Uganda woman issue 4 march 2014 web


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In Partnership with Men and Boys for Empowerment of Women and Girls in Uganda

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Uganda woman issue 4 march 2014 web

  1. 1. UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 1 Issue 4, March 2014 WOMANUGANDA THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA International W om en’s Day Edition Male Action Groups Against Gender-Based Violence Growing Gender Equality in Communities Profile of Hon. Janet Museveni, Minister for Karamoja Affairs Men Matter in the Quest for Women’s Empowerment In Partnership with Men and Boys for Empowerment of Women and Girls in Uganda
  2. 2. UGANDA WOMAN March 20142
  3. 3. UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 3 WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT: What It Is Men Matter in the Quest for Women’s Empowerment Meet Hon. JANET KATAAHA MUSEVENI, The First Lady of Uganda, Minister for Karamoja Affairs and Member of Parliament, Ruhaama County Dismantle Systems which Propagate Injustices Against Women Interview with Fredrick Ruhindi Negotiation is Key in Building Sustainable Partnerships: An Interface with Dr. Olive Sentumbwe Men as Partners in the Empowerment of Women Women Permanent Secretaries Profiles CONTENTS 14 10 27 28 3023 20 16
  4. 4. UGANDA WOMAN March 20144 Published by; Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, P. O. Box 7136, Kampala, Uganda. Website: Email: Editor in Chief: Pius Bigirimana Managing Editor: Jane Sanyu Mpagi Deputy Managing Editor (Administrative): Elizabeth Kyasimiire Deputy Managing Editor (Editorial): Francis Mondo Kyateka Contributing Editor: Maggie Mabweijano Editor: Pamela Batenga Editorial Assistant: Rachael Mutesi Sub-Editor: Hilda Twongyeirwe Administrator: Jane Ekapu Assistant Administrator: Kenneth Ayebazibwe Distribution: Innocent Tushabe Brian Masimbi Consulting Editor: Ikebesi Ocole Omoding Contributors: Hodan Addou, Teddy Agwang, Kenneth Ayebazibwe, Regina Bafaki, Charity Rutaremwa Bekunda, Kareem Buyana, Monica Emiru Enyou, Best Kemigisa, Evelyn Kiapi, Agnes Kisembo, Ruth Komuntale, Imelda Kyaringabira, Elizabeth Kyasiimire, Jane Sanyu Mpagi, Collins Mwijuka, Khadija Nakakande, Maureen Nakatudde, Christopher Namara, Moreen Natukunda, Dennis Obbo, Hilda M Tadria, Hilda Twongyeirwe Layout and Graphics: Paul Wambi Printing: Horizon Lines Limited Cover Picture: President Yoweri Museveni congratulates Pader Woman Member of Parliament, Lowila Oketayot at a Thanks giving ceremony Inside Front: Woman smoking fish for sale at the Ggaba Landing Site Inside Back: An illustration of shared parenthood WOMANUGANDA MEMPROW Targets Men for Girl-Child Empowerment Building Partnerships: Recommendations of the Commission on the Status of Women Growing Gender Equality in Communities NAWOU Guides on how Men can Champion Women Causes National Women’s Council Empowers Women 1,600 Women Groups Male Action Groups Unite Against Gender Based Violence Adult Literacy More Effective with Male Involvement Parenting: The First Building Block for Healthy Relationships Women and Men Partnerships Pivotal to the Success of SACCOS Land Ownership Critical for Women’s Empowerment Tooro Royals Speak out Gender Profile of Kumi District 35 34 37 38 40 42 44 46 48 49 50 51UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 1 Issue 4, March 2014 WOMAN UGANDA THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA In tern ationa l W om en ’s Day Edition MALE ACTION GROUPS AGAINST GENDER-BAED VIOLANCE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH MEN AND BOYS FOR EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN AND GIRLS IN UGANDA KUMI GENDER PROFILE PROFILE OF HON. JANET MUSEVENI, MINISTER FOR KARAMOJA AFFAIRS INTERVIEW WITH HON. RUHINDI, DEPUTY ATTORNEY
  5. 5. UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 5 Chorus: Mothers, Daughters All Women everywhere Stand up and embrace Your role today. We are the proud mothers of our Nation The Backbone without which it can never stand We wake up, wake up We wake up at the crack of dawn And feed the nation with our brains With love and joy we care For our baby Uganda. Mothers, Daughters All Women everywhere Stand up and embrace Your role today. Step by step with tender care We nurse her we mould her at home and in school Leading, leading Spearheading her identity, production and development In Government and Profession Name it woman is there. Mothers, Daughters All Women everywhere Stand up and embrace Your role today. We call on you women of Uganda Wake up if you’ve not yet embraced your role Wake up, wake up Beside our men lets play our role In solving all our nations needs In every walk of life To develop Uganda. Mothers, Daughters All Women everywhere Stand up and embrace Your role today. UGANDA WOMEN’S ANTHEM
