How do you teach an entire community about serious, uncomfortable, and stigmatized topics? With puppets, of course!
Gender discrimination is rampant in Nepal. Nearly half of women can’t read, and sex trafficking and violence against women are common. In rural areas, women may feel isolated and usually don’t have access to the resources or knowledge to combat discrimination.
Rather than lecturing villagers about these topics, the Madi READ Center got creative. Last fall, they partnered with the Norwegian Amateur Theatre Association to conduct puppet shows and street dramas to teach Madi villagers about these issues.
The performances took serious topics and presented them in a way that didn’t embarrass the audience and got them engaged instead. So far, their enlightening performances have covered topics such as child marriage, gender discrimination, domestic violence, and sex trafficking.
Nearly 300 villagers have attended each of the skits. More surprisingly, the audience is composed of nearly equal numbers of men and women, proving that these issues matter to entire communities.