Facing continued uncertainties in 2020, the youth’s enthusiasm doesn’t fade away. The “Youth Global Action Plan,” held by the Youth Development Administration of the Ministry of Education, supported 26 outstanding youth teams to take digital action and online communication with 32 different countries and regions, despite the impact of the pandemic. Out of which, “The Genderest Showman” focused on gender issues, using theater to raise the gender awareness of children and their families, and helping children to lay down a foundation on gender awareness through action.
The team spent a year to learn from 11 local and overseas organizations, including the Association of Women for Action and Research （AWARE）, the largest gender equality organization in Singapore, as well as organizations in New Zealand and Norway, to understand how different regions or cultures approach issues related to sexual harassment or assault. Among them, Buds Theatre shared their experience of using drama to convey social phenomena and pointed out that the plays were not written by the theater company but created by children, allowing the team to find the entry point of the children’s theater workshop. The overseas organizations also warmly invited the team to attend international online workshop as representatives of Taiwan, to enhance the international visibility of Taiwan in gender issues through online interaction.
Drawing on the experience of overseas organizations, the team moved from online platforms to offline physical actions, operating a dedicated fan page, producing online theater videos, and linking up with local organizations in Taiwan to promote the team’s actions. At the same time, the team also began the recruitment and training of volunteer partners and held two story festival gender workshops in October and November, and each session saw the participation of nearly 40 children aged 7-12 and their parents. Through interactive theater and drama performances, the team guided the children to understand the importance of gender, body, and bodily autonomy, and helped to raise the awareness of the children’s families and relatives on the importance of these issues. The team’s efforts have been rewarded with a NT$30,000 prize in the annual program competition for outstanding performance and an overseas trip to visit international organizations in next two years. To continue to raise awareness and promote the issues in society, the team has planned a series of events and formed an association.
To encourage our youth to understand international trends and SDGs, The Youth Development Administration of the Ministry of Education has been promoting the “Youth Global Action Plan”, helping them define action issues, meet and form connections with international organizations, and train our youth to become international talents. Call for applications for the 2021 plan has begun. To learn more about the Youth Global Action Plan, please visit the plan’s official website （http://youthaction.org.tw）.