According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2016, Pakistan ranked 143 out of 144 countries. In rural Pakistan, women are discriminated against in almost all walks of life. Female education is deemed to be against tradition and, as a result, the majority of women in the province are illiterate. On top of this, women are often forbidden from leaving the house on their own, are married without any choice and are treated as inferior within the family unit.
Solution: The gender interactive theatre is a model of changing the communities’ perceptions about gender roles through use of interactive performances.
Goals and Objectives: The solution aimed to empower women from the community level and upwards and sensitize the larger communities to end violence against women and girls and promote the women’s participation in decision making by using theater for connecting communities to their social problems.
Implementation: Anil Kapoor, Global Youth Ambassador took an initiative in deprived community of Sindh, Pakistan, where early and forced marriages are common, to empower women through art and interactive theatre performance with support of his team. The project was implemented in 2014-2016. The interactive theatre found novel way and an effective tool to bring positive change in behaviors of communities about girl’s education and rights to choice marriages and delaying the early marriages.
The theater team is comprised on 7 members, including males and females. The theater actors received the training from different institutions and now they are practicing for social change in Sindh region. With engagement male and female community local leaders, influential, religious leaders, community activists and other relevant stakeholders to provoke critical thinking to address violence against women by men. Through the workshops they become aware of men’s power over women and how the community’s silence and unwillingness to interact with this power perpetuates violence against women.
Achievements: The project has so far reach out and benefited over 523 women in the rural communities of Sindh improving their understanding of the basic human and women’s rights. Because of the high level of inclusiveness of the project, starting from its design up to implementation, it has made it easy to gain both the support and political will of both Cultural and political leaders. This has eased its implementation of laws and sensitized the policy makers about Child marriages laws and customary practices against women and girls regarding women rights in Pakistan.
The communities in Sindh are recognizing GBV issues and organizing the awareness session, community meetings and theaters with community, parents and religious scholars for reduction of GBV especially early and formed marriages in Districts of Sindh Pakistan. Through this intervention, awareness raised among vulnerable women and teenager girls about child marriages laws and mobilized to parent to enroll the girls into school and delay their marriages for sake of education. This strategy found effective to address GBV related issues. resisted against harmful practices of early and forced marriages and honor killing and the selling of girls in Sindh. Communities are coming to realize that GBV can be countered through equality and a non-violent approach.
The solution changed the behaviors of communities to curb the child marriages, girls’ education and other related issues of teenager’s girls by interactive performances. The communities are aware and enrolling their children into schools.
Partners: Local community leaders, local activists, Youth, volunteers, Theater Group Team, community.
Proposed Budget: US$40,000 (for mobilization and supporting in buying the program equipment)
Global Youth Ambassador, Pakistan
Tel No.+92 344 3098775