Cover World of Women founder Yam Karkai’s portraits of music icons Christina Aguilera, Madonna, and Mariah Carey (Photo: Billboard)

In the male-dominated world of NFTs, these enterprises are shining a spotlight on women

NFTs have taken the world by storm. Many celebrities, artists, gaming companies and major firms like Marvel, HSBC and Ocean Park Corporation are eagerly embracing our new virtual reality.

However, much like the traditional art market, NFTs have been dominated by male creators so far. Projects led by women have made up only 16 per cent of the total sales on the NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway since mid-2020, according to art market research firm ArtTactic.

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This kind of under-representation inspired the digital illustrator Yam Karkai to co-found World of Women, which has attracted high-profile female and male fans. It’s one of five women-led NFT ventures that are shaking up the scene—and working to promote diversity, inclusivity and gender equality through community engagement projects and charitable ventures.

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World of Women

Twitter followers: 150,300

OpenSea owner: 5,300; volume traded: 59,800; floor price: 13.3ETH

Priding itself as a community celebrating representation, inclusivity and equal opportunity, World of Women (WoW) offers a series of some 10,000 NFT profile pictures (known as PFPs) of influential female figures hand-drawn by Middle Eastern artist Yam Karkai.

WoW, which launched in July 2021, has plenty of celebrity backing. It is partnering with US actress and producer Reese Witherspoon’s media company Hello Sunshine to bring NFTs into film and TV as well launch a live event focused on educating women about the sphere. It has also collaborated with singers Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey and Madonna to create PFPs. Madonna’s manager, Guy Oseary, has been representing WoW since January—a sign of more exciting entertainment endeavours to come.

The NFT project is also active in charitable causes, donating to the likes of Too Young to Wed, an international organisation fighting child marriages; and She’s the First, a New York-based non-profit that supports the education of girls around the world.

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8Sian

Twitter followers: 33,200

OpenSea owners: 4,500; volume traded: 4,700; floor price: 0.104ETH

Established in October 2021, 8Sian offers 8,888 NFT illustrations of Asian women in iconic fashion through history—such as qipao dresses and imperial palace outfits. The enterprise was founded by a woman of Asian descent, who goes by Nicole.

Bridging Asian culture with the metaverse is a focus for the venture, according to 8sian’s founders on its website. “We envision 8Sian being a global, inclusive community that brings together members who share admiration for Asian cultures,” the founders write.

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Boss Beauties

Twitter followers: 61,500

OpenSea owners: 5,500; transactions: 13,100; floor price: 1.5ETH

Founded by Lisa Mayer in September 2021, Boss Beauties offers a collection of 10,000 diverse and independent women portraits.

Boss Beauties boasts several impressive accolades: it is the first NFT venture to be on display at the New York Stock Exchange—it is exhibited outside the Muriel Siebert Boardroom at the Wall Street trading venue—and the first to partner with entertainment behemoth Marvel.

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In January, the venture announced that it will be a part of Coinbase’s initial launch alongside other notable NFT projects including WoW and Bored Ape Yacht Club. In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, it also launched the Role Models series, a collaboration with Barbie manufacturer Mattel.

Mayer hopes for the portraits to “capture the beautifully diverse, empowered women they want to see and be in the world”.

Flower Girls

Twitter followers: 22,300

OpenSea owners: 4,200; volume traded: 42,000; floor price: 0.47ETH

This project was set up in December 2021 by Russian artist Varvara Alay, offering 10,000 NFTs of beautiful hand-drawn illustrations featuring women in a variety of floral headdresses.

Profits are partially donated to NGOs, including 20 per cent to several children’s charities.

Women Rise

Twitter followers: 49,200

Owners: 5,700; volume traded: 5,700; floor price: 0.3ETH

Pakistani-born, California-based artist, author and neuroscience student Maliha Abidi founded Women Rise in November 2021.

A collection of 10,000 randomly generated NFT collectibles of illustrations created by Abidi, which depict women from around the world.

Apart from featuring women with a multitude of skin colours, the characters also have very diverse careers: think activists, artists, scientists and coders. Abidi sees her project as a space that advances women’s rights and girls’ education, according to its OpenSea website.

This article was originally published on March 17, 2022 in Chinese by Cristen Tsoi and was updated on March 22, 2022.

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