A regional art competition is now open which aims at involving young people in Vanuatu and the Pacific in a regional conservation on the issues that underlie gender-based violence, such as respect, value and recognition of women.
The ‘Wave of Change’ European Union Pacific Art Competition is a new project of the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific. In previous years, the Delegation has organised, jointly with the EU Member States, the UN and other partner countries, an annual Human Rights Film Festival — which could not go ahead in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new initiative recognises the critical role young people play in breaking cycles of behaviours and attitudes that lead to violence against women and girls now and into the future.
“Although there is a political commitment in the Pacific to address violence against women and girls, the discussions and debates are mainly centred around and dominated by higher-level players, and almost always adults,” said Ambassador of the European Union for the Pacific, Sujiro Seam.
“Recognising that the cycle of the violence against women and girls begins during childhood development when attitudes, values and behaviour are learned and shaped, this competition will engage school-age children and young people in these critical conversations to try and prevent violence against women and girls before it happens.”
“Art is also a powerful yet accessible medium for young people to express ideas, and to encourage creative and critical engagement with issues that are complex and difficult,” said Ambassador Seam, again acknowledging the importance of including young people in these discussions.
Ambassador Seam also recalled in this context the EU’s new Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2020-2024, launched in November 2020, which reaffirms that in the middle of a global pandemic, the EU is reinforcing leadership on human rights. The EU’s new Action Plan attaches particular importance to gender equality and the fight against gender-based violence.
- The competition comprises of three age categories and is open to school students aged 8 years and over from 16 Pacific island countries.
The winner of each category will receive a prize pack worth EUR 100 with school items of their choice, while the runners up and the most will popular art on social media will receive a prize pack valued at EUR 50.
The competition will close on 5 February, 2021 (VUT). The EU Delegation plans to publish a book with the artworks received as part of its International Women’s Day activities on 8 March 2021.
People can visit the European Union in the Pacific Facebook Page or the Delegation Website <europa.eu/!dg64Mk> for more information on the art competition, and search for entries using the hashtags #WaveOfChangePacific and #EU4Women on social media to vote for their favourite entries with a ‘like.’
Eligible Pacific island countries are: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, as well as the three Overseas Countries and Territories in the Pacific: French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna.