Nonviolence Handbook

Dealing with gender in training in nonviolence

This article is the result of material published in the Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns and a session on gender and nonviolence at WRI's International Nonviolence Training Exchange, in Bilbao in October 2008.

It may seem simple and obvious that we want both men and women involved in our struggles against war and injustice. However, if we want to fully utilise people's talents, energy, and insights, we need to apply gender awareness to how we organise ourselves, how we design our campaigns, and how we conduct our trainings for action.

The applications of Augusto Boal's “Theatre of Oppressed” in Turkey

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By Hilal Demir and Ferda Ülker

Two books by Augusto Boal have been translated into Turkish and various periodicals have discussed his work and "Theatre of the Oppressed". We generally use his methods in nonviolence trainings, especially 'sculpture theatre' and 'simultaneous dramaturgy' and we also use them in our personal life. Boal's techniques offer simple and creative responses to stereotyped situations. If someone stares at you like a sex object, how about you simply picking your nose?

What Makes a Campaign Nonviolent

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Whether or not it includes a clear commitment to nonviolence, most of the basic steps in campaigns are the same: research and collect information, educate and train, develop a strategy. What, then, is unique about a 'nonviolent campaign'? It's certainly more than simply not being violent.
Many organisations and campaigns committed to nonviolence have statements of their nonviolent principles that explain their perspectives. WRI's Statement of Principles describes what we mean when we say we embrace nonviolence:

Introduction to the section

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Planning and facilitating nonviolence training requires a range of tasks that a number of people should share.

First, campaign organisers need to be aware of when and what training is needed. Does the group need training in strategic campaign development or gender sensitivity? Is training needed to prepare a new group of people to participate in nonviolent actions or for an experienced group to achieve new skills? Do affinity groups need training in group process?

How Does Nonviolence Work?

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Nonviolence strengthens a campaign in three ways:

1. Among participants in a campaign. In fostering trust and solidarity among participants, they (ideally) are put in touch with the sources of their own power to act in the situation. Many people don't realise how creative they can be until they have support of others in trying something new.

What is Nonviolence and Why Use it

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Why are you interested in a Handbook on nonviolent campaigns? Probably because you want to make something happen, or perhaps because you want to stop something from happening. Perhaps you sense that nonviolence can offer an alternative to actions that generate hostility and ultimately prove sterile, at least from the point of view of making social change. Perhaps you just want to try something different or get some tips to improve the way your group is already organising actions and campaigns.

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