Antsa Safidy stands up for her rights alongside several other girls around the world
Nearly 2 years into the pandemic, girls around the world are demanding change through the Coping with COVID-19 - Season 2, a series about girls and how they combat the effects of COVID-19.
" What more can be said? I hope you will enjoy this Season 2! It’s with these words that Antsa, 18, introduces the first episode of the series "Coping with COVID-19". Having been one of the standout participants since Season 1, Antsa continues to draw attention to the problems experienced by girls in Madagascar, especially those in the Anosy Region where she hails from. In this new adventure, she engages with her peers by addressing issues related to child marriage, mental health, gender inequality, menstrual hygiene management, gender-based violence and education.
Antsa is passionate about slam and it is through this art that she also talks about issues of toxic masculinity in a programme on a local radio, a striking footage in episode 3 of the series. Moreover, she was seen for the first time by the public thanks to her participation in the slam contest organized by the Ministry of Population and UNICEF in 2018, as part of the national campaign to fight violence against children. She opted for this form of expression by following in idol Caylah’s footsteps, a talented slammer known in Madagascar for her committed lyrics and her commitment to promoting the rights of girls.
In Madagascar, 40% of girls marry or enter into conjugal unions before the age of 18, and 14% of girls aged 15-19 have been victims of physical violence. Only 15% of girls complete upper secondary school. These girls face many challenges and multiple barriers. They often lack the skills required to protect themselves and their peers, which prevents them from reaching their full potential. Besides, basic services have been weakened by COVID-19 in most parts of the country. But the pandemic hasn't stopped Antsa and these girls from standing up for change, taking a leadership role and speaking out, as alluded to in the credits of the series.
« This series allowed me to discover other horizons and I am happy to have the chance to represent Madagascar vis-à-vis other girls from all over the world”, says the young girl. Native to the South of the country, today Antsa moved to the capital, Antananarivo, to study communication at a renowned private university. She is still brimming with ambition and plans to continue slamming until she achieves her goals. "Participation in this series marked out our lives and created a complicity between the two of us", says her mother who is very proud to see her daughter growing up and bringing the voice of millions of young Malagasy girls.
To watch the entire series, please click on this link : https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/coping-with-covid-19#season-2