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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 April 2019

Mind the gap: powerful Dubai exhibition demonstrates gender pay gap in art

The Art Gap exhibition highlights gender pay inequality around the world

Artist Samar Kamel in her studio. Kamel is one of 19 artists taking part in the Art Gap exhibition at World Art Dubai, Dubai World Trade Centre. Courtesy Standard Chartered
Artist Samar Kamel in her studio. Kamel is one of 19 artists taking part in the Art Gap exhibition at World Art Dubai, Dubai World Trade Centre. Courtesy Standard Chartered

Paintings by women sell for 47.6 per cent less than those by men.

That's the figure a recent study by the University of Oxford on gender bias in the art world has revealed, demonstrating the pay gap is more prevalent than ever. A new Dubai exhibition highlights this reality in a very visual way.

Following the study, Art Gap at World Art Dubai is making a powerful statement, showing pieces of art by female artists, which cover 47.6 per cent less of the canvas.

The collection has been brought together by Standard Chartered, and includes pieces by 19 artists, all of whom are female.

The sponsor "hopes the exhibition will send a message from the UAE to the world", and "help close the gender pay gap".

The exhibition is on show at the Dubai World Trade Centre from April 3 to 6, and features incomplete paintings that focus on the art gap.

Courtesy Standard Chartered 
Saudi artist Maha Musalli stands beside her exhibited canvas, of which only 47.6 per cent is painted. Courtesy Standard Chartered

It is a non-profit initiative, which means all proceeds of the paintings sold will go towards the artists themselves.

The pay gap

Wage disparity in the art world is considerably larger than the global average.

According to statistics on the non-adjusted base gender pay gap, which were gathered by Glassdoor and released on April 2, 2019, for every dollar men earn, women earn $0.85 (Australia), $0.88 (France), $0.84 (Canada), $0.79 (USA), $0.82 (UK), $0.87 (Singapore), $0.78 (Germany) and $0.81 (Netherlands). Emirates-specific statistics were not available at the time of writing.

It is worth noting that the pay gap has reduced since the same survey was carried out in 2016.

Updated: April 3, 2019 12:45 PM

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