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Developing Marginalised Women's and Girls' Agency and Voice

 Past Project Highlights 

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 The 'Ifenso" Project 

Country: Malawi

Years: 2022-23

Donor: Oak Foundation

In Malawi, women and girls with disabilities are almost twice as likely to experience sexual violence compared to their peers without disabilities.

"Ifenso" means "Us, Too" in Chichewa. This project aimed to create greater awareness and support for women and girls with disabilities, particularly regarding freedom from sexual and gender-based violence.

During the project, Theatre for a Change worked with five women with disabilities and trained them to play key roles in the interactive theatre performances. Each performance was devised collectively by the group, drawing on their own stories. This approach reflects our conviction about the need for those with lived experiences of marginalisation and violence to have their voices heard and to be able to advocate for their rights.

The project also leveraged Theatre for a Change's weekly nationally broadcast radio show Tisinthe! to highlight similar stories and involved experts including government stakeholders to reinforce key messages to a listening audience of around 550,000 people each week.

The project reached and influenced three main target groups: chiefs and other community power holders (religious leaders, community police, mother groups and teachers), parents and guardians of girls and young women with disabilities, and community members in general.

The project also delivered safeguarding workshops involving 75 parents and guardians of girls with disabilities, to help them develop greater skills in protecting their children with disabilities against various forms of abuse.

 Women of Dignity Alliance 

Country: Ghana

Years: 2013-present

Donors: Multiple


Theatre for a Change has a long history in Ghana, starting life in Accra in 2003 and evolving quickly to work with a number of vulnerable and marginalised groups across the country.

Today we carry out our work in Ghana through our partner, the Women of Dignity Alliance (WODA). WODA was originated by Theatre for a Change in 2013, and is the only network led by and for sex workers in Ghana. It aims to provide sex workers with a safe space to learn how to improve their sexual and reproductive health, advocate for their rights, and be treated with the dignity they deserve.

Since 2015, WODA has invited groups of women in sex work, from marginalised communities, to take part in a series of interactive sexual and reproductive health workshops, which use the Theatre for a Change methodology. Through WODA the women can also access regular HIV and STI testing and cervical cancer screening, as well as mental health and counselling support.

As the women grow in confidence they begin the process of using interactive theatre to advocate for their rights and dignity to be respected and upheld by their communities and by duty bearers – such as the police and health workers. The interactive theatre community performances often involve an opportunity for audience members to be tested for HIV.

WODA has recently launched its own social enterprise, WODA Cares, a small salon run by WODA members, offering hairdressing, beauty and event management. The shop provides regular income and training for those who wish to diversify their income.


Currently WODA has over 200 regular members whose voices are being increasingly heard at national level as they campaign for decriminalisation of sex work. In the coming year, WODA is also actively increasing its work to support sexually exploited girls, many of whom have been trafficked to Accra.

Follow WODA on Facebook at


 Improving Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights 

Countries: Bangladesh, Eswatini, Mozambique, Nepal, Rwanda, Tanzania

Years: 2017-20

Donors: VSO / DFID

From 2017 to 2020, Theatre for a Change collaborated with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) on a series of projects involving youth facilitators from six countries.


These facilitators were trained by Theatre for a Change to deliver interactive theatre projects for sexual and reproductive health and rights behaviour change and advocacy in their communities.

The projects ranged from a focus on gender equality and healthy sexual relationships to preventing teenage and unwanted pregnancy, child marriage, and violence against women and girls.

Results from each project were context-specific. In Tanzania, local bylaws were passed in six communities that held men accountable if they impregnated girls. In Bangladesh, mayors and district council members formed child marriage prevention committees. In Rwanda, more open communication developed between parents and children regarding healthy relationships, sex and sexuality. 

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