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Comeback of the working woman

Katrin Kivimaa (1-2/2009)

Katrin Kivimaa’s thoughts on Liina Siib’s photo exhibition Woman Takes Little Space in Hobusepea Gallery 19.–30.03.2009
Having been active as a photo artist for several years, Liina Siib’s most recent project should be viewed as a quasi-sociological study in women’s position on the labour market – and perhaps in Estonian society more generally. The photographs were partly triggered by opinion articles on gender equality, published a few years ago in our local media, according to which women need less space and money than their male colleagues for doing their daily work. I presume that such an argument was to justify wage differences that still exist in the Republic of Estonia – according to official statistics, women’s wages constitute about 70% of what is paid to men for doing a similar job, not to mention the fact that women often work in fields that are less rewarded and symbolically regarded unimportant (among them several fields in culture and education). Seamstress in a sewing factory, ticket office girl, shop cashier, secretary and a chef’s assistant – these are the jobs for fine and unambitious women, and demands rising from the self-awareness of women with high self-esteem and good education seem to have no business here.
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