Art created by women sells for almost 50% less than art made by men. If you think that such shocking levels of disparity exist in only traditional art markets, unfortunately, you’re wrong. According to a recent report, only five to 15% of current NFT artist accounts are run by women. Moreover, out of the top 10 most expensive NFT artworks sold to this date, only one belonged to a female creator (Grimes).
So does that mean that the ongoing NFT revolution, which is often heralded as a decentralized equal opportunity ecosystem, is already being dominated by men? The answer is “yes.” However, experts do note that the NFT market is just taking off, so there’s still a lot of time for that to change.
NFTs could emerge as powerful tools for promoting female artists. In fact, they might put an end to the disparity that women creators have been facing. Fortunately, some organizations and NFT creators have already started working toward making the billion-dollar NFT industry an equal opportunity space.
Women supporting women
This International Women’s Day, Russian feminist music group Pussy Riot announced the launch of an investment fund named UnicornDAO (Decentralized autonomous organization) that would provide financial aid to NFT-backed projects run by women and LGBTQ+ artists. UnicronDAO is co-created by Nadya Tolokonnikova, activist and co-founder of UkraineDAO, the same organization which recently raised $7 million in funds to support the war-affected Ukrainian citizens. The project is supported by prominent NFT artists like Beeple, and some of the biggest web3 communities, including MoonPay, VaynerFund, World of Women, Flamingo DAO, and Collab Currency.
In the official press release that revealed the launch of UnicornDAO, Tolokonnikova said, “The goal of UnicornDAO is to bring more tools, capital, and power to women-identifying and LGBTQ+ people. Capital is still vastly concentrated in the hands of men–they still rule the world, and it’s not cute. UnicornDAO is here to redistribute wealth and allow women and LGBTQ+ people to empower themselves.”
Rebecca Lamis, the co-founder of the project, believes that “the present male-dominated NFT landscape can be radically changed with coordinated efforts among leaders in the space.” Excited by the initial support and interest, Lamis expects that UnicornDAO could receive $10 million in the first fundraiser round only. The official launch event of UnicornDAO is set to take place in Austin, Texas, on March 11.
Promoting equality in web3
UnocornDAO isn’t the only initiative that aims to bring equality in the NFT space. A newly launched NFT marketplace Agora is exhibiting the #WeTheWomen collection, a group of NFTs created by female artists, photographers, and illustrators. Meanwhile, Barcelona-based American art curator and author Tina Ziegler is planning to organize the first all-female NFT artist meeting this month at the Creative Debuts x Adidas Women’s History Month show in London.
Moreover, the popular NFT platform SuperRare has joined hands with World of Women (WoW) to promote the interest of females who are actively contributing to the development of the web3 ecosystem, including NFTs. In February, Billboard also announced a partnership with the WoW NFT collection to honor the greatest female performers.
Although it’s too soon to predict the impact of these initiatives in empowering women on web3 platforms, the bottom line is that NFTs are comparatively new, so there is great scope for ensuring equality and promoting a women-friendly attitude in such spaces, right from the beginning. Therefore, movements like UnicornDAO are crucial at this stage to develop a truly unbiased, decentralized equal opportunity ecosystem.