  6. 6. UGANDA WOMAN March 20146 Fellow Ugandans! Welcome to 2014 and to the fourth issue of the Uganda Woman magazine! Building Partnerships for Empowerment of Women and Girls in Uganda is the theme we have chosen to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day. It is also the subject of our magazine. The theme presents an opportunity for reflection at a time when we are celebrating achievements such as the Golden Jubilee of Independence, the 28 years of prosperity and sustained economic growth under the NRM Government and the attainment of some targets set under the Millennium Development Goals such as the achievement of gender parity at Primary school level and the attainment of the critical mass of 30% women representation in political processes. Since 1988, when the then Ministry of Women in Development was created, it has been and still is our policy to facilitate women to access the factors of production including; land, capital, agricultural inputs and skills for value-addition. The enabling environment created by the NRM Government awakened the women’s potential and increased their self-esteem to vigorously embrace the available opportunities. In many of our societies, men are the custodians of power within our patriarchal society and they hold the key to changing mind-sets and practices that relegate women and girls to subordinate positions in society. However, it is important to note that when women are empowered, society including men, benefit. Hence, the approach to involve men and boys in efforts to address gender inequality is the right thing to do. This will dispel the claim that the empowerment of women should be achieved at the expense of men and boys. We send a strong message in this Issue about the need to work together to achieve our common aspirations and vision. I take this opportunity to thank His Excellency, President Yoweri Museveni, for making women visible at all levels. In the same vein, I thank the First Lady, Honourable Janet Kataaha Museveni, for her profile in this Magazine and for being an inspiration to the women and girls of Uganda. As we prepare to enter a new phase of the Global Post-2015 Development Agenda, it is our hope that the partnership between men and women will be strengthened. We want peace, dignity, respect for and enjoyment of human rights for all women, men, boys and girls. Above all, we need harmony and prosperity in our families, homes, communities and in the entire Nation. Thank you all for the partnerships throughout the struggle for democracy, development and gender equality in Uganda. I wish all Ugandans, Friends and Partners a joyful International Women’s Day! Mary Karooro Okurut (MP) MINISTER Message from the Hon. Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development
  7. 7. UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 7 Dear Readers! The 4th Issue of the Uganda Woman magazine is here. My colleagues and I at Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development are delighted and at the same time humbled by the enthusiasm you have exhibited towards the magazine. From the feedback we have received online and verbally, it is evident that the publication is highly valued because of its in-depth analysis, exposition and factual presentation of the milestones in the struggle for equality, empowerment and the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls. We pledge that the Uganda Woman magazine will continue to provide well thought out strategic proposals on how to spur the Women’s Movement to a level that is commensurate with the 21st century political, social and economic demands. Indeed, this Issue presents various proposals on how to build synergies and partnerships with men and boys for the empowerment of women and girls in Uganda. It also presents the gains that have been made because of such partnerships. I take note that all the gains with respect to gender equality are a result of collaboration between men and women. This partnership is embedded in our way of life because our cultures prescribe unity and shared responsibility for the well- being and livelihood of the family and community. Fellow Ugandans, on behalf of the women of Uganda and on my own behalf, I take this opportunity to thank His Excellency Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda for his visionary and charismatic leadership and for exhibiting a high level of partnership with the women and girls of Uganda. The National Resistance Movement Government has spearheaded the development of gender responsive policies and laws to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. As a result of the conducive environment, women and girls have benefitted from numerous programmes including Universal Primary Education (UPE), Universal Secondary Education (USE), the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), Savings Credit and Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) among others. The women of Uganda are also grateful that His Excellency the President has appointed several women to leadership positions and confirmed his commitment to the advancement of women in Uganda. Finally, I wish to appreciate the contribution of our development partners and the authors of the stories in this Issue. The Ministry values the partnership we have with each of you in our goal to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment. I wish all the women, girls, boys and men of Uganda a memorable International Women’s Day 2014. Rukia Nakadama Isanga MINISTER OF STATE, GENDER, LABOUR AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN- CHARGE OF GENDER AND CULTURALAFFAIRS Message from the Hon. Minister of State for Gender and Cultural Affairs
