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Gender Advocacy Comics: NAWOJ, FICDATA to take Advantage of CAIB


Within the frame work of the Protocol to the African Chapter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (a.k.a the A.U. Protocol on Women’s rights), and in the context of  advancing the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs), the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) Edo State chapter, and the FIC Development Advocacy Through Art (FICDATA) last week strategized to garner more media  and artistic support and participation in the African regional comic series project aimed at spreading awareness of the AU Protocol as well as information sharing on other areas of the gender agenda in Africa, especially in Nigeria.
 
In a ground breaking planning meeting held in Benin City last week at the instance of FICDATA and the African Press cartoon syndication company (APC), in respect of the forthcoming CARTOON AFRICA International biennia festival /contest (CAIB) in Lagos, the leadership of NAWOJ Edo State, represented by the association’s chairperson, Comrade Ijeoma  Umeh, noted that gender balance, justice and equality remain central to any efforts for meaningful democratic progress and social development of any society, hence the need for increased massive awareness creation, interventions and actions to ending all forms of violence against women and girls in our society.
 

Comrade Ijeoma Umeh stated that it was NAWOJ’s belief in the MEWOR/MAVAW comic series project that made the association identity with it and advertised it in the pilot edition of their magazine the BENCHMARK, in order to reach more supporters.
 
Speaking earlier during the planning meeting, a new member of FICDATA, Wole Afekhiku argued that the importance of pictorial communication in information and development effort cannot be over emphasized, stressing that cartoonists remain  powerful change agents who needed to be encouraged and motivated by all means for their contributions to social engineering of the society through visual literacy and commentaries.
 
The meeting focused on how to employ the CARTOON AFRICA international biennial festival/contest in Lagos next year to mob up enough creative contributions and materials for the A.U. protocol comic book series from participating African cartoonists, comic artists, etc. “Violence Against Women” was officially adopted as one of the sub-themes for the CAIB contest, in view of the comic book series to broaden awareness on the A.U. protocol, etc.
 
On the attendance list were Edwin Irabor (an architect), Taiwo Owoyemi (Artist and staff of the National Gallery of Art), Ijeoma Umeh (journalist and chairperson of NAWOJ, Edo State), Francis Iyamu Lucky (Artist) Wole Afekhiku (Cartoonist, Art teacher), Bright Oviawe (photographer and graphic designer), Tim Aimufua (Cartoonist, illustrator and publisher) Asemota Izevbigie (Artist, gallery owner and acting coordinator of FICDATA Benin City chapter) and Francis U. Odupute Sr. (Cartoonist and Arts journalist). 
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