PRM / Indecency and religion used to silence women artists

27. november 2018 14:07 | Af: Ritzau Info

Freemuse launches new report Creativity Wronged: How women’s right to artistic freedom is denied and marginalised.

Pressemeddelelse fra Kvinfo

Alankrita Shrivastava’s film ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ was initially denied release in India for being “lady oriented”, Icelandic artist Borghildur Indriðadóttir had her Facebook friends and photos deleted after she shared a promo of her photo exhibition ‘Demoncrazy’ featuring topless women, and Afghan playwright and actor Monirah Hashemi received death threats for performing in Afghanistan and shut herself inside her house for three months before relocating to Sweden to continue her career in the arts.

In 2017, 70% of violations of artistic freedom against women artists and audience were done under the rationale of indecency, according to research by Freemuse-an international human rights organisation based in Copenhagen that defends freedom of artistic expression. A further 28% of violations were under the rationale of religion. These principles were used by authorities, social groups and others to silence women, claiming that there are decent and proper ways in which women should perform, dress, act, and, in general, express themselves.

“After scrutinising five years of data, the results are clear: women’s artistic freedom is being silenced wholesale in every corner of the globe. They are told what they can and can’t sing, play, paint, act, film, attend or wear,” says Freemuse Executive Director Dr Srirak Plipat “There is evidence of gender-based discrimination and violations against women artists and women who take part in cultural life. These restrictions are inconsistent with international human rights standards. “

The first-of-its-kind, 100-page report highlights the inequality, exclusion and harassment of women artists and audiences around the world, as documented through five years of research. It is based on dozens of qualitative interviews and contains analysis of over 90 cases of violations against women artists and audiences over the last five years.

Together with Yildiz Akdogan, MP and vice chair of the Committee on Gender Equality, and Henriette Laursen, director of KVINFO, Freemuse will launch its report on women and artistic freedom on 29 November 2018 at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen.

“How women artists look at the world matters” says Henriette Laursen.”Sadly their gender often affects how their work is valued. The new Freemuse report shows how women artist also face gender specific harassment such as sexual shaming, public slandering in media and online, and censorship. KVINFO knows that this is the case for some women artists through our work in the Middle East and North Africa.”

The gender based silencing af women artists and the specific challenges they face have often been overlooked and needs action. The report concludes in over 20 practical recommendations for governments, human rights and non-governmental organisations, and the United Nations, which should be the ground for policy dialogues

“To put focus on women and women’s freedom of artistic expression is an important agenda and a value which we must support and promote. The Freemuse report and this event are important steps to get an insight into the issues and what can be done about them.”says Yildiz Akdogan, prior to the launch.

Report launch:

Thursday 29 November 2018

Socialdemokratiets gruppeværelse S-090

Danish Parliament, Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen

Press meeting 12:15-13:00 (prior to launch), with

  • Yildiz Akdogan, MP and vice chair of the Gender Equality Committee
  • Henriette Laursen, Director of KVINFO
  • Srirak Plipat, Executive Director of Freemuse
  • Monirah Hashemi, Afghan playwright and actor based in Sweden


Welcome by Yildiz Akdogan, MP and vice chair of the Gender Equality Committee

Opening by Mette Bock, Minister for Culture

Eiler Nils Fleischer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cultural Department, Norway

Henriette Laursen, Director of KVINFO

Presentation of the report: Srirak Plipat, Executive Director of Freemuse

14:30 – 15:30: Debate

Monirah Hashemi, Afghan playwright and actor based in Sweden

Anders Wahren, Program Director at Roskilde Festival

Cecilie Gregersen Nielsen, Program Manager Civic Space at Amnesty International Denmark


For media enquiries or more information, contact:

Lisa Robinson,, +45 5387 1027

Phone interviews can be arranged with artists Alankrita Shrivastava, Borghildur Indriðadóttir and Monirah Hashemi.

Please RSVP to the press meeting by Wednesday 28 November.

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