In your own way



Participation through Body, Voice and Space: A Conversation with Theatre for a Change

“People are the experts of their own lives. Development only happens if it is owned by the people and participation is fundamental to real development.”

Owing much to Robert Chambers’ insights into Participatory Learning and Action, and the educational theory of Paulo Freire, participation has become a very important concept and practice in development. Theatre for a Change (TfaC) is an NGO founded in 2003 that uses drama and interactive theatre to work with the most vulnerable and marginalised groups, particularly those at risk of poor sexual and reproductive health and who have limited opportunities to assert their gender rights. The methodology was first applied in Ghana in 2003 as a response to rising rates of HIV/AIDS. Today, TfaC works in Ghana, Malawi and the UK.

Say for Development had the opportunity to have a conversation with TfaC’s Founder and Executive Director, Patrick Young*, on how gender equality can be achieved through using participatory theatre methodologies.  


Power and Women’s Empowerment in the Context of Violence against Women

Yangchen Dolkar Dorji*


Power is crucial in understanding social science. In this article, the author discusses the shift of gender discourses on the basis of the theories of power. She argues that, violence against women cannot be addressed without analysing the layers of power that exist not only between men and women but in relation to the state, society (including other women) and themselves. By being sensitive to the intersectionality of power, it is possible for development actors and agencies to empower women through influencing more equitable and inclusive structural reforms and by providing a more conducive environment for women’s rights or rights of any marginalised group.


Why (Chemical) Castration Will Not End Gender and Sexuality Based Violence in Indonesia

Priliantina Bebasari*

While the international media were busy highlighting the Stanford rape and Brazil gang-rape cases, another gang-rape, followed by murder, of a 14 year-old girl named Yuyun has also happened in Indonesia. Despite a lack of international media attention, this is an atrocity as severe as the incidents that the media has been highlighting recently. One case in Indonesia, in particular, has attracted the public attention, which led to the National Commission on the Anti Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) calling for “emergency status of sexual violence”. Despite so, discrimination against women and the marginalised groups continues to exist.

Participant (right) of BRAC's graduation programme

Can all women graduate? The challenges of graduation programmes

Sarabe Chan*  


The graduation model has been hailed as one of the most comprehensive approaches to lifting even the most destitute households out of extreme poverty (Hashemi & Umaira, 2011). In this paper, I attempt to offer a more nuanced perspective on the difficulties that female programme participants may face.

The graduation model was pioneered in 2002 when BRAC Bangladesh developed the 18-month “Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty Reduction – Targeting the Ultra Poor” programme (CFPR/TUP).