  8. 8. UGANDA WOMAN March 20148 It is indeed a great pleasure for my team and l to welcome you to yet another issue of the Uganda Woman magazine. At the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, we make it our responsibility to reach out to the general public and share our insight in the struggle to empower women and girls in Uganda. It is our view that this must be a collective responsibility which requires building synergies and partnerships. In this issue of Uganda Woman, we explore the extent to which building and moving in partnership with men and boys can accelerate empowerment of women and girls in Uganda: hence the theme of the issue, “In Partnership with Men and Boys for Empowerment of Women and Girls in Uganda”, which is also the theme for this year‘s International Women’s Day. The various stories in the magazine explain how partnerships with men and boys can broaden, widen, deepen and cement the spirit and intent of the women’s emancipation movement and drive it to the next level. The magazine also judiciously examines what women empowerment is all about and the relevance of male involvement in breaking the yoke of inequality. It is clear from informed analysis that the struggletoachievegenderequalityismulti- faceted and therefore requires a multi- sectoral and multi-disciplinary approach to fully realise its goals and objectives. It calls for partnerships and the building of strong synergies through, among others, employing the gender mainstreaming strategy. It is therefore critical for all of us to appreciate that we are players in this struggle. No one should consider themselves free and emancipated when anyone around them is in bondage. We must remain united and focused at all times so as to achieve our aspiration of gender equality. I wish you pleasant reading. May this issue contribute to policy dialogue and programme design, not only in Uganda and Africa, but also globally. I wish everyone and especially the women and girls a happy Women’s Day 2014. I urge all of you to embrace the spirit of partnership in order to create a critical mass of empowered women and girls. Pius Bigirimana PERMANENT SECRETARY/ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Editorial
  9. 9. UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 9 By Kenneth Ayebazibwe The Uganda Woman magazine is a bi-annual publication of the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. It is a 60-page magazine featuring various issues affecting women in Uganda. The magazine is reader-focused and managed by a highly skilled editorial team with extensive experience in magazine publishing. Uganda Woman magazine has a print run of 5,000 copies. It is not for sale and is distributed to various stakeholders in the country. The magazine is also uploaded on the Ministry website and on its Facebook page. The digitally delivered edition has extended readership to those who live outside the print distribution area and this has made the magazine global. Three issues have been produced so far. The first and second issues have generated 4,870 and 3,985 views and downloads respectively. Issue 3 has shown gradual growth online with 1,101 views. To download a copy of the magazines, please visit; and or Google Uganda Woman Magazine. Sherna Alexander  I must commend you on your page plus the magazine and it would be a great initiative for us to network, We are based in Trinidad and Tobago Baluku Matayo  Hello there, thank you for the efforts to disseminate the works and knowledge for the Ministry. I would like to have access to the Uganda Woman Magazine Issue 3. How do I get a soft copy? Matayo THETA UGANDA ( Tumwine Nyangire Saul Ogaa  I want to take this chance to thank the gender ministry and the staff for the Uganda Woman Magazine and other publications that are coming through online..... thank you so very much for the help and Will always be grateful. Saul Tumwine Kyambogo University. Bush Doug  Thanks Minstry for the Uganda Woman Magazine. It is a true representation of how far government has achieved in regard to gender issues and women’s empowerment . W H AT T H E R E A D E R S S AY Uganda Woman Magazine can be accessed online: www. Kenneth Ayebazibwe is the E-Resource Centre Manager in the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) The Editor welcomes your comments on
  10. 10. UGANDA WOMAN March 201410 By Jane Sanyu Mpagi Society is made up of men and women. Both have social relations within their homes and families as relatives; in the communities as friends, colleagues or neighbours; and, at the work place as co- workers or clients. The quality of every woman or man’s life depends to a large extent on those relationships. Although their lives are shared, their expectations, opportunities and behaviours often differ greatly. Inequalities between women and men resulting from socially ascribed roles sometimes put either men or women at a disadvantage. In most of the Ugandan societies, the women are more disadvantaged. Given that women interact with men on daily basis in their households and public lives, involving men in the negotiations for women’s rights has the potential to create lasting change which would lead to a more equitable society. Women’s empowerment is a key ingredient of a just society and therefore essential to its development. It is a process by which women either individually or collectively attain power to make choices and control their destiny. Empowerment includes; access to and control over resources: physical; human, intellectual and financial as well as ideology: beliefs, values and attitudes. While empowerment comes from within, it can be catalyzed by a just social environment in which women can make decisions and choices freely. The concerns and problems of women who constitute more than half of the population in Uganda have a significant effect on the country as a whole. Therefore, any socio economicandpoliticalinterventionscannot afford to ignore women. However, because the processes of change are controlled by men mostly, they too, cannot be ignored in the transformation of structures and attitudes that hinder the satisfaction of women’s needs. Uganda is a patriarchal society where men mostly control productive resources such as land, credit, information and time. Since the advent of the