The Ukrainian NGO Poruch and the Swedish organisation STPLN (https://stpln.org/) successfully implemented the social project “Promoting Gender Equality through Forum Theater” in Ukrainian communities. The project is implemented through the financial support of the Creative Force program (https://si.se/en/apply/funding-grants/creative-force/) of the Swedish Institute (https://si.se/en).
The proposed project is aimed at developing and exploring forum-theater as a cultural approach to addressing the issue of unequal gender distribution of leadership in Ukrainian communities and overcoming existing stereotypes in society.
On May 10-11, Ukrainian and Swedish experts held a partnership meeting in Kyiv, during which they shared their organizations’ experience community empowerment, reviewed the context of gender inequality in Ukraine, and developed the plans for further cooperation. In addition, the program of the workshop and the use of forum-theater method in communities were discussed.
Also, the meeting of Swedish Institute Alumni took place in Kyiv – Mariia Tyshchenko, Svitlana Garaschenko and Karolina Mazetyte exchanged their experience of application the knowledge gained during their fellowship in Sweden.
During May 12-13, two workshops were held – in Merefa and Staryi Saltiv towns (Kharkiv region), in which 36 activists from Merefa, Staryi Saltiv and Rogan amalgamated territorial communities took part.
Participants of different age and occupation learned what does a term “gender” means, social and biological roles of men and women, and examined gender stereotypes and gender inequality in Ukraine. Karolina Mazetyte and Lena Lolfing presented interesting cases and practices for gender equality in Sweden. After that, the activists prepared and played out the situations of gender inequality that they face in daily life, and tried to find ways to change them through the creative method of forum-theater.
According to the results of the workshops, 82.4% of participants recognized the forum-theater as an effective method for solving the problems of gender inequality in Ukraine and overcoming stereotypes. In addition, 94.1% of activists recognized the improvement of their own awareness of gender issues as a result of participation in the event. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of the chosen methodology and create prospects for continuing the project in other Ukrainian communities.
Expert team of the project were Karolina Mazetyte, Lena Lolfing (Sweden); Mariia Tyshchenko, Svitlana Garaschenko, Khrystyna Hyrenko, Oleksandr Potii, Olga Voropay, Anastasiia Sulyma, Vladyslav Dementiev (Ukraine).
Karolina Mazetyte (STPLN) and Vladyslav Dementiev (NGO Poruch) coordinated the project.