An Art exhibition has been held to climax the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) 16 days of activism against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).
Themed ‘Faces of Violence’, the exhibition showed compelling photographs and art works by young artists that give a deeper understanding of SGBV through the lenses of conceptual art and the emotional stories of survivors that inspire a call to action.
UNFPA Country Representative, Niyi Ojuolape in his opening address lauded young people for their contribution to the fight against SGBV.
He indicated that the practice remains a “silent pandemic” which must be urgently addressed.
He hinted that out of fear and trauma, most victims of SGBV, do not speak out but show various moods and behaviours that show that they are being abused.
He therefore noted that the UNFPA has formed a strong partnership with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and allied agencies to address the silent pandemic.
The UNFPA country representative urged the public to speak out against SGBV and report cases to the appropriate authorities so the needed help can be provided to victims.
Chief Director of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Dr. Afisah Zakariah, who was at the art exhibition admitted the fact that many people especially, the youth also suffer from SGBV, and thanked the UNFPA for using art as a new language to showcase the plight of victims of SGBV.
Dr Agnes Ntibanyurwa, the Deputy Country Representative, UNFPA, added her voice to earlier calls for enhanced stakeholder partnership in expanding advocacy on SGBV.
“Enough is enough; let us be champions to speak up and spread the word and fight against SGBV”, she said.
She indicated that although the 16 days of intense campaigning was over, widespread information on SGBV should continue globally so that victims could get the right education on what constituted such forms of abuses in order to overcome them.
The 16 Days of Activism against SGBV, is part of an extensive annual global campaign to create awareness, educate, and influence policy changes on SGBV.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri