Women Empowerment Program
About The Program
Contemporary dancers in Uganda face numerous challenges in terms of funds, resources, training and performance opportunities. Despite these challenges, contemporary dance has been gaining recognition. However, although traditional Ugandan dances enjoy equal gender participation, the contemporary dance scene in Kampala is currently dominated by male dancers and directors. Women are under-represented in positions of power. This significant imbalance may be evidence of the larger context of gender inequity in Ugandan education, a trend which starts at the primary school level. For example, the Ugandan Poverty Eradication Action Plan (2004) states that ‘the incidence of tertiary education is highly unequal both by income group and gender’.
Planning to run concurrently with Keiga Foundation’s Dance Teachers’ Training Program in the first quarter of 2022, “Empowering Women in Dance” will leverage Vershawn Sanders-Ward’s expertise to give special training to emerging young female dancers and choreographers. This program will consist of workshops on a variety of dance genres, facilitated discussions around privilege, oppression, discrimination, and social justice in the contemporary dance field, and the creation of new dance works by program participants culminating in performances at the Ugandan National Theatre. This program is a follow-up to the 2020-2021 Women Empowerment Program that was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Women Empowerment Program by Keiga Foundation and Keiga Dance Company and School of Dance started in 2020 but had to be postponed due to COVID-19. We are greatful that the program is finally up and running again since March, 2022.
During the peak of COVID-19 we were able to at least offer mild support to the program participants by creating a virtual performance: March 8 2021, International Women’s Day, was the premiere of ‘This is my Home’, a dance piece created and choreographed by Jonas Byaruhanga, featuring participants of our Women Empowerment program.
This piece highlights the plight of women, the gender inequalities within our society and how women’s resilience has enabled them to respond to these disasters and emergencies.
‘This is My Home’ tells the story of Mamma Nulu, a 25-year-old girl who lives with 3 children on the Kiteezi dumpsite just outside Kampala, and every day she wades through rubbish, broken glass, and toxic waste to collect plastic bottles to sell to earn a living.
The gallery at the top of this page shows some pictures of the performance and the rehearsals. The full performance can be found in the virtual performance section of our homepage!
The program is combined in-part with the Dance Teachers’ Training Program so that the participants of the Women Empowerment Program benefit from the international teachers.
Please check back here, or on our social media channels soon for more details and updates!
How To Contribute
This program is funded by donations and kindly supported by a 2021 Buck Dinner Grant. If you are passionate about Women Empowerment, please consider donating to Keiga Foundation to enable us to implement more programs in the near future!