Improving Adolescent Girls Empowerment: Theatre for Change in Practice and Awareness
M Showkat Gani and Samir Ranjan Nath
Date: 21 July 2016; Time: 02:30 to 03:30 pm; Venue: RED Conference Room (15th Floor)
Research Findings Presentation
Stimulating Theatre for Adolescent Girls Empowerment (STAGE) is an initiative of BRAC under its Adolescent Development Programme (ADP). This cross-sectional study aims to assess the effectiveness of STAGE intervention in reducing some selected social problems like sexual harassment or eve-teasing, early marriage and dowry, and increasing girls’ empowerment through involvement in STAGE. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were applied. Four groups of adolescents were considered namely ADP members involved with drama in STAGE area (i.e. STAGE drama member), ADP members not involved with drama in STAGE area (i.e. STAGE non-drama member), ADP members out of STAGE area (i.e. ADP non-STAGE member), and Non-ADP adolescents (i.e. non-ADP member). Sample size was 960 equally distributed by the above groups. They were interviewed through a structured questionnaire. In addition, 24 FGDs and eight case studies were carried out. The findings revealed that compared to STAGE non-drama, the STAGE drama members had better knowledge in learning financial literacy for savings, physical or emotional changes, danger of early marriage and sexual harassment, legal place for birth registration. Similar results were found when compared between non-ADP members and ADP members, non-STAGE and STAGE members, with few exceptions. Otherwise, STAGE drama and ADP members had less influence in the society on the practice of birth registration, and dowry payment rules and customs. They also reported more sexual harassment in the public sphere against them. Finally, their decision-making capacity substantially enhanced their empowerment in the society, and consequently, incurring the girls’ early marriages as well as improving knowledge related to danger of early marriage or sexual harassment.