#ArtGap “Lets talk about the Gender Gap in Art” at World Art Dubai from 3rd till 6th of April 2019

A commendable step taken by Standard Chartered to highlight gender pay disparity with ‘Art Gap’ 

  • Comprehensive global study finds that art by women sells for 47.6% less than art by men*
  • Even where art work was produced through artificial intelligence, respondents consistently ranked works they believe to have been made by female artists lower
  • Women artists will use the Art Gap exhibition as a platform to make a powerful statement by painting 47.6% less

On International Women’s Day and with March being the Women’s History Month, Standard Chartered Bank UAE pledged that it would raise awareness about gender pay inequality and one example of this is in the world of art. This initiative comes also in line with the UAE’s vision 2021 to be one of the world’s top 25 countries for gender equality by 2021.

Rola Abu Manneh CEO Standard Chartered.jpgRola Abu Manneh, CEO Standard Chartered UAE said: “At Standard Chartered we are passionate about promoting equality and committed to driving an inclusive and diverse culture at work. The “Art Gap” exhibition is a great initiative to highlight such an important topic; gender pay inequality. We want others to get inspired by this event and to support the drive for change not only in the world of art or banking but in all industries. I encourage you all to join us and support the cause.”

“Organising this event reaffirms the Bank’s commitment to the national agenda, which aims to make the UAE one of the world’s top 25 countries for gender equality by 2021” she added.

As part of its wider commitment to bridge the global gender pay gap, Standard Chartered signed the Fair Pay Charter in 2017 and announced its pledge to pay men and women equally for the same role. This is in line with the UAE’s vision to advance gender balance. In April 2018, the UAE Cabinet has approved the issuance of the Law on Equal Wages and Salaries for Men and Women to ensure that women have equal opportunities as partners in the UAE’s development.

The hand that rocks the cradle, is the hand that rules the world. Let’s give this hand the value it deserves. World Art Dubai and Standard Chartered have come together to honour women who add beauty to the world through their art and I am happy to lend my voice and be part of this movement that respects each artist without any gender discrimination,” said Batool Jafri, Curator of Art Gap and Emirates Woman of the Year 2018.

B2.jpgAn exclusive interview with Batool Jafri – Curator of Art Gap

What is #ArtGap all about?

Artgap is an art initiative being presented by Standard Chartered Bank at world art Dubai this year and hopefully it will be something which will be taken further internationally. Through a research done at the Said Business School which shed light on the fact that unfortunately female artists are paid only 52.4% of what a male artist is paid for an artwork. On 3rd April a collective of 19 female artists are exhibiting work created especially for this initiative.


Have you had to overcome challenges while curating?

Curating for World Art Dubai has been an immense learning experience for myself. The team is brilliant and extremely supportive. Nidhi and Smriti are a dream to work with and I’ve had the pleasure of working with a team of very talented curators who are all artists in their own. The biggest challenge in my opinion has been time management since I have a day job and with the artgap initiative as well as the curatorial duties i have definitely had to be very disciplined about my time management

What is the biggest misconception about Art?

That it’s for the elite and that only a select few can understand it. I feel art is for everyone, whether you have grown up surrounded by it or whether you are stepping into an art fair for the first time. That’s a key reason why world art Dubai is such an imp event as it allows everyone to feel at ease while being exposed to such a diverse range of work from all over the world.

Initially when I stepped into the art scene, I felt everything about me would be challenging, being a female, Pakistani and an artist who covers. However, with time, the only challenge one has is pushing their own limits and stepping out of their comfort zone.


Your advice to buyers

My advice to buyers is to go for the work that moves you heart and captures your attention. Push your budget if you find sthg captivating because an artwork that speaks to you will bring you joy for years.

Your advice to Artists

My advice to artists is that please always keep in mind your reason for being an artist – the passion for art. Don’t be disheartened by low sales or the commercial aspect of the art life. Stay in it for the long run and you will love the journey.


No campaign or event can be successful without support, I urge all artists, men and women to participate in this incredible initative by Standard Chartered. I cordially invite all art lovers to come to World Art Dubai and show solidarity with #ArtGap.

Let’s be part of the conversation and let’s erase this GAP in ART!


Event Details

  • Dates: The Art Gap will open from 3rd April to 6th April 2019.
  • Individual exhibition World Art Dubai, at Dubai World Trade Centre
  • Timings: 3rd April – open from 2pm to 9pm. 4th to 6th April – from 1pm to 9pm

#ARTGAP Contact:

Wasim Ben Khadra,
Head of External Communications, UAE
Mobile: +971 56 508 0106
Email: wasim.benkhadra@sc.com