EU, UNDP partner with Nigeria on women’s empowerment, gender equality

Adoba Echono

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The European Union Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Samuela Isopi, states that art is a powerful tool for promoting behavioral change, combating stigma, and raising awareness about negative social norms.

Isopi made this statement during the screening of the feature film “Deafening Silence” in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.

The European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nigeria hosted a private screening of the feature film “Deafening Silence” to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the country.

The film, a product of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, aligns with Nigeria’s gender priorities as well as the European Union’s and United Nations’ Gender Action Points.

Isopi revealed that the film also focuses on empowerment and combats Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and Violence Against Women (VAW).

Deafening Silence” produced by the UNDP within the framework of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, leverages the power of storytelling to explore themes of Gender Equality.

The initiative addresses gender equality, women’s empowerment, and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in Nigeria.

The film aims to spark deep and honest discussions on these critical issues, with the goal of encouraging social change.

The film aims to raise awareness and inspire action against GBV, promoting a society where gender equality and empowerment are core values.

“It is therefore my hope that this film will contribute to promoting gender equality and prevent gender-based violence in Nigeria and build a more inclusive society”.

In her remarks, the Resident Representative of UNDP Nigeria Ms. Elsie Attafuah, said “Deafening Silence is more than a film”, stressing that “it is a comprehensive communication, media and visibility intervention designed to challenge biased gender norms and inspire transformative conversations.”

She further added, “It harnesses the power of storytelling, communication, and mainstream media to catalyse societal change and promote gender equality.”

On his part, a former Nigerian Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, advocated for the protection of women in other aspects of their lives.

“Our budget at the federal and state levels does not reflect the aspirations of women in the rural communities where we have over 60 per cent of the population,” he said.

The former minister also said most of the food consumed in Nigeria was being produced by women in the rural areas, stressing that when government policies exclude the rural areas, women are automatically excluded.

In Nigeria, the spotlight initiative was carried out in five states: Sokoto, Cross River, Lagos, Adamawa, and Ebonyi, along with the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), concluding in December 2023.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oluchi Okwuego

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