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Our fight against sexual and gender-based violence

CPAR Uganda plans to identify, train and mentor young people, mostly young women, 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 their respective communities.

Our intention is to nurture and to skill the young innovators to do theatre and media induced participatory action research on sexual and gender-based violence. To enable them, together with others in their communities, to:

  • participatorily identify problems
  • propose solutions
  • dramatize problems and solutions so as to stimulate further analysis

This will lead 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 community

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 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. Meaning that by the end of this intervention, the direct beneficiaries will possess life skills-sets.

Mr. Philip Luswata

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, CPAR Uganda will introduce to and skill 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.  

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.

As can be deduced from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) survey findings, in 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 our intervention is a call to women to talk.

Through theatre for development, the intention is to ignite 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. The theatre performances will be 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 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.

Members of the casts, 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.
  • Rehearse pre-public performance.
  • Perform their production for commercial audiences multiple times to hundreds of people in their respective communities.

Through hands-on experiential learning, CPAR Uganda will nurture cast members to adopt the tradition of speaking out and speaking up against sexual and gender-based violence in their region. Beneficiary 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 that women and girl victims of sexual and gender-based violence will be in contact with the beneficiary young innovators. And the latter will proactively facilitate appropriate help for women and girl victims.

Success of this intervention will be:

Indicator One: At least 30 percent of the women and girl victims in contact with the female cast members are persuaded to speak out and up against their experiences of sexual and gender-based violence.

Indicator Two: Beneficiary women and girls who are victims of sexual and gender-based violence will have begun healing, speaking out and speaking up against sexual and gender-based violence.

Indicator Three: 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.


We need funding to implement this intervention. Help us to fundraise by sharing this post with potential funding partners. And or share with us contact information of potential funding partners so that we may reach out to them. Thank you.

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