A street drama campaign staged recently in Amukoko, a Lagos suburb, has been used as a tool to advocate and lobby for zero tolerance against all forms of violence against women and the girl-child.
The drama, organised by the Ajegunle Community Project (ACP), a non-government organisation (NGO), also demonstrated the huge burden facing women from gender-based violence (GBV) and discrimination against women and the girl-child. In addition, it highlighted some of the negative impacts of such violence often resulting in the physical, psychological and mental torture of women and the girl child.
In some instances, such GBV have resulted in the morbidity and mortality of victims, it showed. The drama, with the title ‘Street Drama on Campaign To Fight Gender Based Violence,’ was used to commemorate 16 Day Activisms on Gender Violence, an event that is celebrated globally to raise awareness about GBV and strategies to address the scourge.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Executive Director of ACP, Mrs. Olusola Akai, alerted people in Lagos State that the perpetrators of GBV and those that discriminate against women and the girl-child, risked violating the existing Law on Domestic Violence, enacted in Lagos in 2007.
The law imposed seven years imprisonment and/or the option of fine on convicted persons.
According to her, although, the Domestic Violence Law protects women from gender violence, Akai however, urged Lagosians and Nigerians to do more to respond to cries for justice from “women and the girlchild that have suffered violence.
We have to do much more to end these horrible abuses and the impunity that allows these human rights violation to continue.” The executive director of ACP said, “When it comes to preventing violence, we must address the root causes of gender inequality and discrimination.”
According to her, “evidence shows that where the gender gap is greater: the status of women’s health, participation in the economy, education level and representation in politics, women are more likely to be subjected to violence.”
The street drama demonstrated that the earlier GBV were eliminated in homes, offices, communities and elsewhere, it raised the hope of achieving zero violence against women and the girl child.
Explaining the choice for the drama, Akai said lessons from drama and stage plays could linger more in the minds of spectators more than the knowledge from seminars and workshops much of which could easily end up as ‘talk shops’.
“People go to workshops, talk, talk and talk but not reaching the right people, nor making the appropriate impact. “We are all aware about what happened during the ENDSARS protest and the coronavirus lockdown when some women were raped to death.”
The street drama entailed a special culture-based choreography – musical stage performance – aimed at removing psychological handcuffs from victims of GBV and eliminating all forms of violence against women and the girl-child.