Our programme in South Asia supports the empowerment of women and girls and recognises the potential of heritage for economic empowerment and social inclusion.
Empowerment of women and girls
Through Women of the World Festival and Creating Heroines we are developing and supporting programmes that provide a safe space for dialogue, enabling women and girls to share their stories. The empowerment of women and girls is a thematic priority across our programmes in South Asia, which are developed to utilise the power of the arts to challenge and shift attitudes that can perpetuate gender inequality, and harness the potential of the creative sector as a source of economic empowerment. We aim to celebrate and empower women and girls to feel valued and contribute to society and the economy.
South Asia is generally low ranking on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index. In 2018, Pakistan was ranked at 148 out of 149 countries, Nepal 105th, and India 108th. Although progress has been more pronounced in some countries such as Bangladesh (ranked 48th) and Sri Lanka (100th), improvement in gender indicators has been slow in others.
Cultural heritage in South Asia
South Asia is home to very diverse communities, and historically cross-cultural interactions have formed the social fabric of the region. However, current and recent conflicts, inequality and social exclusion (due to age, gender, race and ethnicity) are threatening the value of this diversity and limiting freedom of expression. This in turn affects social cohesion and gender equality in the region.
For societies to flourish, we believe that peoples of a community need to be able to participate and have a sense of belonging and legitimacy. We recognise the power of the arts to challenge and shift attitudes that can perpetuate inequalities and, we believe that it is possible to harness the potential of the creative sector as a source of social cohesion and economic empowerment.
Through Our Shared Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Take, Beyond Cultural Heritage we are supporting museums, heritage sites, the cultural and education sectors to engage young people with cultural heritage. Through better understanding of shared cultural heritage in South Asia, we aim to address these needs and foster inclusion and respect for diversity.