Music advocacy and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) during COVID-19 pandemic
Songs are a powerful instrument for social mobilization. Different studies have acknowledged their influence at different times in societies worldwide. Based on muted group theory and social responsibility theory’ assumptions, this paper therefore explored the use of local songs/jingles in creating public Gender-Based Violence (GBV) awareness during COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. It sampled and analysed three songs/jingles used to create GBV sensitization during this period, looking at the dominant messages and gender-based violence types mentioned in the songs/jingles. Also, it purposively sampled male and female university students’ gender experiences on campus, and gender campaign experts’ opinions on the use of local songs for gender-based violence awareness. GBV issues of rape, battery, femicide, and women empowerment dominated the songs/jingles which also preach importance of mutual respect and consent in any relationship involving men and women. Moreover, most students and gender advocates espoused songs/jingles use for GBV message dissemination. Notwithstanding, they did not believe using songs could bring the desired attitudinal change during COVID-19 pandemic. Also, most students objected to the kind of songs and music artists used in the songs/jingles. In conclusion, GBV’s prevalence in Nigeria aligns with the assumption that women are still a muted group without much communication power in a male -dominated media landscape. As a media and cultural material, music has a social responsibility to serve as the voice to promote women empowerment, especially if it is deliberately employed to serve the purpose.