National Resistance Movement Government, which has instituted various affirmative action measures, access to productive resources by women has increased significantly. However, control over resources by women is still limited and this is still affecting the development process. Despite the fact that the Land Act guarantees women the right to land occupancy, they mostly access land through associations with a male relative who is a husband, father or brother because Uganda is a patrilineal society where land is transferred to males through inheritance. Consequently, women’s control over the use of land is still a challenge. According to the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey, 2011 four out of ten women (40%) own a house and/or land mostly jointly owned with spouses. This is an increase from 16% quoted widely in the 1990s. It is important, therefore, that the land tenure systems guarantee access and control over land by women. This would boost agricultural productivity and enable women to access financial services because land is used as collateral. The access to financial services by women is further hampered by bank requirements some of which women cannot access as easily as their male counterparts. For instance, in most banks, one has to show COVER STORY Men Matter in the Quest for Women’s Empowerment President Museveni with the Rt. Hon. Speaker Rebecca Kadaga: The number of women in leadership has increased significantly since 1986
  11. 11. UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 11 proof of payment of utility bills and a valid identity card, among other requirements to open bank accounts. There is a significant number of women who cannot meet the requirements because of varied historical disadvantages on their part. Furthermore, men, who are generally more literate than women, are in a better position to access information on health, education, modern agricultural practices among others. If there is a deliberate effort by men to share this information with women, households could create more wealth and societal transformation would be realized sooner than later. Several studies have shown that on average, Ugandan women, work for more than 16 hours a day compared to five for men. This time poverty is a result of the multiple household chores often performed without appropriate technology. Women, particularly those in rural areas, are responsible for caring for all household members, food production as well as participating in community activities. Looking after children requires the input of both parents and that of the community. Parents play an important role in shaping the character and future of their children. To support women, men should participate more actively in the lives of family members. This would reduce the work load on women and enable them to participate more actively in community activities and possibly to work outside the home. In addition, time and energy saving technologies could be adopted because these reduce women’s drudgery. Studies also indicate that men are encouraged to participate in household chores when they use appropriate technologies that save time and energy. The situation pertaining to women’s access to and control productive resources cannot be changed sustainably without engaging the male folk because culture gives them an advantage in this area. Fathers, spouses and male next of kin have the power to unlock the cultural practices and make women and girls inherit land and other resources. Traditional leaders most of whom are men also wield the power to change the norms and ensure women and girls’security of tenure to land. In the same vein, policy makers and legislators should develop policy frameworks and enact laws that guarantee equal access to productive resources by both men and women. The engagement of men in the area of sexual and reproductive health is critical because men take most decisions in relation to sexual activity including use of contraceptives. Therefore, men can play a central role in improving maternal and child health for healthier families. For a long time, reproductive health programs have focused on women yet men control resources that women need to access health services for themselves and their families. Men can support women to have safe pregnancies, delivery and breastfeeding thus contributing to better health outcomes. Mencanalsosupporttheirpartnerstoadopt better health seeking behaviour, while at the same time, confronting their own health risks by avoiding Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and taking care of their own health needs. Furthermore, men can choose to utilize male contraception methods and reduce the burden on their spouses. Involving men should not mean that women lose control over their fertility.This A woman leads a study team around a mixed farm: Women have access to land but most do not own it Photo:EnvironmentalAlert
