Ma-g-dalena International Network of Theater of the Oppressed for the end of violence against women in Guinea-Bissau

WOMAN IS NOT A DRUM

Aesthetic creation

The IV International Meeting of Theatre of the Oppressed takes place in the capital of Guinea-Bissau, at the Theatre of the Oppressed Center CTO-Bissau, from November 20 to 30, 2022, with the slogan “For the end of violence against women!” It is the first time that an International Network Meeting takes place on the African continent. Women from Guinea-Bissau are participating from all over the country, from different ethnic groups, in addition to representatives from Mozambique, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Chile, Guatamela, and Argentina. 

The program included a theoretical seminar, an aesthetic creation laboratory, and public presentations of shows by groups from Guinea-Bissau, France, Brazil, and Germany, at the Franco Bissau Guinea Cultural Center and at the Portuguese Cultural Center. Throughout the activities, the participants analyzed the different violence they face daily, transforming the themes discussed into collective performance and preparing a public march “For the end of violence against women!” 

Besides some specific violence such as female genital mutilation (which although a crime since 2011, is still a recurring practice in the country), forced and early marriage, women from different countries realized that they face the same forms of violence. 

With a powerful and attractive aesthetic production, on November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the participants marched through downtown Bissau counting on the support of people who joined the cry of “Enough!” of violence against women, for understanding that overcoming gender violence is a problem of the whole society.

Despite alarming data of murders of women for being women (practice known around the world as feminicide), sexual, psychological and physical violations, released by recognized international bodies such as the United Nations, three days after our march we were surprised by the initiative of some men, who inverted our motto, to present themselves as victims of a supposed violence of women against them, contrary to all national and international statistics.

We consider this manifestation an act of social irresponsibility, which treated specific facts as an everyday practice. Using an exception as if it were the rule. 

We demand that the organizers of this act disclose the official statistics that show the disproportionality of the violence that women face daily in Guinea-Bissau and throughout the world.

If we women took to the streets to demonstrate at every case of serious violence, involving murder, mutilation, and rape, we would not leave the streets and we would be on a permanent march. 

Bissau, November 29, 2022

Ma-g-dalena International Network of Theater of the Oppressed