A Call to Action
A recent movement titled “Half the Sky’ alludes to the fact that the majority of the world’s population is female, and ‘hold up half the sky.’ Yet, around the world, and in particular in the developing world, women and girls remain economically marginalized, and struggle against oppression and violence in their daily lives. In the book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (2009/2010), Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn) explore issues such as, lack of education, economic empowerment, forced prostitution, gender-based violence, domestic violence, violence enacted in war torn regions, among other issues via stories from women and girls throughout Africa and Asia. Later turned into a PBS documentary, Half the Sky became a movement with a website and resources to inspire and engage others in joining forces in a call to take concrete steps to end oppression and empower women and girls.
As women art educators/feminists/artists/researchers/activists, what can we do in keeping with the WC Position statement, “implementing solutions are difficult tasks; yet the profession of art education will be strengthened by the full participation of all its members?”
Feminist art educators have long been concerned with and have addressed in both theory and in practice the oppression of women, violence towards women, and the empowerment of women and girls.
Art educators and Women’s Caucus members are in a unique position to interpret this theme, explore the following questions in their professional practice, and join a call to action:
- What does it mean to be a member of the majority of the world’s population?
- What first steps can you take (through teaching, art making, educational research, advocacy, or other) toward ending oppression and violence against women?
- How do/can we begin within our own communities?
- How does/can art making and the creation of exhibits strengthen the call for justice?
- What initiatives are already in place by art educators~what stories can we share about initiatives and results?
- How can we make a difference individually, and collectively?
- How can we as a Women’s Caucus collective group be part of the solution?
- How can we work across the NAEA Caucuses to address ‘half the sky?’
- What are some of your ideas as to how WC/NAEA as a collective can address issues related to ‘half the sky?’
Post your ideas here to our Women’s Caucus Voices Blog,
Sheri Klein, Women’s Caucus, Co-President-Elect
Ensler, E. (2013). In the body of the world: A memoir. New York: Metropolitan Books.
Facts on gender based violence. Available at: http://16dayscwgl.rutgers.edu/component/docman/doc_view/442-gbv-fact-sheetpdf [Accessed July 26, 2013]
Half the Sky Movement Available at: http://www.halftheskymovement.org [Accessed July 26, 2013]
Violence against women (n.d). World Health Organization. Available at: http://who.int/topics/gender_based_violence/en/ [Accessed July 26, 2013]
Women’s Caucus for Art. Available at: http://www.nationalwca.org/ [Accessed July 26, 2013]
Postcard Art Responses by WC members:
#1. By Sheri Klein, 2013. “Women Hold Up Half the Sky with A Full Heart.” Mixed media collage with digital and colorized image of sound wave of artist speaking.
#2. By Debbie Smith-
Shank, 2013. Untitled.
#3. By Dianna Huxhold, 2013. “Stifling Structures: Doubt Stimulators and Voice Inhibitors.”
#4. By Judith Fowler, 2013. Untitled.
#5. By Lisa Kay, 2013.
pointed fiery flames…
touching inner space.
sharp shapes colliding
into the void-
#6. Anonymous submission, 2013. “What is the cost?” Caring for others at the expense of caring for oneself.
#7. By Jerry Hausman, 2013. “Why Are They Screaming?”
#8. By Enid Zimmerman, 2013. “Stop Violence Against Women.”
#9. By Donalyn Heise, 2013. “History/Herstory.”
#10. By Lynn Sanders-Bustle, 2013. “Tangled in the Weeds.”
#11. By Jennifer Combe, 2013. “Beginnings.”
#12. By Nancy House, 2013. Untitled.
#13. By Pam Taylor, 2013. Untitled.
#14. By Amber Ward, 2013. “Match.” Mixed media. Responding to discriminatory structures in academe.
#15. By Julie Voelker-Morris, 2013. “Legacy.” Mixed media.