  12. 12. UGANDA WOMAN March 201412 COVER STORY is fundamental to women’s empowerment because if a woman can plan her family, she can manage her life better. When she is healthy, she can be more productive and when she is able to decide the right number, timing and spacing of children, she will be able to participate fully in the society. Transmission of HIV and AIDS in the country is mainly through hetero-sexual relationships. Men’s behavior contributes substantially to the spread of HIV and also puts them at the front line of the risk. Men can play a critical role in implementation of ABC Plus strategy in HIV /AIDS response. Abstinence until marriage ignores the fact that about 60% of the new infections occur in marriage settings. Faithfulness obscures the reality that 30% of men in the country have two or more partners compared to 2-6% of the women. Condom use promotion fails to recognize that most women are unable to negotiate their partners’ condom use. Moreover, women’s economic dependence makes it difficult for some women to refuse unsafe sex in addition to other traditional practices such as polygamy which bind a number of women to one male sexual partner without their consent. In all the above scenarios, men can play a critical in the protection of women against HIV and AIDS. Accordingly, men need to free themselves from societal expectations which lead them to acquire behaviour that pre-disposes them and their partners to HIV and AIDS. Traditionally, men are socialized to be strong, emotionless and sexually dominant. Men friendly services and messages can support them to unlearn some of these so that they can respect women as equals. This is fundamental for women’s rights. Male involvement in women’s empowerment should start early. The formative years of a boy’s life are critical for appreciation of females as equals. Boys who grow up around male role models are more likely to question gender inequalities and stereotypes. While the adult male in Uganda is transiting from traditional to modern man, the school curriculum does not offer boys room to question gender inequalities and their consequences. On the contrary, girls’ movements, such as Girls Education Movement (GEM) and Green Light Movement are engaging girls in activities including; building self-esteem and offering life skills which are empowering girls to face future challenges better. If this trend continues, in future we might to have a generation of women “go-getters” and men who cannot cope with reality. Education and sensitization of boys and men is important for long-term gains in the gender order and to ensure a gender balanced society and avoid perceiving girls as “winners” and boys as “losers”. Boys’ clubs could be a useful intervention for providing boys with support on issues that are unique to them and at the same time highlighting the importance of respecting girls and women as equals. Men groups involved in advocacy for gender equality are emerging. However, these are still few and only involved in limited areas such as addressing violence againstwomenandresponsibleparenthood. Also, the men in these groups need support in order for them to cope with criticism Zero grazing: A woman rears a cow as anincome generating activity The bottom line is that empowerment of women should not free men from their responsibilities. If this happens, it will lead to negative consequences for women.
  13. 13. UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 13 approaches to “fix” them. The needs of their children particularly daughters, protection of the rights of their sisters and mothers are good entry points for engaging men on issues of gender equality. It is important to note that empowerment of women does not lead to disempowerment of men. Empowerment is not a “Zero-sum” game to an extent that what is gained by women is lost by men. In Uganda, like elsewhere in the world, studies have shown that women’s empowerment helps to raise the standard of the family. Empowered women are capable of breaking the poverty cycles not for themselves alone but for their families, communities and the country at large. Long-term sustainable development is only possible when women and men enjoy equal opportunities to raise their potential and participate in the development process. Today, women and girls continue to be disadvantaged in every sector. If these inequalities can be erased, then the women can be put on equal footing with men, unlock each other’s potential and transform the society. Jane Sanyu Mpagi is the Director, Gender and Community Development in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development from fellow men who do not appreciate the issues. In discussing the role of men in empowerment of women, men should not beperceivedasahomogenouscategory.All men should not be taken through a “guilty trip” as if each of them is responsible for disadvantaging a woman somewhere. Men are also victims of the patriarchal system although it is also true that they reap the privileges and strive to maintain the status quo. Professor Wangari Maathai once noted, “I think when we talk about the position of women in Africa and see how miserable it is, quite often we forget that these miserable women are married to miserablemen”.Thecruxofthematterhere is that development practitioners should keep this revelation in mind because the increasing social economic challenges of the day tend to disempower men, resulting in low self-esteem. Unemployed men are unable to fulfill their social roles and expectations and are usually frustrated and their authority is challengedandtheyfeelinadequate.Insuch situations, the women are burdened with extra responsibilities of performing their traditional roles and those of their spouse. This is how the so-called superwoman of the 21st Century has been created. The bottom line is that empowerment of women should not free men from their responsibilities. If this happens, it will lead to negative consequences for women. Men and women should live harmonious and complementary lives without burdening either party. As one feminist said “if we want to see more equal playing field for both women and men on the international scale, we need to include both parties in the process” Madame Dlamini Zuma, the African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson