Theme 2006: Gender equality in the sector arts/culture?
ART AD 2006
Gender & Work in the Cultural sector:
Social dialogue about the new problems of work, income, career, care and equal payments
TIME TO ACT
conclusions and suggestions
SOCIAL DIALOGUE ABOUT THE SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CHALLENGE OF EUROPE.
The role of the workers in the arts in a Europe on the way to integration. A social dialogue with cultural and political implications. Compiled from the 16th Symposium (aug.21-26, 2004) at the SBI-Conference Centre in Doorn, Holland during the 26th International Christian Artists Seminar organised by the CNV-KUNSTENBOND with the support of EZA and the Commission of the European Communities.
CA-2006: GENDER AND WORK IN THE CULTURAL SECTOR
Why do we need a social dialogue about the problems of work, income, career, care and equal payments? Over the years in the cultural sector the attitude has been: it does NOT matter if you are male or female; only your quality counts. If there has been any sector almost totally emancipated, it has been the cultural sector. Of course, still here and there an actor was paid more than an actress, but generally speaking, the sector had overcome gender unequality. But recently, due to the rise of costs, budget cuts have been made in the cultural sector (thus, a drop of income), the pressure on artists-families is arising in such a way that BOTH partners must make an income.
In particular, the combination of work and care for young children seems to have become almost impossible. This special seminar with appr.250 participants from all the arts/cultural sectors from all over Europe thought about this problem and discussed it.
CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS
AS A RESULT OF THE CONSULTATIONS, SOCIAL DIALOGUES, DEBATES AT THE 26th International Christian artists Seminar, July 29 - Aug.3, 2006 at the SBI Conference Centre, Doorn, the Netherlands.
The historical analyses of the gender inequality is breathtaking. In the name of God, Allah, the state, society, male arrogance, superstition, economy, etc, women have been used/seen as: a kind of property, slaves, seducers, evil ones, cheap labor, birthmachines, etc. Men need to understand this past in order to avoid new practises of gender inequality so easily slipping into human relationships.
- EQUAL VALUES
Since we are a Christian trade union for the arts, artists, and culture, we need to address this subject in the light of our beliefs. With our whole heart and conviction we have to embrace the intention of God. The great story of creation (the book Genesis) tells us how men and women were BOTH created in the image of God. No other conclusion is possible: men and women are equal in value, but different in function and BOTH gifted with many talents, possibilities, expressions. That message MUST be carried out in all our expressions and communications. And where possible Christian artists need to remind each other, the church, and society about this important view on life. Artists have a prophetic possibility to express these views. We need to stand for COMMUNITY.
- EQUAL PAY
If men and women have equal value, this has to be clearly expressed by equal access to work and equal pay. In spite of many laws, regulations, and the work of trade unions/collective bargains, there are still UNACCEPTABLE situations in which women do not have equal access or are not equally paid. In some countries, like Asia, women are kept in a new kind of slavery. This seminar is challenging the trade unions, artists organizations, law-makers, parliaments, and the E.U. TO ACT. All these "soft" forms of DISCRIMINATION should be attacked, unveiled, changed. JUSTICE must be done.
- GENDER EQUALITY IS ONLY POSSIBLE IF CHILD-CARE IS ARRANGED
As pressure grows for both partners to work, it becomes more and more difficult to harmonize work with care for your children. This is a rapidly growing problem in the cultural/arts sector, as many cultural workers/artists are self-employed. They have to be extremely flexible, move fast (the mobility in the sector is enormous) from one gig to another, work long hours to get sufficient income. So if both partners are artists, having children is most of the time NOT possible. But the demographic changes of Europe call for parents to have (at least) 2 children. Both parents having (full time) work as well as care for children should be supported by a series of state regulations and provisions.
- Pre-school child-care from 7.00 - 24.00 should be provided
- During primary school child-care must become available from 7.00 until school-time, during noon-intermission, after school-time until 24.00
- And as the artists-metier never stops and moves on during school holiday-times, child-care should be available as well during holiday times.
- All forms of child-care should be at low costs or for no costs at all, or should be made tax-deductable (as artists have too many "employers"(work-providers) per year, it is not possible to have all of these pay a part. The cultural/arts sector has no employers in the classic sense.
- Child-care should be safe, nice, professional, loving
It is an understatement to say that men are part of the problem. On very personal levels men and women need to work on a new mentality and an attitude expressing cooperation and COMPANIONSHIP. There are many women who have inspired many men and women around the globe through the ages. Those stories should be heard and expressed.
