Ignite conversations & PRA on sexual & gender-based violence

Funding available, during a one-year period, CPAR Uganda will identify, train and mentor 14 young people (13 women and 1 man) to become innovators who are able to produce community theatre interventions (drama, poetic recitals, dance, storytelling, music, puppetry, fine art, etc.) and audio-visual content (radio, television, community film, social media and ICT generally) on sexual and gender-based violence in greater northern Uganda.

This we will do with the intention to nurture and to skill the 14 young innovators to do theatre and media induced participatory action research on sexual and gender-based violence. This, in order to enable them, together with others in their communities, to participatorily identify problems, to propose solutions and dramatize them so as to stimulate further analysis; leading to community ownership and which should trigger positive attitude change of all participants and consequently spur follow-up action against sexual and gender-based violence in their region, greater northern Uganda.

CPAR Uganda’s strategy is to use the tradition of Paulo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” and Augusto Boal’s “Theatre of the Oppressed”, to gain access to communities in greater northern Uganda through trained young innovators of those communities. Whereas, the focus in this intervention is sexual and gender-based violence, the skills-set the beneficiary young innovators will gain from this intervention is transferrable to other issues as well. De facto, by the end of this intervention, the direct beneficiaries CPAR Uganda trained and mentored will possess life skills-sets.

In partnership with Mr. Philip Luswata (MA Film Studies, BA Drama; Dip. Music Dance and Drama) a renowned Ugandan, veteran playwright, actor, director and lecturer, the author of the play ‘Shame on Your Hand’, CPAR Uganda will introduce to and skill 14 young innovators on the application of popular theatre conventions in originating and causing public conversations on sexual and gender-based violence and other issues relating to the protection and empowerment of women and girls in greater northern Uganda.  

One such major issue, case in point, is the need to strengthen and to protect land use rights of women and girls under customary tenure and therefore food sovereignty for communities in greater northern Uganda.

As can be deduced from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) survey findings, in greater northern Uganda there are many women and girls’ stories that are silent, and yet when told, they may touch others with similar experiences and offer strength. The major thrust of the ‘Shame on Your Hand’ theatre and interactive media intervention is a call to women to talk. It is a candid conversation among Uganda women that is at times painful and deep; while effectively exploiting humour to sustain interest and to guarantee retention of key messages.

CPAR Uganda intends to use the structure presented by the play as an entry point into discussions with the auditioned young women on issues often veiled by girls and women due to gender inscribed prejudices. The same tried and tested structure will be exploited towards skilling young innovators of greater northern Uganda to use popular theatre and media conventions to develop and to perform enter-educate material based on the lived experiences of women and girl victims of sexual and gender based-violence in their region. And to ignite community dialogue in their region and in Uganda, as a whole.

The cast of 14 young innovators, through a professional and an interactive rehearsal process, will be trained and mentored to produce a musical dance theatre production on sexual and gender-based violence – a greater northern Uganda version of ‘Shame on Your Hand’. That cast will be nurtured to professionally rehearse pre-public performance; and to perform their version of the play at least 18 times for commercial audiences of at least 200 people each in the six sub-regions – at least three activations in each sub-region (one for the general public and two for local high schools); thus, directly reaching at least 3,600 people in the region.

Through hands-on experiential learning, CPAR Uganda will nurture the cast of 14 young innovators to adopt the tradition of speaking out and speaking up against sexual and gender-based violence in their region. The 14 young innovators will be nurtured and encouraged to function as proactive community citizen journalists within their respective communities.

And through their activism, by the end of the intervention period, CPAR Uganda’s target is that at least 325 women and girl victims of sexual and gender-based violence will be in contact with the 13 women cast members and that at least 25 men against sexual and gender-based violence are in contact with the male cast member proactively facilitating appropriate help for women and girl victims.

Success of this intervention will be:

  • At least 30 percent of the women and girl victims in contact with the 13 female cast members are persuaded to speak out and up against their experiences of sexual and gender-based violence.
  • At least 175 women and girls of greater northern Uganda who are victims of sexual and gender-based violence (13 cast members and 162 victims in contact with cast members) will have begun healing, speaking out and speaking up against sexual and gender-based violence.
  • At least 90 percent of female cast members and at least 30 percent of women and girl victims in contact with cast members feel that their standing in society has improved after they spoke out and up against sexual and gender-based violence. Including, if relevant, successfully asserting and maintaining their land use rights of their community’s land under customary tenure; and on which land they voluntarily produce food for own family consumption and derive livelihoods.

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