once said; “Women form half of the world and give birth to the rest” I hasten to add that men are the critical half in order for women to attain meaningful empowerment.” Strategies and programmes to empower women should therefore be cognisant of the socio-economic environment where men and women operate. Development actors should endeavour to understand gender roles of both women and men that are constantly changing. Women too, have a role to play in involving men in the realisation of gender equality and women’s empowerment. They should avoid thinking that male involvement will encroach on resources which are meant for women programmes. If women want men to change, women should change their approaches and way of doing things. They have to change the way they raise their sons and daughters. They have to strive for fairness in their homes and places of work. Furthermore, women should focus on the positive attributes and contribution of boys and men and not what they (boys and men) perceive to be judgmental or negative Women in the Forces carry the Colour Party at the InternationalWomen’s Day in Nakasongola , 2013
  14. 14. UGANDA WOMAN March 201414 OVERVIEW WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT: WHAT IT IS By Elizabeth Kyasimiire Women all over the world are challenged by a number of obstacles that restrict their ability to play significant roles in their communities and the broader society. For a long time they have lagged behind men in key socio-economic indicators. Women are less likely to have access to land, credit and decent jobs even though a growing body of research shows that the achievement of gender equality has enormous socio-economic ramifications. Occupational segregation and gender wage gaps continue to persist in all parts of the world even when research shows that empowering women enhances economies and spurs productivity and growth. Empowerment can be defined as the process of creating an environment in which people can make decisions and choices, either individually or collectively, for social transformation. It includes control over physical, human, intellectual and financial resources and over beliefs, values and attitudes. It is attained when individuals have the power to think and act freely, exercise choice, and, fulfill their potential as full and equal members of society. Women’s empowerment has five components, which are:  A sense of self-worth;  The right to have and make choices;  The right to access opportunities and resources;  The right to have the power to control their own lives, both within and outside the home; and,  The ability to influence the direction of social change to create a more just socio-economic order, nationally and internationally. Women’s empowerment is a process which can be achieved if the following principles are adhered to. The principles are as follows: The term women’s empowerment may be interpreted to mean:  Acquiring knowledge, understanding of gender relations and the ways in which these relations can be changed;  Developing a sense of self-worth, a belief in one’s ability to secure desired changes and the right to control one’s life;  Gaining the ability to generate choices and exercising bargaining power; and,  Developing the ability to organize and influence the direction of social change in order to create a more just socio-economic order, nationally and internationally. Women’s empowerment is about women gaining power and control over their lives. It can be achieved through raising awareness, building self confidence, expanding choices, increasing access to and control over resources. It is also about transforming structures and institutions which reinforce and perpetuate gender discrimination and inequality. Rt. Hon. Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly Margaret Zziwa(left) and the Rt. Hon. Speaker of the Uganda Parliament Rebecca Kadaga(right) with Lady Justice Esther Kisakye Photo:ShawnMakumbi
  15. 15. UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 15 Leadership Promotes Gender Equality Thisisaboutstakeholderinvolvement,high level political support, policy development and accountability at all levels. Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Non discrimination This entails equal remuneration, gender- sensitive recruitment and retention, sufficient participation of women in decision making – 30% or greater, flexible work options, leave and re-entry opportunities to positions of equal pay and status and access to child and dependent care is supported by providing services, resources and information to both women and men. Health, Safety and Freedom from Violence This is about establishing a zero-tolerance policy towards all forms of violence at work, offering health insurance, respecting women and men workers’ rights to time off for medical care and counseling for themselves and their dependants, identifying and addressing security issues and training security staff and managers to recognize signs of violence against women. Education and Training This requires investing in workplace policies and programmes that open avenues for advancement of women at all levels, ensuring equal access to all company-supported education and training programmes, providing equal opportunities for formal and informal networking and mentoring, and offering opportunities to promote the business case for women’s empowerment. Enterprise Development, Supply Chain and Marketing Practices This involves expanding business relationships with women-owned enterprises, support gender-sensitive solutions to credit and lending barriers, and respecting the dignity of women