Theatre for Women’s Participation in Sustainable Development

By Beth Osnes

© 2014 – Routledge

218 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781138189669
pub: 2015-10-12
US Dollars$53.95
Hardback: 9780415820493
pub: 2013-11-21
US Dollars$145.00

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About the Book

Though development researchers have proven that the participation of women is necessary for effective sustainable development, development practitioners still largely lack culturally appropriate, gender-sensitive tools for including women, especially women living in poverty. Current tools used in the development approach often favour the skill set of the development practitioner and are a mismatch with the traditional, gendered knowledge and skills many women who are living in poverty do have. This study explores three case studies from India, Ethiopia, and the Guatemala that have successfully used applied theatre for women’s participation in sustainable development.

This interdisciplinary book has the opportunity to be the first to bring together the theory, scholarship and practice of theatre for women’s participation in sustainable development in an international context. This work will be of great interest to scholars and practitioners in a wide variety of fields who are looking for creative solutions for utilizing the contributions of women for solving our global goals to live in a sustainable way on this one planet in a just and equitable manner.


"…the author is well informed about developmental discourses and challenges through her own long-term involvement in clean energy programmes. She has presented her work not only or not even primarily to theatre scholars, but also at conferences on development and technology and sustainable energy, where she established contacts with some of the organisations she visited, offered workshops to and spent time studying. This knowledge of the problems and debates around energy, women’s health, or mother-child-care programmes based on her experiences in three continents, lends the study a certain rigour in the presentation of the issues."Elisabeth Tropper, Theatre Research

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Obstacles and Creative Solutions 2. Theatre for Gender Equity in Maternal Health 3. Theatre for Stabilizing Population Growth 4. Theatre for Gender Equity in Clean Energy 5. Conclusion—Sustaining Gender Equity in Sustainable Development Through Theatre-based Methods Afterword: Report from Earth Summit in Rio 2012

About the Author

Beth Osnes is Assistant Professor at the Department of Theatre and Dance, University of Colorado, US. She was recipient of the Chancellor¹s Committee on Women Awards, University of Colorado, 2009. She is co-founder of Mothers Acting Up, an international movement to inspire and mobilize mothers to advocate on behalf of the world’s children. In partnership with the Philanthropiece Foundation, Beth is currently touring her (M)other Tour, which consists of an original one-woman performance and workshop for vocal empowerment, to locations across North America and parts of Southeast Asia and Latin America.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Sustainable Development

This series uniquely brings together original and cutting-edge research on Sustainable Development. The books in this series tackle difficult and important issues in Sustainable Development including values and ethics; sustainability in higher education; climate compatible development; resilience; capitalism and de-growth; sustainable urban development; gender and participation; and well-being.

Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, the series promotes interdisciplinary research for an international readership. The series was recommended in the Guardian’s suggested reads for Development and Environment.

The series welcomes submissions from established authors in the field as well as from young authors. To submit proposals, please contact the Editor, Rebecca Brennan (

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Environmental Economics
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy