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Liberian women use film to confront gender-based violence

October 14, 2015

During Liberia’s 14-year civil war, soldiers used sexual violence as a weapon: thousands of women and girls suffered sexual assault as a weapon of war. After the war ended, violence against women continued, and the need to heal from trauma remained. 

Hesperian’s new title, Health Actions for Women: Practical Strategies to Mobilize for Changenow available for PDF download, shows how Liberian women took the lead in addressing these problems. We highlight the story of Communication for Change and the American Refugee Committee‘s video series “Through Our Eyes,” focused on gender-based violence and made entirely by community members, mainly women and frequently survivors of sexual violence themselves.

What is important about these films is that they encourage public discussion of difficult topics while also empowering the women involved, both those making the films and those viewing them. “Through Our Eyes” lets women speak out about HIV/AIDS, early forced marriage, physical and sexual violence, and harmful traditional practices, and helping other survivors find support and assistance. 

Drama and the arts are an influential way of working for social change. Film, puppet shows, street theater, cartoons and comic strips, murals, and radio and newspaper have all been successfully used to promote women’s rights. 

Health Actions for Women provides many stories and suggestions of women using the arts to fight for change that you can use to inspire action and positive change in your own community. And now you can download it as a PDF!

Have an interesting story about using Health Actions for Women? We’d love to hear it! Email [email protected] to share your experiences with us.

gender violence