power imbalances between men and women

SASA! is a groundbreaking community mobilization approach developed by 
Raising Voices for preventing violence against women and HIV.

What does it take to prevent violence against women? For us, SASA! is part of the answer. It is uniquely designed to address a core driver of violence against women and HIV: the imbalance of power between women and men, girls and boys. Documented in a comprehensive and easy-to-use Activist Kit, SASA! inspires and enables communities to rethink and reshape social norms.

SASA! is about looking at the imbalance of power: SASA! is unique in its focus on unpacking power, both its positive and negative uses, shifting away from the traditional focus on “gender” towards the heart of the problem.

  • SASA! walks communities through a process of change: SASA! evolves step-by-step, avoiding the chronic cycle of awareness-raising.

  • SASA! involves everyone! SASA! engages a critical mass of people across all levels of society in order to create social norm change.

  • SASA! is personal: It is more than just a program or a job. It is a part of us. SASA! helps staff and community members to reflect on their own lives and relationships before trying to influence others.

  • SASA! works! SASA! is helping to create happier, healthier, safer relationships between men and women around the world.

Why SASA! ?

Cedar Tanzania's Community Activists are changing lives!... one street drama at a time!

We know that violence against women is both a cause and a consequence of HIV infection. We know that the power imbalance between men and women fuels these pandemics. But how can we address such a complex and deeply rooted issue? SASA! is Raising Voices’ response to this question. It is a comprehensive approach documented in a user-friendly program tool. Many organizations, institutions, and groups interested in mobilizing communities to prevent violence against women and HIV are using SASA!.

How SASA! works

SASA is a Kiswahili word that means now. Now is the time to take action to prevent violence against women and HIV! It is also an acronym for the four phases of community mobilization that scale up the stages of change to enable a community to move through a series of activities and experiences naturally. Each phase uses four different strategies to engage community members in a variety of ways.

During the first phase, Start, violence against women and HIV/AIDS are introduced as interconnected issues and community members begin to foster power within themselves to address these issues.

In the second phase, Awareness, community members experience a growing awareness about how our communities accept men’s use of power over women, fueling the dual pandemics of violence against women and HIV.

Throughout the third phase, Support, community members will discover how to support the women, men and activists directly affected by or involved in these interconnected issues, by joining their power with others’.

In the fourth and final phase, Action, community members will explore different ways to take action. Use your power to prevent violence against women and HIV.

SASA! includes practical resources, activities and monitoring and assessment tools for local activism, media and advocacy, communication materials and training that organizations working on violence or HIV/AIDS can use to incorporate these cross-cutting issues into their work.

SASA! progress

Cedar Tanzania’s field team received training in 2016 and successfully implemented the Start phase of SASA! in 2017. Continuous training of our field team is essential and the second phase - Awareness - was started in 2018 and continued into first half of 2019.

The two remaining phases, Support and Action are being implemented in 2019-2021.

Raising Voices and SASA!

Raising Voices is an NGO based in Uganda, who we have partnered with since 2015. They envision relationships, families, and communities where each voice is heard, each right respected, and where each member can live free from violence. Through their SASA! initiative, Raising Voices works alongside communities to explore the issues of power imbalance between men and women as a key driver of violence against women and girls.

The Cedar Tanzania SASA! team collaborate with Kamanga village, together with 20 motivated village members, who have been trained in the SASA! methodology to become Community Activists. They facilitate discussions in the local community, which explore 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. Raising Voices has provided expert support to us through training, technical visits, and the sharing of best practise with other organisations delivering SASA! We are very grateful for their support.

If you want to know more about SASA! please contact us:

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter