Empowerment through Creativity: A Workshop for Women

Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


This thesis addresses the problems women face when attempting to become and be recognized as creative persons. In a patriarchal culture the dominant social image of a woman conflicts with the image of a creative person. The model that knowledge is always constructed within a frame of reference, which has been developed as part of the critical thinking movement, is used to explain the discrepancies between a patriarchal and a feminist approach to identifying creative work. Claiming that there is a need for the empowerment of women by accessing their creativity and helping them employ it, the author designs a four day workshop for that purpose. The examination of traditional theories of the nature and origin of creativity shows that they have not adequately considered female experience or contributions. The exploration of the psychological and social obstacles to women's creativity reveals three major types of problems with: (1) women's development of the self, (2) common female life experiences, and (3) patriarchal standards for the evaluation of creative work. A feminist definition of creativity as self-actualization is derived. Furthermore, the author suggests feminist standards for evaluation: diversity and equality, accessibility and non-hierarchy, mending the Cartesian split and interconnectedness with the immediate and larger community. Employing these standards and the definition of creativity as self-actualization, the time frame, group of participants, environment, and creativity-enhancing techniques for the workshop are explained, and the workshop is described in detail session by session. Finally, the author addresses the issues of recommended behaviors and attitudes for instructors of such a workshop and of appropriate tools for the evaluation of the success of the workshop. The intention of this educational intervention is to make a small contribution to empowering women and to changing the dominant social views of creativity.


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