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The competition invited young cartoon artists and arts students between the ages of 18 and 28 years residing in Nigeria, to make cartoons with a special emphasis on women's rights and empowerment. Participants were expected to seek inspiration for their cartoons from their impressions of women's rights and gender equality and the positive changes they would like to see. The Competition was part of the EU Gender Action Plan and the UN Women Campaign "Step it Up for Gender Equality"
The comics and cartoons had to be without words. Finalists were selected by a jury composed of professional comic artists, gender equality and communication experts.
In his speech at the Awards Ceremony, the Head of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, noted that "Girls and women’s rights should be respected and protected throughout the world, and involving the youth in the process is investing in a better future for all of us".
The Country Representative of UN Women, Ms Comfort Lamptey, explained that the idea of having a drawing without words is intentional, as pictures speak more than a thousand words.
The winning cartoon comics dealt with issues related to gender stereotypes and traditional roles of men and women in the Nigerian society, the need for political inclusion, enlightenment, and the need to educate the girl child. All the winning cartoons had one thing in common - the need for a more inclusive society where the rights of all are respected equally.
Mr Damilola Alabi, the first place winner, through his drawing illustrated a society where the responsibility to ensure gender equality is for all.
"The jury unanimously selected this illustration for the first prize because of its simplicity, the strength of the message and the artistic creativity. The depiction of gender equality as a collective effort resonated with the core message of the comic competition, and the use of the gender equality icon as a puzzle that must be pieced together by all members of society was very brilliant".
Ms Emilli Awele, student from Ogun State Nigeria and the second place holder illustrated the need for political inclusion for women. Emilli believes that women are better managers and should be allowed to thrive in other areas aside the domestic scene.
"The artist has a consistent style and created a clear interpretation of the themes of Women in Power and the education of the girl child. The jury decided to factor in the underrepresentation of women both in the contest as a whole as well as in the comic/animation cartoon industry and chose to give the artist preference over the entry that was in contention for the second place"
Mr Omodiale Samuel
The artistic symbol representation of the pillars of a stable world, namely democracy, science/technology and gender equality sent a strong message on the need to ensure stability in the world by ensuring equality of all sexes.
Mr Akaine Victor Emuata
The artist created a strong depiction of a world where the roles of men and women in both private and public life are balanced. The complementary contributions of all members of society and the willingness to promote gender equality are very clear.
Mr Kanebi Uchenna Kanebi
The artistic representation of the evolution of a traditional patriarchal man to take up more responsibility in the domestic sphere sent a strong message about the redistribution of labour that is necessary to achieve gender equality.
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