Gulu is a post-conflict region; women are recovering from brutal poverty and violence.The annual competition provides a stigma-free environment in which to talk about sensitive subject matters, promoting unity and team building; and offer women the opportunity to be creative and innovative and highlights the power of theatre. The feedback for the event has been overwhelmingly positive and created an excitement for Women's Global and our program in the community.
Performances focus on the issue of violence, infidelity and the spread of HIV, microfinance and reproductive health, challenging the entrenched patriarchy. Women used the unique opportunity as a vehicle to directly speak to men and community leaders who were in attendance. Because the issues addressed are sensitive and can be difficult to discuss directly, using music, dance and drama offers a different way to communicate and provides many other benefits.
Thru the use of drama and indigenous story telling, women address systemic and entrenched norms that create and support gender inequity. Thru this community event, the dynamic is changed and the conversation can begin, leading to better communication, respect, and the re-building of civil society. Over two hundred women participate, and hundreds of people in the community are affected, including children who watch and learn what is possible for their futures.