BY: Sussan John and Esther Ironkwe

Women all over the globe have continued to set the pace in diverse facets of humanity. In music,
entrepreneurship and even sports, women folk have garnered accolades perhaps even much more than their male counterparts. Female painters and artists are following in this trend and recently in Nigeria, the country’s National Gallery of Art (NGA) organized a two-day event to attract focus to Women in Visual Arts (WIVA).


Deaconess Grace Gekpe (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information & Culture) on the left was among the dignitaries at the WIVA Event

The event kicked off with an introductory speech read by the coordinator of the event who is the Director, Education Services Department Mrs Otaigbe Evelyn. In her address, she encouraged women not to relent in the participation in relevant roles in the society, emphasing that WIVA is a platform for women to demonstrate their relevance in the society. The exhibition presented an opportunity to showcase pictorial illustration by Nigerian women using the medium of art to encourage women to fully participate in the growth of the nation.

Mrs Osaretin Demuren, Chairman GTB Bank, addressing guests at the event

Part of activities marking the event were; drama skits, a road show, aimed at creating awareness, art exhibition and an interactive section with some prominent women. The event presented several visual pictorial exhibitions that depicts historical Artistic chronicle of Nigerian women. However, the interactive panel discussion and paper presentation by prominent Nigerian Women was led by a Gender specialist, Professor Emeritus and Current Dean Faculty of Art, University of Abuja, and Professor Mabel Ewierhoma. Also present at the interactivce discussion were the very First Corps Deputy Marshell, Mrs Ojeme Ewurjakpor, Motivational Speaker and Co­Founder of Nigeria’s Didi Museum, Chief Mrs Elizabeth Jibunoh, Deputy Chief, International Foundation for Electional System, Mrs Uloma Osuagwu, Secretary Female Voters League of Abuja, Mrs Charity Echor, and INEC Deputy Director, Mrs Blessing Obidegwu.


Guests at the interactive session of WIVA 2019

To further promote the achievements of women in Art, issues bothering on the challenges faced by women in Art were brought to the fore with a view to proffering a lasting solution to boost the performance of women in Art. Some of the obstacles women face in Art has to do with a series of complex issues which can be traced back to a number of institutional, historical and social economic as well as cultural factors.
The WIVA event provided an opportunity for female artists and painters to exhibit their creative works of art. The successes recorded in the profession has given credence to a saying in Nigeria’s local parlance that ‘what a man can do, a woman can do even better’.The importance of women generally, cannot be downplayed, and WIVA has demonstrated that women can make significant impact in the economy.

Art work produced by female artists on display

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