Synopsis: Daughters of the Niger Delta’ is a captivating film portrait of three everyday heroines who manage to make ends meet against all odds. As their personal stories unfold, we come to see that the widely ignored environmental pollution in their backyard is not the only human rights violation affecting their lives.
The film tells a different story about the Niger Delta than the usual media reports about oil outputs, conflict, and kidnapping. It highlights the strength and resilience of ordinary women who have to overcome injustices that we rarely hear about in the news. Women may be the best captains to navigate the Niger Delta out of its troubled waters – if only they were given the chance.
The women’s stories, filmed with astounding craft and insight by peer filmmakers from their own communities, resonate with the experiences of many women around the world.
It’s time to listen to women’s voices. Their priorities are relevant not just for the Niger Delta, but also for other parts of Nigeria and the world that are marred by violence and social unrest.
More About The film: Daughters of the Niger Delta’ sheds light on the human rights conditions of women. Women and girls are glaringly absent in most media and human rights reports published about the Niger Delta over the past decade. Rather than bringing in external filmmakers to document the lives of women, young women from the heart of the region were equipped with the tools and skills to do so themselves.
The aim was to give local women control over the information and images produced out about them, enabling them to say in their own words what matters to them. This is crucial in the Niger Delta context, where key players claim to fight for the rights ‘the Niger Delta people’ while merely filling their own pockets.
Women activists, who have fought for decade’s side-by-side with men for eliminating the oil and gas pollution in the Niger Delta, often feel painfully unsupported by their male peers when it comes to overthrowing traditional practices that undermine women’s human rights. “Let us resolve the big issues first, and then we’ll come to women’s problems”, is an often-heard response.
Rather than setting aside gender as a matter of secondary importance, ‘Daughters of the Niger Delta’ shows how gender is intrinsically interwoven with mainstream current affairs in the region. Women are hit hardest by the environmental pollution in their backyard. They suffer most directly from the inadequate public service delivery in their communities. And their rights are further undermined by exclusionary gender practices.
However, women are not just victims. They are the main engines keeping a somewhat normal economy of provisions going in the vastly impoverished Niger Delta. They provide most of the food for their families. They invest in their children’s health and education. And they do everything they can to enhance their children’s prospects in life. They could be powerful catalyzers for development – if only they were empowered to thrive.
Daughters of The Niger Delta (Nigeria)
Ilse Van Lamoen Isuon