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Girls & Women

This Ivorian Artist's #MeToo Message Is Impossible to Miss

Laetitia Ky

By Nellie Peyton

DAKAR, Nov 3 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A 21-year-old artist in Ivory Coast has found an eye-catching new way to draw attention to the #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment - by sculpting her hair into the image of a man lifting a woman's skirt.

Laetitia Ky creates elaborate hair sculptures in order to emphasise black women's natural beauty, which is undervalued in the realms of fashion and entertainment, she said.

Take Action: Tell World Leaders to Redouble Their Efforts By Amending Laws to Prevent Sexual Violence

When women around the world began sharing experiences of sexual abuse and harassment on social media using the hashtag #MeToo - sparked by allegations against U.S. movie producer Harvey Weinstein - she knew she wanted to take part.

"Like everyone, I saw the wave of women who were speaking out, and this touched me immensely," Ky told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"I hope women everywhere wake up and revolt."

Read More: After More Than 500K Women Tweeted #MeToo, Men Are Responding With 4 Words

Ky posted a picture of her hair art on Facebook and Instagram along with the story of a friend who had narrowly escaped rape. She invited other women to send her messages if they wanted to share their stories.

The testimonies have been pouring in, she said.

Read More:  Meet the Woman Fighting to End Inequality in New York City

In West Africa, many women have said that sexual assault is rampant but so taboo that you can be shunned or considered unmarriageable for speaking out.

(Reporting By Nellie Peyton; Editing by Ros Russell; Please credit Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit www.trust.org)