The maiden edition of #HealthMeetsArt opens this Friday online and in-person for the first time to recognize the strengths and resilience of Nigeria’s women.
Themed “Celebrating Womanhood”, it also seeks to create space for positive dialogue to highlight the important need to accelerate progress towards greater equality in Nigeria.
It is organized with support from the National Gallery of Arts and Female Artists Association of Nigeria, who have curated pieces from selected female artists.
It is also getting support from MSD for Mothers through its global initiative to help create a world where no woman has to die while giving life.
It is hosted by Nigeria Health Watch, a health nongovernment initiative that has previously hosted the #HealthMeetsTech event. Registered participants can view the exhibition online, but in-person attendance is strictly by invitation.
The #HealthMeetsArt event is a vehicle to convey the health needs of women and girls through art.
“The goal of the Celebrating Womanhood Art Gala is to create greater awareness about maternal health issues, beyond the health sector,” said Vivianne Ihekweazu, managing director of Nigeria Health Watch.
“The number of Nigerian women who lose their lives while giving life remains of great concern and urgent solutions are needed to inspire positive change.”
The gala is leveraging on the ability of art to communicate ideas, share experiences and thoughts, stretching the imagination, without relying solely on words.
The organisers called it an outlet for human expression and a universal language with the power to unify.
“This approach can be an effective means of creating awareness about maternal health issues. Furthermore, by creating awareness of these issues and portraying women
from their position of strength and often resilience, we hope to generate greater mobilization of resources and engagement to ensure that gender issues are mainstreamed.
“As health advocates we need to inspire change, whether it is a change in thinking or a change in behaviour,” said Ihekweazu.
“This requires touching people on an emotional level and one of the ways we are seeking to do this, is through creative arts.”
Established in 2001, FEEAN uses “art to give voice to the voiceless, the vulnerable women and endangered girl child,” said Chinze Ojobo, a fellow of the association.
“Our advocacy as female artists lie solely on social issues like gender rights and equality, gender-based violence, maternal health issues and so on”.