Beyond Borders’ Rethinking Power program uses SASA! – a methodology for community activism developed by Raising Voices in Uganda to prevent violence against women and girls and the resulting spread of HIV/AIDS. SASA! is a Swahili word that means now; meaning now is the best time for activism to prevent violence against women and girls. SASA! is also an acronym for the 4-phase process of social change:
- and Action.
Using SASA!, Rethinking Power takes the community through a process of behavior change that includes awareness raising—but then takes it to the next step by:
- Inviting people to discuss the taboo topic of violence from a new perspective, that of the imbalance of power. People are invited to examine their own power and how they use it as well as the power inequalities in all levels of society, focusing on the imbalance of power between women and men.
- Creating an exploration of power—what it is, who has it, how it is used, how it is abused and how power dynamics between women and men can change for the better. Rethinking Power demonstrates how understanding power and its effects can help us prevent violence against women and HIV/AIDS.
- Mobilizing the community to change the norms that men are more valuable and powerful than women, because they lead to violence and HIV/AIDS. The program runs on the principle that all people are equal in worth and value, and it shows us how a balance of power between women and men means healthier lives for everyone.
- Works with a range of people to make the greatest impact. We work with community activists, community and religious leaders, other organizations, journalists and the media, as well as policymakers, building relationships with all of these actors to build the movement beyond our organization.