April 17, 2021


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The National Art Competition under the theme of “Sheroes”

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The National Art Competition under the theme of “Sheroes” is specially designed by UNESCO Abuja under the European Union (EU)-United Nations (UN) Spotlight Initiative in Nigeria: To eliminate violence against women and girls.


This competition is aimed at raising awareness about VAWG/SGBV/HP among the public, and to support the zero-tolerance-of-violence environment promoted by the Spotlight Initiative, with a view to support long-term recovery and social inclusion of women and girl survivors through arts and with an additional effect of relieving the increasing social tension exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To be more concrete, this competition calls for two categories of artworks: painting and poetry, representing attitudes, visions, expressions and messages against VAWG/SGBV/HP and/or demonstrating the contributions and resilience of women and girls within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The selected artworks must demonstrate deep visual and spiritual experience of the author on the issue of VAWG/SGBV/HP and equally inspire the audience.

Phases and Tentative Schedules

This competition consists of three phases:

Phase I: Registration and Shortlisting

All the complete and qualified entries will be reviewed and rated by a Committee composed of at least five experts from international agencies, relevant ministries, CSOs addressing VAWG/SGBV/HP, academia and media. Twenty (20) finalists of each artwork categories (painting and poetry) will be selected out based on judging criteria for participating in the second phase. Particular attention will be given to female submissions.

Phase II: Social Media Campaign

The finalists will be convened through the official communication channels of UNESCO Abuja Office for a one-week public voting. The ultimate ranking of the finalists will be determined by the combination of the average score rated by the selection committee (60%) and the amount of votes received (40%).

Phase III: Exhibitions

A webinar will be organized to affirm and further discuss the power of art against VAWG/SGBV/HP as well as to announce the winners of this national art competition. The top 3 winners of each artwork categories will be invited to share their stories behind the artwork creation. All the finalists plus some other outstanding artworks in the competition selected by the Committee will be exhibited online and will be possibly used in communication and advocacy materials of the Spotlight Initiative.


Twenty (20) finalists of each artwork categories (painting and poetry) will be shortlisted for public voting, which is to further identify the top 10.

Top 1:

Laptop + Winning Certificate

Top 2-3:

Smart Phone + Winning Certificate

Top 4-10:

Mystery Gift Box + Winning Certificate

All the participants will be awarded with a electronic participation certificate.


This competition is open to all the residents in Nigeria between August 21st and December 31st, 2020. Women, girls and persons living with disabilities are strongly encouraged to participate.

Submission of Entries

  • The deadline for all entries is 5:00 p.m., 30 September 2020 (Abuja Time).
  • The entry shall be submitted through https://forms.gle/ebqvudTZM59z9mi67, appropriately filled. (This may require you to sign in or create your Google account to fill in the submission form. Should you encounter any difficulty in submission, please feel free to contact Bin Chen at b.chen@unesco.org(link sends e-mail) for support.)
  • Each participant may submit a single artwork, which shall be sent in its final form, in the electronic format (.pdf, .png, .jpg, or .doc) and colorful mode as well as aligned with the requirements (not more than 10 MB).
  • Only the finalists and some other outstanding artworks selected by the selection committee will be contacted and required to deliver their original (physical) artworks to UNESCO Abuja, and this cost of delivery will be covered by UNESCO Abuja.


By summiting of their artworks, the participants agree that related intellectual property is jointly owned by creators, UNESCO, and Spotlight Initiative.

UNESCO and Spotlight Initiative reserves the right in their absolute discretion to disqualify any entry or participant, or to waive any rules in the event of circumstance arising outside its control which in their opinion, make it desirable to cancel the competition at any stage. On all matters, the decision of UNESCO and Spotlight Initiative shall be final.



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