Using Popular Theater to Break the Silence Around Violence Against Women

Two actors performing a play in front of an audienceOulimata Gaye and her organization Réseau Africain pour le Développement Intégré (RADI) break the wall of silence that cloaks violence against women in Senegal.  How do we begin to “repair” human rights problems when people will not speak of them? How do we make people talk about them? The tool used here is theater. At times amusing, at times sad, the sketches involve the audience, literally and metaphorically, in familiar situations.

The people see the situations on stage and they also have the opportunity to play a role and to discuss what they have seen. As a result, they begin to recognize the abuse that they have seen hidden or silenced: it is a first step in stopping the abuse.

Year of Publication: 2004
Author(s): Oulimata Gaye


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