DMI has been working with UNFPA on the Sahel Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend (SWEDD) initiative, which seeks to reduce gender inequality and promote family planning in Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Niger and Chad.

As part of this project, we were delighted to work with award winning Ivorian graphic novelist and filmmaker Marguerite Abouet on a series of one minute animations following the life story of Nya, a young woman with ambitions for a better life. The films have Marguerite’s characteristic blend of wit and authenticity in dealing with powerful topics and will be shown over the next few months on TV5 Monde, Canal Plus and other regional TV stations. The films and associated content will also be on social media.

In the first episode, thirteen-year-old Nya’s father is about to forcibly marry her to a man three times her age, so she and her mother come up with an ingenious plan to make him change his mind.

The first film on how Nya avoids early marriage has already had an excellent response on Facebook, generating 730,000 views, over 10,000 shares and lively and highly engaged dialogue in the comments section.

You can follow the SWEDD Facebook page here, and watch the film below: