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Faces of Violence, ‘Artivism’ To End SGBV in Ghana

Sexual abuse, Verbal abuse, Emotional abuse, Psychological abuse, Physical abuse and Financial abuse are all forms of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) that came to life during an art exhibition held to climax the 16 Days of Activism on 10th December, 2020 at James café in Accra.

The art exhibition featured a panel discussion where three young creative men: George Koranteng, Julius Mortsi and Lavelle Olawale Oloye, threw more light on how they use their talents of drawing and painting, dancing and photography as well as music to tell stories. The HeForShe Champions opined that, the arts are a powerful tool for storytelling and will contribute significantly to ending SGBV. During the interactive discussion, the audience observed that survivors of such acts of human rights violation find solace in expressing their pain through art which should not be undervalued. They said it is important for everyone to be watchful and attentive to messages since a lot of people communicate through arts. 

Mr. Niyi Ojuolape, UNFPA Country Representative at the art exhibition called on all to join forces to end the silent pandemic – SGBV. Mr. Ojuolape said, “this is a clarion call, everybody has a role to play in ending SGBV”.

Dr. Afisah Zakariah, Chief Director of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGSCP), commended the HeForShe champions for their work in SGBV advocacy. She also applauded UNFPA for the investment in young people and the use males and boys engagement as a strategy in achieving gender equality and empowerment of women.

Dr. Afisah Zakariah, Chief Director of the Ministry of Gender and UNFPA Rep and Deputy Rep admiring some of the photos exhibited.

The UNFPA Deputy Country Representative, Dr. Agnes Ntibayurnwa, in her closing remarks noted that one entity cannot do it all alone when it comes to ending SGBV. “It has to be collective work in order to accelerate action, prevent SGBV and ensure sustainable funding. That is why for us in UN system and particularly in UNFPA, we work with Government agencies: Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, NGOs, CSOs, FBOs, Traditional leaders and individuals when it comes to ending SGBV one of our transformative results” she concluded.

George Koranteng, explaining some points to Chief Supt Owusuwaa Kyeremeh National DOVVSU Coordinator

Faces of violence, conceptualized by one of UNFPA Ghana’s Youth Leaders Fellow, George Koranteng, is an art collection that immerses one in a world for a deeper understanding of SGBV through the lens of conceptual arts and the emotional stories of SGBV survivors to inspire a call to action. This art collection showcases slip castings in semblance of swords representing the power of women and girls. It also features individual photography portraits to represent the millions of women around the globe who are fighting against multiple forms of SGBV and inequalities that exist in different spaces.