portfolio guidance and services to women, to bring about access to women’s ability to shape the society through the creative space. Are you a creative? Kenyan or not? Internationally? Be a part of a creative community.