When I was first told that I had to do a theater presentation on early marriage, I felt a need that this was important for me to do. I am 18 years old and I will be getting married soon. In my culture early marriage is the norm. And following this specific norm means doing the best thing for family.
But is it the really best thing for me?
What will happen if I get married at 18, and without knowing who my husband is?
I don't have any guarantee of how I might be treated. My in laws might ask me to leave my job, my studies. I might never see the result of the hard work we did for the women through Female Adult Literacy (FAL) education. I will have to adjust myself according to the ways of my husband, and in laws. This will take me further away from who I really am, and my identity. Therefore, I will lose a lot.
This is the story of many girls in rural and urban culture as well as around the world, who don't have a choice, and are sold through marriage, when they could be playing, reading, dancing, and teaching.
So, on my part, what is the best that I can do?
If through the women's theater, I can raise awareness about the consequences of early marriage, the next generation of girls will know. Girls like me who can't stand up to the norms of culture in this age can in future take stand for their daughters.
And the women in Women's Empowerment Programme have gathered together from all areas, of all ages, uniting together in one song, "Marriage is not for girls, let them shine."
The Women's Empowerment Groups are on the frontlines to open the eyes of the community to the fate of early marriage. Through their theater they have projected that page of a girl's life, who after marriage loses her rightful freedom, and most of all, her childhood.
Early marriage can cost a girl her whole life. (Watch video here!).
The Impact Of The Theater When Presented:
There was a huge impact of the theater on the audience that was watching the WEG Group performing. The audience included the women from Adult Literacy Training as well as the PEP office staff. The women in the audience could relate to the story, as most of them had personally experienced the adverse impact of early marriage.
The comments that were shared after watching the theater were tugging at the heart, and many tears were shed watching the women's theater.
The women's theater made a press release in four different local newspapers, and the video of the theater was widely watched on Facebook. (Watch video here!)
Finally, the theater that was performed by the women in the Women's Empowerment Programme had given performance/ acted for the very first time. After these women were given special technical theater guidance from Community World Service, they were more confident, and empowered to perform in front of their own community.
Sabra, who was one of the actors of the women's theater commented, " While the male dominant or patriarchal society teaches us to not to express what we have in heart, here we are taking a stand to break out of that mindset, and we hope to do the same for others."
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