On Thursday, June 27, 2024, Centre for the Right to Health will premiere a documentary on the lived experiences of women with disabilities who have been victims of gender-based violence in Imo State. 

The historic event will take place at Rock View Hotel, Owerri at 11am prompt and will be chaired by His Royal Highness, Igwe Nnani Chinedu Nzeribe, Eze Eyiche, Eze Igwe of Oguta, among other dignitaries expected at the special occasion.

The Keynote Address will be delivered by His Lordship, Right Reverend Geoffrey Enyinnaya Okoroafor, Anglican Bishop of Egbu Diocese.

The primary target audience for the documentary are key cultural and religious leaders in Imo State. The documentary will be used for high level advocacy for these key constituents, while also being deployed to create mass awareness about the experience of these women  with disabilities, with the goal of creating a groundswell of support that will, hopefully, lead to wholesale policy change.

The documentary will depict the lived experience of multiple women with disabilities that have been victims of gender-based violence. These women agreed to be interviewed and to share their stories on camera, and were assured that their stories are treated with dignity and not sensationalized.

In many societies, girls and women with disabilities are victims of gender based violence at a much higher rate than other girls and women.

 They are  more likely to be victims of rape, survivors of domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence and are more likely to experience these abuses over a longer period.

Despite these stark realities, Nigeria, like many other African countries does not prioritize the prevention of gender based violence among women with disabilities and many people are not aware of the dangers that these vulnerable groups face.

To improve on the situation, it is imperative that awareness be created among the general population and among policy makers and key impact makers in society, such as religious and traditional leaders about the role that they can play in reducing the rate of Gender Based Violence  among women and girls with disabilities.

One way to create this awareness is by using audio-visual documents as advocacy tools and that is what ‘Centre for the Right to Health’ hopes to do with this video documentary. Multiple formats of the video is created, including a long format (30-minutes) documentary, a shorter version of approximately 7-9 minutes and multiple 90 second  vignettes of individual stories of these women.

As Centre for the Right to Health, a non-governmental organization that advocates for the full realization of the right to health, unveils the documentary on Thursday, June 27, the public is reminded that women with disabilities are part of a vulnerable group in society that we should all work to protect from the scourge of gender-based violence.

 Traditional and religious leaders should be at the forefront of protecting these highly vulnerable people in our society.

The Executive Director of Center for the Right to Health, Dr. Stella Iwuagwu will through this documentary premiere reassure of the NGO’s  determination to break the silence, shift public opinion and implement interventions to protect the humanity and human rights of vulnerable and stigmatized groups. She therefore invites members of the public to be part of the epoch-making event.

Stanley Okehie, Media Consultant, CRH

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