EU Ambassador Emphasizes Power of Art in Gender Equality Advocacy

During a private screening of the feature film “Deafening Silence” in Abuja, European Union Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Samuela Isopi, underscored the influential role of art in promoting behavioral change, combating stigma, and raising awareness about negative social norms, particularly regarding gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Hosted by the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nigeria, the screening aimed to amplify messages of gender equality and empowerment in the country. “Deafening Silence,” a product of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, aligns with Nigeria’s gender priorities and the EU and UN’s Gender Action Points.

Isopi emphasized that the film addresses empowerment and combats Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and Violence Against Women (VAW), leveraging storytelling to explore themes of gender equality. The initiative aims to spark discussions and inspire action against GBV, fostering a society where gender equality and empowerment are fundamental values.

Ms. Elsie Attafuah, the Resident Representative of UNDP Nigeria, described “Deafening Silence” as more than a film, highlighting its role as a comprehensive communication and media intervention designed to challenge biased gender norms and initiate transformative conversations. She emphasized its use of storytelling and media to drive societal change and promote gender equality.

Former Nigerian Minister of State, Budget, and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, advocated for the protection of women in various aspects of their lives, citing disparities in budget allocations and the exclusion of rural women from government policies. He stressed the crucial role of women, particularly in food production, and called for inclusive policies to address their needs.

The Spotlight Initiative, implemented in five states of Nigeria along with the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), concluded in December 2023, aiming to combat GBV and promote gender equality. Through initiatives like “Deafening Silence,” stakeholders continue their efforts to foster gender equality, combat stigma, and promote social change in Nigeria.

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