Abstract The creative/information economy has been largely celebrated for its plethora of social, economic and development benefits. However, two decades since the Cultural and Creative Industries’ (CCI) rise to popularity in policy circles, complex and competing agendas have become apparent, posing challenges for cultural diversity and the representation and meaningful equality of women. UNESCO’s role in streamlining and influencing cultural policy on an international level has received little attention in regards to gender. This leaves a gap for further research on how women are constructed and constituted in CCI policy in a rapidly globalising world, characterised by novel and affectual forces of neoliberalism and postfeminism. This thesis uses a feminist postructuralist and International Relations lens, and the WPR approach (what is the problem represented to be) to examine the 2005 UNESCO Convention on Diversity of Cultural Expressions. By critically engaging with a pivotal piece of global cultural policy, this thesis endeavours to understand how women have been discursively and subjectively constructed, and how this enables or forecloses space for gender equality. By providing a meta-critical analysis, this thesis aims to open up space for further research on how women’s empowerment can be meaningfully addressed in policy that claims ‘diversity’ as its goal.
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