International Center for Women Artists to be created in Amman, Jordan

© Hedva SER, The Tree of Peace

At its 36th session in October 2011, the General Conference approved the creation of an International Center for Women Artists (ICWA) as a UNESCO Category 2 Centre to be located in Amman, Jordan. This status grants the Center a formal association with UNESCO since it shall contribute to the achievement of UNESCO’s strategic programme objectives, priorities and themes. The ICWA will function as a new museum specifically dedicated to women in the Arts. It will house a permanent collection of works of arts by the world’s leading women artists and showcase women artists from the Arab region in order to promote cultural diversity, a culture of peace, gender equality and intercultural dialogue. 

The United States of America has already granted 100,000 USD towards the establishment of this new museum center, and Her Majesty, Queen Rania of Jordan, has donated a building. A design competition is underway for the creation of the official logo, and a web site for the ICWA is under development (www.icwajordan.org).  

A Foundation for the International Center for Women Artists has been formed and fundraising efforts are being supported by UNESCO, the founding members and Board of Trustees are as follow:

Board of Directors

• Chairman – Mrs Ivonne A-Baki, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador/Ecuador

• Co-Chair- H. E. Mrs Dina Kawar, Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to France

• Co-Chair- Mrs Edva Ser, UNESCO Artist for Peace/France    

• Mrs Esther Coopersmith UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador/USA

• H. E. Mr David Killion, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate, USA

• H. E. Mrs Eleonora Mitrofanova, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate, Russia

• H. E. Mr Vinay Sheel Oberoi, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate, India

• H. E. Mrs Katalin Bogyay, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate, Hungary

• H. E. Mrs Martina Nibbeling-Wriessnig, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate, Germany

• H. E. Mr Abdullah Alneaimi, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate, UAE

• H. E. Mrs Mariam Y. Katagum, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate, Nigeria

• H. E. Ms Dolana  Msimang,  Ambassador of South Africa to France, Permanent Delegate, South Africa

• H. E. Mrs Maria Laura da Rocha, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate, Brazil

• H. E. Mrs Shuyun Shi,  Ambassador, Permanent Delegate, China 

Chairman of Advisory Council = Dr. Sheree Wen  

“We are confident that the International Center for Women Artists will help UNESCO to promote the role of women artists and increase recognition for their contribution to peace and to cultural development” said Ms. Mounira Baccar, the UNESCO Programme Specialist from the Museums Section, responsible for the ICWA project. She added, “The establishment of this Centre in Jordan represents the first institution of its kind in the Arab world. It is therefore a major step in promoting the role of women in the region, and one capable of creating new international networks with the various existing Women's Artists Museums”.    

For more information on the ICWA, please contact Ms. Mounira Baccar:  M.Baccar(at)unesco.org

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