Nine theatre practitioners who participated in a week-long workshop are now better able to address the issues of gender based violence in Dominica, through the performing arts.
The Applied Arts and Training Programme for Theatre Practitioners which ran from March 14-18, was organized by the Ministry of Social Services, Family and Gender Affairs in Collaboration with the UN Women supported Social Mobilization Project to prevent and respond to gender based violence in the Eastern Caribbean.
Over the years it has been established that women and gender issues are featured prominently in drama presentation.
According to Melissa Morgan of the Bureau of Gender Affairs, who was addressed the closing ceremony held at the Old Mill Cultural Centre on Friday, the programme is an important tool for promoting gender equality.
“It is an important tool for promoting gender equality, inspiring self expression in children, highlighting their achievement and struggles, and it is expected that with continuous campaign about gender based violence and other gender issues through drama, it can raise awareness of gender issues as well as stereotypical thinking and women issues that often reinforce gender stereotypes,” she said.
Morgan stated also that the programme is very important in finding creative and innovative ways of addressing gender based violence and raising awareness of the issue.
Cultural Projects Officer in the Division of Culture, Gregory Rabess who represented Chief Cultural Officer, Jacinta David, said over the last 30 years there has been this popular theatre movement , “but more than that you can use drama and the various disciplines creatively in addressing social issues.”
He said that concept is really deeply rooted in Dominica and other parts of the Caribbean.
“What this workshop does is focus that knowledge, experience and talent…,” he said.
Meantime, UN Women Programme Specialist, Gabrielle Henderson said the UN Women have been working with artistes across the region in the area of gender based violence, “visual artistes, performing artistes”, to name a few.
“This workshop is part of a much broader programme of work across the Caribbean region which focuses on working with artistes, focus on social mobilization and addressing gender based violence,” she stated.
Henderson said among other campaigns in the region which are critical to the work the organization is engaged is the Secretary General Unite Campaign, “a global campaign which is encouraging stakeholders and people at every level in society to unite around addressing violence against women and girls.”
She said this is critical part of the campaign and the workshops fall within that context, as well.
The closing ceremony included some performances by the participants which they had been working on for the past few weeks.