Group empowers girls through arts to fight gender based violence

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Plan International Nigeria, a Non- Governmental Organisation ((NGO) is empowering girls through arts to be more expressive and knowledgeable about gender based violence in Nigeria.

Ms Uju Osude, the Senior Gender Equality and Inclusion Manager Plan, made this known in an interview with our correspondent on the sideline of activities by the organisation to mark the 16 days of activism.

Osude said that the 16 days of activism was an international campaign used to galvanise action to end violence against women and girls across the world.

She said that the organisation was using art as a tool in the fight against gender based violence so girls could be able to express and let their voices be heard through art works.

Osude said that in line with Plan’s objective to empower young people, especially girls it decided to partner with two artists and organise an art exhibition.

“We have been working in Nigeria for a while now, and we inaugurate our country strategy where we are committed to transforming 10 million girls.

“Why we are here today in addition to commemorating the 16 days of activism against gender based violence is to support two female artists.

“We believe that change only comes when it is driven by youths themselves.

“So today, they are empowering other girls with their artistry skills to try to express what gender based violence is.

“It is to also reflect the resilience that gender based violence can also exhibit after such experience by giving them that platform to lead the discussion.”

Osude said that this was because art had always been a wonderful instrument to not just drive public discuss but also change people.

Ms Uche Uguru, a media artist and painter said that she was using collage as her medium to paint and lend her voice against gender based violence.

“As they say, a picture tells a million story so arts to me passes the message faster, you don’t have to keep explaining yourself.”

She encouraged girls not to see themselves less of human beings because of their gender but they should know that they could live freely like boys.

Ms Chindinma Urunwa, an artist said that art works spoke powerfully to the challenge of gender based violence.

Urunwa said that her aim of using arts to talk to girls was to create more awareness visually because people get more connected by what they see.

“So, I want to create more awareness through arts to fight against gender based violence and gender equality,’’ she said.

She advised girls never to give up on their dreams, adding that their voice matter, hence they should not allow anyone to pull them down.

Urunwa urged them to strive to be who they wanted to be.

She also appealed to the government to do more in terms of curbing gender based violence so girls could live their dreams .

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