Women in the Arts: A European and Slovene Perspective

Women in the Arts: A European and a Slovene PerspectiveLast May the Zentrum fur Kulturforschung (Bonn) in co-operation with the European Research Institute for Comparative Cultural Policy and the Arts (ERICArts) invited some 65 experts, artists and policy makers from 15 European countries to the first European expert conference "Women in the Arts and Media Professions". The purpose of the conference was to exchange information on the professional status and role of women in the arts and media. Although every country, every cultural segment, every art discipline has its specific characteristics. The conference concluded with the following general findings. The presence of women in the cultural labour market is becoming increasingly important. Research has proven that women working in the arts are more highly qualified than their male colleagues. Women remain under-represented in decision-making positions in the cultural institutions, as well as in the individual professions (for example: musical composition or theatre). Women are over-represented in those positions in which the salaries are low, little job security is provided, and requires a great deal of flexibility. 

The Association for the Promotion of Women in Culture - City of Women – is convinced that the situation of women in the arts in Slovenia is by no means better than in the rest of Europe. However the Association can only substantiate this claim on the basis of its own observations and daily working experiences. There are little or no data. There is no serous research on this issue. In the last report by the Slovene Governmental Office for Women's Policy on the position of women in Slovenia in the 'nineties there are no more than two statistics on women employed in the arts. In comparison to the comprehensive studies from abroad, we can only blush.

The Association for the Promotion of Women in Culture is convinced that in order to develop a sane cultural policy – giving women working in the arts equal opportunities – it is of top priority to collect and analyse data on this issue. It speaks for itself that such a study can only be comprehensive and resort some effect, if it involves the active collaboration (and financing) of the state and municipal authorities. Only a policy based on facts, can counter a general feeling unfortunately nowadays very much alive in the midst of Slovene cultural decision-makers – that there is "nothing problematic with the position of women in the arts".

With this conference the Association for the Promotion of Women in Culture hopes to set the first step towards such a policy. We have invited several experts from abroad, and invited some of the principal Slovene cultural decision-makers to present their data, analyses, and views on the position of women in their countries or fields of expertise.

Patricia Adkins Chiti (president of the Fondazione Donne in Musica, Italy) will present the work of Donne in Musica and report on equal opportunities in music. Heidemarie Seblatnig (lecturer at the University of Technology, Vienna; media artist) argues that the concept (prevailing in the current evaluation of art and the art-market) that creativity is merely a male attribute, needs a feminist retort of double strategy: the public presentation of art by women has to be fostered, and women artists should be confirmed in their artistic potential. The conference will be chaired by Dr. Ritva Mitchell (Head of the Research Department of the Finnish Arts Council; Cultural Policy and Action Division of the Council of Europe; president of the C.E. commission on The Cultural Policy in Slovenia; and president of ERICArts).


Expert conference in English and Slovene

Organised by City of Women; with the support of The Slovene Governmental office for Women’s 

Admission free

Date and time of event: 
Oct 23rd 15:00
Place of event: 
Cankarjev dom, E 8/9