in all marketing and other company materials. Community Leadership and Engagement This requires leading by example, leveraging influence and working with community stakeholders to promote and recognize women’s leadership. Transparency, Measuring and Reporting This is about making public the company policies and implementation plan for promoting gender equality, establishing benchmarks that quantify inclusion of women at all levels, measuring and reporting progress internally and externally, using data disaggregated by sex and incorporating gender markers into on- going reporting obligations. Elizabeth Kyasimiire is the Commissioner for Gender and Women Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development Women inspect a tomato garden: Women are still the largest contributers to Uganda’s agriculture Police Spokesperson Judith Nabakooba with Frank Baine of Uganda Prisons: Women have taken on prominent roles in the forces. Photo:ShawnMakumbi Photo:PaulWambi
  16. 16. UGANDA WOMAN March 201416 PROFILE “A nation where men and women work together, achieves much more in a shorter period.” Janet Kataaha Museveni Meet HON. JANET KATAAHA MUSEVENI, The First Lady of Uganda, Minister for Karamoja Affairs and Member of Parliament, Ruhaama County By Maureen Nakatudde and Moreen Natukunda
  17. 17. UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 17 The theme for this issue of the Uganda Woman magazine is a good one. “In fact, my whole life’s experience and career as an advocate for social justice, reflects this principle,” says the First Lady. She believes that partnerships between women and men are not only beneficial to women but lead to empowerment of all people and ultimately the whole human race. “And the Lord said, ‘Behold, they are one people and they have one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will be impossible to them’.” Genesis 11:6 When the Uganda Woman magazine sounded out the First Lady on the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day which is about partnership of men and boys for the empowerment of women and girls in Uganda, Mrs. Janet Kataaha Museveni, made this appeal: “Women and men should agree to work together to create wealth and have thriving families with children who will grow up to become responsible leaders of Uganda. Uganda has had a lopsided way of development. In the past, men shouldered most of the responsibility of the family. Now, it is the other way round, many women are shouldering more responsibility and that robs the country of time and resources to transform. A nation where men and women work together, achieves much more in a shorter period.” She pointed out that there is a misunderstanding by some men especially in rural areas that the Movement Government has empowered women at the expense of their male counterparts. She reveals that the intention of the Movement is to ensure that communities develop because when couples work together then the family prospers sooner than later. As a mother, the First Lady advances that the partnership between men and women, boys and girls should begin in the family which is the foundation for the nation. She advocates that stay-at-home mothers whom she actually refers to as women, who work at home, should be given as much support as women working outside the homes. The reason she gives is that the stay-at-home mothers shoulder a big responsibility of shepherding the family. They produce food, parent the children and The President decorates his wife with a medal support their husbands to create wealth. In communities like Karamoja, it is the women who actually build the houses. Mrs. Museveni says this to disparage the notion that is prevalent among women in the informal sector that “they do nothing”. “Obviously, women who are home-makers are doing a great deal to contribute, not just to the well-being of their families, but also to the national economy,” she adds. Journalists (left; Maureen Nakatudde and Moreen Natukunda) and Uganda Woman Edito- rial members; Mondo Kyateka and Pamela Batenga) pose with the First Lady at State House, Nakasero As a mother, the First Lady advances that the partnership between men and women, boys and girls should begin in the family which is the foundation for the nation.
  18. 18. UGANDA WOMAN March 201418 PROFILE The First Lady says that her calling is about supporting vulnerable communities and so when she and her husband returned from exile in 1986, she was shocked by the high number of children orphaned by the war and the HIV and AIDS scourge. Consequently, she got involved in charities initially as a volunteer. “Even though I had nothing, “the first lady writes in her book ‘My Life’s Journey,’ “I had to seek God for direction, for the burden of orphans lay heavily on my heart.”. Mrs. Museveni partnered with other concerned women over this matter. Together, they raised the money for the cause; that is how The Uganda Women’s Effort to Save Orphans (UWESO) was formed. It operated in Luweero Triangle which contained the districts of Luwero, Mubende, Kiboga, Nakasongola, Mpigi, Wakiso, Mukono and Kayunga. Today, UWESO covers the entire Uganda and has branches in the United Kingdom and Denmark. The First Lady also started the National Strategy for the Advancement of Rural Women in Uganda (NSWARU). The Organisation has empowered women to have a better life and homes. She pioneered the formation of the Uganda Youth Forum (UYF) with the intention of empowering the youth to make good decisions such as abstinence from sex before marriage and valuing education. “In all my charity work, I hope to wake up our people to their own