Music is one of the most powerful ways of getting a message across, especially to youth. As part of Oxfam America’s Gender Violence Prevention campaign, the up-and-coming Salvadoran duo ‘Shaka y Dres’ composed three songs with modern urban Latin rhythms and lyrics that coincide with the messages of the campaign.
To see the video clips of these songs, click on the links below:
Stop a la violencia de género (Stop Violence against Women)
Tú y yo (You and Me)
Gender based violence is far too common in El Salvador, Central America’s smallest country with a population of a little over six million. Domestic violence, sexual harassment, psychological abuse, and rape are widespread, while femicide—the murder of women—has reached epidemic levels. With 347 and 348 femicides in 2007 and 2008 respectively, the rates are among the highest in Central America.
Oxfam America, together with eight other development and women’s rights organizations, is working to reduce the levels of gender based violence, and create changes in behavior, practices and beliefs in El Salvador, a country with deeply rooted ‘machista’ culture.
For the last five years, the campaign has worked on training women in rural areas, professionals and female legislators. However, the most innovative strategy of the campaign is the work with youth; every country’s future.
A new, innovative approach is the EDUCO-BUS, which travels to public schools, and uses music and theater to engage students. The bus’ activities, such as interactive theatre, cooperative games and choreography, provoke critical thinking on gender roles and violence, demonstrate that every individual has the power to change the course of gender violence and talk about what can be done to stop it. Over 40,000 students have participated in the EDUCO-BUS program.