By ArtCan artist Catherine Fenton
Balance for Better sounds so obvious; why wouldn’t we look for harmony and balance in our collective lives? After the bravery of the #MeToo movement we have seen a more confident move to stand up to injustice to women and an increased visibility of women in public life. In 2018 Iranian women were allowed to attend football matches for the first time, Saudi Arabian women were allowed to drive, the Republic of Ireland voted in favour of abortion, and more girls have access to education than ever before.
However we must keep pushing forward as increasingly polarised politics can make #BalanceforBetter seem impossibly simple. This week in Madrid a far-right Catholic party took to the streets reacting to the gender violence law, driving a bus with a picture of Hitler wearing pink lipstick and the slogan “It’s not gender violence, it’s domestic violence” claiming that law was discriminating against men and women who supported it were “FemiNazis”. It seems sickening that anyone could make such a distinction, when domestic violence leads to a woman dying every 15 minutes according to UN figures. But it wasn’t long before a counter protest was out in the streets, bigger, louder, stronger, made up of resilient and determined women.
This Friday, 8th March, International Women’s Day 2019, many women across Europe will go on strike, purposely upsetting the balance, highlighting what an essential part we all are in everyday life and demanding equal pay, and equal respect. Join them or join the #BalanceforBetter campaign by taking a picture of yourself in the #BalanceforBetter hands-out pose and using that hashtag along with #IWD2019.
ArtCan is made up of talented, committed women who work together to create a platform for equal expression, but we wouldn’t want to do it alone and are grateful that our team is also made up of talented, committed men. Together we strive for balance.