The Youth SpectActors project, implemented in Serbia, Romania, Latvia and Estonia, addresses the root causes of gender-based violence (GBV), namely traditional patriarchal systems based on harmful and rigid gender norms around masculinity and femininity, gender-based discrimination and unequal power relations.
Young people are at the centre of our intervention, because of the far-reaching impact of GBV in their lives – as survivors, perpetrators, or bystanders. We believe that young people have a key role they play as change agents.
To this end we run theatre-based workshops where boys and girls who participate literally walk in one another's shoes to help challenge and dismantle 'gender roles'. Gender roles are merely roles that we are playing all our lives, and this is why playing them on the stage makes perfect sense. By dismantling archaic stereotypes, we can foster equality and prevent violence and coercion within relationships.
Relationship and sexuality education, in school settings and outside, plays a key role in ensuring the safe emotional and physical development of young people.