The Diplomatic Society

 
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Gender Equality Today

15 August 2016

The Embassy of Sweden in collaboration with FADA at the University of Johannesburg and the Commission for Gender Equality hosted the opening of the photographic awards Exhibition at the University of Johannesburg campus. The Photo Exhibition is titled “Gender Equality Today”.

The photos on display were the finalists from the contest organized by the Embassy of Sweden at the beginning of this year, a contest that generated more than 250 amazing contributions. The finalists were chosen by an expert panel including representatives from the CGE, the Swedish government and the arts and photography community of South Africa.

Photo: The Winner, Sune de Wet pictured with Neo Ntsoma, photographer and one of the Jury members

In welcoming guests to the Exhibition, Chargé d'Affaires of Sweden, Mrs. Karin Hernmarck-Ahliny said, “This photo exhibition includes photos that are beautiful and powerful in their own right, but we also hope that they will help us in finding ways to discuss, debate and understand both what we have already achieved, and, more importantly, what the challenges are ahead of us, and how we all, jointly, can tackle them.”

Speech by Chargé d'Affaires of Sweden, Mrs. Karin Hernmarck-Ahliny

Commissioner for Gender Equality, ladies, gentlemen, finalists and winner, colleagues and friends:

Welcome to the opening of the Photo Exhibition titled “Gender Equality Today”, co-hosted by the Commission for Gender Equality, the FADA Gallery and the Embassy of Sweden. The photos on display are the finalists from the contest organized by the Embassy at the beginning of this year, a contest that generated more than 250 amazing contributions. The photos we see on the walls here are the finalists chosen by an expert panel including representatives from the CGE, the Swedish government and the arts and photography community of South Africa.

The photo contest’s objective was to find new ways, and South African ways, to illustrate the issue of Gender Equality Today. This is a subject dear to the heart of the Swedish Government which as you may be aware officially declared its intention to pursue a Feminist Foreign Policy and to be a Feminist Government upon taking office in 2014.

About 25 years ago the feminism debate tended to focus on the issue of whether women as a group were essentially different than men as a group, and if it would lead to more peaceful and humane societies if only women were given more power? Or whether women as a group were no different from men as a group in their general propensity towards peace etc., except for the structural limitations bestowed on them by the patriarchy we all live in to various degrees? Is gender inequality based on biology or society, is it because of sex or gender?

Since then the debate has evolved into the discourse of intersectionality, which reasonably recognises that “cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated, but are bound together and influenced by the intersectional systems of society. Examples of this include race, gender, class, ability, and ethnicity” to quote the text book.

The gender gap in our societies is still significant, but we have to recognise the revolutionary changes that happened during the 20th century. Things we now should take for granted – voting rights, equal pay, women cabinet members, that rape exists also within marriages, and that divorce is an option – were by no means accepted 100 years ago, or even 50 or in some places not even today. The prospect of a woman president or prime minister would have been considered simply ridiculous.

Patriarchy has been a universal order in human societies at least since the dawn of the agricultural revolution about 10,000 years ago, even if the particulars of the patriarchal order have differed between societies and times. It is now being challenged as never before, and its pretense of being the only ‘natural’ order has essentially been shattered. Because – you know – gender inequality is not biologically innate in Homo sapiens but a consequence of societal and cultural choices.

This photo exhibition includes photos that are beautiful and powerful in their own right, but we also hope that they will help us in finding ways to discuss, debate and understand both what we have already achieved, and, more importantly, what the challenges are ahead of us, and how we all, jointly, can tackle them.

Thank you!

Embassy of Sweden in South Africa

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
_________________________________________________

September 2017 Edition

 
 
_________________________________________________

Translater


 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

South Africa and Vietnam accelerate trade 12 September 2017 South Africa and Vietnam have agreed to fast track trade relations. This emerged during SA Minister of International Relations and... <|> BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future 12 September 2017 The 9th BRICS Summit was successfully held in Xiamen, China from 3 to 5 September 2017. Chinese President Xi Jinping chaired the... <|> Seeking trade opportunities in Russia 11 September 2017 Local companies have been urged to look for trade opportunities in the Russian market. Minister Plenipotentiary at the South Africa Embassy... <|> Easing travel regulations between South Africa and Kenya 3 May 2016 South Africa and Kenya have announced measures that will make travelling between the two countries easier. South African Home... <|> Seeking study opportunities 14 September 2017 A delegation from China recently visited the Pearson Institute for Higher Education in Ashlea Gardens Pretoria, to talk about study opportunities for... <|> Celebration of the National Day of Brazil 14 September 2017 The Embassy of Brazil in Pretoria held a reception in celebration of Brazil’s National Day on September 7th. The event was attended by... <|> 17th Annual Regional Seminar on International Humanitarian Law 14 September 2017 The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and the International Committee of the Red Cross... <|> 2017 Gerard Sekoto award 14 September 2017 On Wednesday 13 September 2017, Ambassador of France to South Africa, H.E. Mr. Christophe Farnaud attended the 2017 L’Atelier art awards in... <|> Jamaica’s 55th Independence Celebrations 15 September 2017 On 2 September 2017, Jamaica’s High Commissioner, H.E. Cheryl Spencer and Staff hosted a Reception in celebration of Jamaica’s 55th... <|> Gusen: Granite and death, memory and oblivion 18 September 2017 The opening ceremony of the exhibition "Gusen: Granite and death, memory and oblivion" took place on 7 September 2017 at the... <|>
© copyright 2011-2017| The Diplomatic Society| All Rights Reserved.