Field Update: Happy #IWD2019!

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Above are few images taken by photographer Betty Vivuya that we are using as basis for the murals and posters: female judge here in Goma and two of our own artists.  

March 8, 2019

Happy International Women’s Day to All! 

This year’s theme is #BalanceforBetter, meaning that with greater gender equality comes a better world for us all!

We know without doubt that this is the case. On a larger scale equality brings peace, and prevents poverty, and on an individual level creates healthier relationships. By celebrating this day we express our love, care and respect for women and girls and push forward the goal for greater gender equality.  

In the Tunaweza Portraits Project we engage through public art with the adolescent girls to promote their strengths and capacities so that they as well as the community around them begin to believe that girls and women too are AS capable as boys and men. Shifting gender norms opens up more space for women to participate in society, and reduces sexual and gender-based violence.  

On this day I’m excited to share with you the various themes that have come out of our discussions with community leaders and the girls when we asked:  how should women and girls be portrayed to promote their capacities?

1. A female judge:  People pointed out, let’s show a women who through her actions supports the rights of other women.  This theme will have a specific story TBD once we hear from a female judge herself in Goma what legal story regarding women’s rights she finds most compelling.

2. A female artist: as you may have heard female painters and visual artists are few and far between here!

3.  A female construction worker:  People pointed out, let’s show the physical strength of women, and in a sector that not many women have jobs in.  

4. A mother figure who creates, nurtures, and educates society – the woman as the creator of society.  Lengthy discussions about this with community leaders and the girls show that this is such an important role for women in society, and that it is therefore important to acknowledge and promote.  While other themes focus on a more modern vision of women, we agree that this is a positive and invaluable, ancient as time and relevant as ever.

Tomorrow we celebrate the day at the cultural center Yolé!Africa ! So stay tuned for some photos from that.  

Christina

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