A visionary vehicle for change designed to amplify the voices of women on key issues.
WOMEN is a powerful visual representation of the journey that women travel. It combines aesthetic beauty, symbols, and visual metaphors to trigger emotions and responses to enduring gender inequalities in all areas of life. This book is an urgent call to action that echoes the voices of over 70 women aged 11 to 80+ years from 50 countries. They speak on what makes women cry, their coping mechanisms when facing discrimination, violence, exploitation and abuse, and possible solutions to end gender inequalities.
The color palette of the artwork is a real treat for the eyes and mind. It draws inspiration from women’s long-lasting struggles for gender equality: red as a reminder of sustainable development, gender equality, and women’s empowerment; orange for the Orange the World Campaign to end violence against women in all its forms; purple to reflect on the situation of indigenous women in line with the Violet Chair Project; and pink in relation to the Pink Ribbon Campaign against breast cancer, and to promote girls’ empowerment; shades of brown pay tribute to the nurturing character of women; and green represents fertility and vitality.
Some of the artworks are inspired by African philosophy through the Adinkra symbols as reflected in the Siamese crocodiles (see a painting titled Madame Monsieur in Chapter 3) and Sankofa (see a painting titled Collective Reflection in Chapter 5). Through the paintings, the artist reflects a comprehensive model of women’s empowerment using various geometric shapes: a triangle representing women as a top priority; a circle for inclusion and to put women in the middle; a fluid shape for mainstreaming (across the board).
WOMEN enriches the author’s way of working to trigger action, based on her 25 years of empowering women and girls worldwide. It is her simple, or not-so-simple, way to try something new in being a voice for change.
I am a mother who dreams big for my two daughters. I wish them, and all girls and young women a bright future of opportunities and achievements. I also worry for their well-being and safety in a world challenged with greed, inequality, patriarchy, and violence.
I am a bridge between people, countries, and civilizations, I believe in the beauty of diversity, and in love for other earthlings. I lived and worked in three continents and made many friendships for life and equality.
I am scared about the fragility of life, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic struck. We should embrace any opportunity for bonding with other sisters and friends from the globe.
I love working for the common good, but sometimes I feel swallowed by it, and I lose my work-life balance and myself in the process.
I want to inspire and be inspired by women, of all ages, all races, and all cultures worldwide.
I have strived to empower women and girls for 25 years and, every day, I keep thinking there is still so much to do. I keep wondering what have we not tried yet?
With this book, I want to try something new. I want to say it all with art. I want to touch women’s and men’s hearts so that we can all work together hand in hand to improve life and dignity for all.