• Friday, July 12, 2024
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HACEY leverages art as tool for advocacy, calls for gender equity

IoD advocates gender equity, female inclusion in governance

HACEY Health Initiative, a development organization focused on improving the health and productivity of vulnerable and underserved populations in Africa, in celebrating this year’s 16 Days of Activism, has called for gender equity leveraging on art as a tool for advocacy.

The 16 Days of Activism is an annual international campaign aimed at raising awareness, sharing knowledge and information on the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to 10 December, Human Rights Day.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in every three women has experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime most often by someone she is acquainted with. Despite its high prevalence, Gender Based Violence (GBV) is largely underreported due to a culture of silence, stigma and lack of access to resources and support systems.

Rhoda Robinson, the executive director, HACEY health initiative, said GBV is currently one of the most notable human rights violations in Nigeria. According to her, GBV is a growing pandemic faced by people all over the world as it has no socio-economic, religious, ethnic or geographic boundaries.

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“While women and girls are disproportionately affected by gender-based violence, boys and men also experience gender-based violence. GBV can have a serious impact on the health outcome, mental state, physical well-being and socio-economic status of survivors,” said Robinson, who was represented by Jolaade Olatunbosun, project officer, HACEY Health Initiative.

According to her, survivors of GBV can suffer sexual and reproductive health problems, including unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and sexually transmitted infections including HIV. “The trauma can also constitute a challenge on survivors’ mental health resulting in isolation,” she said.

According to Robinson, the ARTagainstGBV workshop was organised to provide young people with an opportunity to speak up against gender-based violence using art as a tool for advocacy.

“The workshop engaged 50 young people across Lagos State in the creation of art projects using paintings, drawings, mosaic and collage to tell stories around gender-inequality, particularly gender-based violence as a means to challenge social norms, and drive efforts that help advance the rights of women and girls,” said Robinson.