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An exhibition “Tell Your Daughters” authored by photographer Dina Oganova has opened at Zurab Tsereteli Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) upon the initiative of the UNFPA Georgia Country Office with support of the Government of Sweden within the “UN Joint Program for Gender Equality”.

The photo exhibition which opened on June 10 will run through June 24. The event is held in cooperation with the Embassy of Sweden and Kolga Tbilisi Photo Festival. The photos exhibited are available for sale. The proceeds will be fully transferred to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) account to finance the provision of essential reproductive health services to women and girls affected by the war.

Head of the UNFPA Georgia Country Office Lela Bakradze, Deputy Public Defender of Georgia Ekaterine Skhiladze, author of the Exhibition Dina Oganova and the participants of the photo project spoke about the importance of bodily autonomy.

UNRC & Head of UNFPA Georgia CO look at the postcards
Photo: Gela Bedianashvili/UNFPA

In 2021, UNFPA’s annual flagship report - The State of World Population was dedicated to Bodily Autonomy. Through this groundbreaking report, UNFPA measured both women’s power to make their own decisions about their bodies and the extent to which countries’ laws support or interfere with a woman’s right to make these decisions. The data show a strong link between women’s decision-making power and higher levels of education. 

Bodily autonomy is a cornerstone for achieving gender equality and universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Bodily autonomy for girls and women means they have the power and agency to exercise their choices about what happens to their bodies. In matters related to reproduction and sexuality, bodily autonomy means that women and girls determine their lives and their future, and have the information, services and means to do so free from discrimination, coercion and violence.

Artist Lia Ukleba watching at her photo wearing the same dress
Photo: Gela Bedianashvili/UNFPA

Yet women and girls—and indeed, all people throughout the world — face constraints on their bodily autonomy, and the consequences to their health, well-being and potential in life can be devastating. Intertwined with bodily autonomy is the right to bodily integrity, where people can live free from physical acts to which they do not consent.

In the modern world, art is a powerful medium for communicating human rights-related issues and advocating for women’s and girls’ empowerment. With the photo exhibition - “Tell your Daughters” - we tell the stories of more than 20 women, their lives, choices, and the opportunities and challenges they have faced. By means of the power of visual art and documentary photography, we want to explain why bodily autonomy is important for women and girls and what their empowerment means for the society.

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