- A NEW PROTEST, SOCIAL AND POLITICAL ACTION
Religious fundamentalists misuse their religion to create a new separation between men and women in their societies. And based on their convictions they want to impose their views even on western societies. The consequences of such opinions is a NEW APARTHEID between men and women under the cover of “religious freedom”. It is amazing that western politicians remain silent on this New Apartheid. Are they afraid to touch the freedom of religion? But the misuse of religious freedom should be attacked. (Christian) Artists want to raise their voice against this New Apartheid; NOT in the name of my God, nor in “my” name (of the individual artist) will we allow this cruelty to happen.
Actions do have results. The trade unions have many examples where actions have had results. For today as well: Actions work. So, step up for your brothers and sisters who have political problems, or wage problems, or labor rights problems, or suffer sexual harassment.
What do we pass on to the coming generations? What did we learn from the past? These questions need to be on the table of formal education, the family-life, etc. We should learn from the past. Not all was that bad, not all was so good. And we need to question how we want the future to be for our children? So what are the thoughts, expectations, life-views we plant in their minds? For sure, our PRESENT examples are of immense importance. So we decide on the future by being the right example in the here and now; the best examples survive in the family-units (core of extended family). By doing well, we become a chain of blessing passing the Bonum Vita from past, via present into the future. Here we ask as well attention for good FAMILY POLICIES.
- TIME FLEXABILITY
One of the key problems lies in the fact that a number of employers/factories, etc have no possibility for working time arrangements. If this were already accomplished, a large percentage of family/care-problems would be solved; for example, work hours that are the same as school hours. Men, women, and work need to work together towards solutions.
THIS SPECIAL SEMINAR CAN BE UNDERSTOOD BY IT’S 3 X C:
- CHAIN OF BLESSING
LECTURES WHERE GIVEN BY:
DAY 1 (30 july): HISTORY & GENERAL INTRODUCTION - Prof.Calvin Seerveld (Canada)
Historically / generally: the inequality of genders explained (why, what happened); it did lead to unequal treatment and unequal payment in the various sectors; the consequences for the genders. How is the situation in the cultural sector / the arts?
DAY 2 (31 July): ETHNICITY, GENDER AND INEQUALITY: THE MOVIE-Conny Weeda(Nl) & Janneke Brouwer(Nl) CNV INTERNATIONAL
Women around the world try to take good care of their families. At the same time these women have to work, just to have enough income for the family; or, women want to work because they want to take part in the development of society. Women have as well different cultural backgrounds. This all can create a collision of values, needs. So let’s listen to women from all around the world (Shri Lanka, New Guinea, Chili, Netherlands). What is our reaction to this dilemma? A challenging film of the CNV-International… leaves you thinking: what can I do, what should I do.
DAY 3 (1 aug.): PRESENT - Yvon van Houdt, member of the CNV-trade union board (the Netherlands)
What has been done across Europe to redeem this conflict. Measures, laws, regulations in the various sectors. Are these effective? New aspects of the gender conflicts. Initiatives in the cultural sector and the reality in the arts. The need for and the possibilities for on-going training/adult education/life-long learning. What can YOU do?
DAY 4 (2 aug.): THE NEW PROBLEMS OF WESTERN FAMILIES - EZA( Zsuzsanna Detrich(Hungary) and Julia Rieck(Germany)
>Family life is the cornerstone of society. Family values are endangered because more increasingly both parents have to work to earn a decent income to be able to raise their children. How to reconcile career with family demands/care. Possible choices and how to move on in the cultural sector. What should law, regulations and tax do to help out. Needed political actions, needed trade-union/artists actions; suggestions & conclusions.
EACH EVENING HAD A SHORT REFLECTION ON THE DAY, THE THEME, THE SPEAKER(S), DEBATES, FORUM AND DISCUSSIONS. This was done by chairman Leen La Rivière (CNV Kunstenbond/International Association of Christian Artists), (Netherlands).
SCHEDULE OF EACH DAY: (like other years)
plenairy theme & speaker (see above)
Forum & working groups
lifestyle applications of the theme
evening presentations (artistic, creative, cultural) related to the theme
Delegates from artists, cultural, and trade-union organizations, professional teachers and artists (all arts disciplines), up and coming talents/art-students, policy-makers. Number of participants: appr.250; GENDER: 47% Male, 53% Female. AGES: -21 years 5%; 21-30 years 28%; 30-45 years 35%; 45-65 years 29%; 65+ 3%.