responsibility and ability to cause change,” she says. Mrs. Museveni is the Minister for Karamoja Affairs and Member of Parliament for Ruhaama County in Ntungamo District. Before 2006, she never imagined that she would go into active politics. She believed that having one member of the family, her husband, President Yoweri Museveni, was enough and so for her there was no need to join politics. She had hoped that her work as First Lady and steering her charities was enough. In 2006, Mrs. Museveni answered God’s call on her life to go into active politics. “You should run for Parliament next year to represent your parents’ constituency Ruhaama.” the voice said. The more she tried to talk herself out of it, the more she was convinced God wanted her into that area. Even when her husband, was not convinced, the first lady prayed and the door was opened for her to join politics. As the contestant for Ruhaama County, Mrs. Museveni refused to be corrupted as voters unashamedly asked the contestants for gifts so that they could vote for them. As a Christian and an exemplary leader, the First Lady urged people to vote for their leaders on merit. She won the election. In Ruhaama, Mrs. Museveni has raised the household incomes, tackled the challenge of maternal and infant mortality and increased agricultural productivity in the constituency. “My work in Karamoja is a monumental challenge, but it is doable,” the First Lady reveals. “In Karamoja, we have seen hope returning to whole communities; we have been able to grow food and see families feed themselves; and, in partnership with the President and Uganda People’s My work in Karamoja is a monumental challenge, but it is doable. A modern manyatta vis a vis a traditional manyatta Hon. Janet Museveni listens to farmers in Nakapiripirit who exhibited some of the harvested food from their gardens Defence Force (UPDF), we have seen Karamoja Region become peaceful like other parts of Uganda,” she adds. Karamoja had many challenges including one of being remotely developed and having armed people who could always shoot at will. Despite that, Mrs. Museveni was unmoved. She believes that because of her faith in her God and throwing all her effort and time into it, Karamoja will be a better place. Even though the Region is improving steadily, the minister acknowledges
  19. 19. WOMANUGANDA UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 19 PROFILE Mrs. Museveni with former street children from Karamoja, who underwent rehabilitation at UWESO Masuliita Children’s home that there are high poverty levels, illiteracy, poor nutrition, very low sanitation levels and diseases such as Hepatitis E are still rampant. Mrs. Museveni is well-placed to counter the health challenges in the Region because she is the Patron of the Safe Motherhood Initiative of the Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation (WHO) for the reduction of maternal mortality and morbidity. She is also the Co-chair of CURE Hospital - a special hospital for crippled children in Uganda. In addition, sheisanactivemember of theOrganization of African First Ladies against HIV and AIDS (OAFLA). Mrs. Museveni was born into a Christian family in 1948. She grew up in Irenga village which is in Ntungamo District. Her father, Edward Kataaha died when she was only seven years. Her mother, Erina Kyaremeera, raised her children on her own with God’s support. Janet Kataaha studied in Rwamanyonyi and Kyamate Primary schools and Bwerenyangi Girls’ Secondary School. She briefly studied nursing in Mulago Nursing School. She also studied in Harlech College in Wales. She is a graduate of Makerere University with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. She has a diploma in Early Childhood Education from Montessori College in Dublin. Her elder brother, Henry Kainerugaba, who was very close to her, met his untimely death in 1968 in a car accident. By then, Janet Kataaha was a teenager. Her cousin, John Kazzora, took over her education. As a lawyer in President Idi Amin’s regime, Kazzora’s life was in danger and the family had to move to Kenya. It was while she was in exile in Kenya that her mother died. She was unable to attend the funeral because of the turbulent times in Uganda at the time. During what was an unfortunate period in her life: living in exile; losing a brother; being unable to bury her mother; and, failing to finish her studies in England, Janet Kataaha’s destiny changed when she met Yoweri Museveni, who was visiting the Kazzora family in Kenya. Thereafter, their friendship blossomed. In 1973, Janet Kataaha married Yoweri Museveni in England. The couple later relocated to Tanzania and then to Sweden. For some time, she did not live with her husband because he was in Tanzania leading the Front for National Salvation (FRONASA) liberation movement. Between 1974 and 1980, the couple had four children, one boy and three girls. The couple is blessed with 13 grandchildren. Maureen Nakatudde is a free- lance journalist corresponding with the New Vision and Moreen Natukunda is a News Anchor with the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation
  20. 20. UGANDA WOMAN March 201420 By Hilda Twongyeirwe “It is almost impossible to build meaningful partnerships between men and women, boys and girls, when the social and legal systems are problematic. I believe in partnerships but my strategy for now is different; to dismantle systems which cushion and propagate all forms of injustices against women.” says High Court Judge David Batema, who is also a woman activist. History played a role in what the Judge believes in today. He remembers vividly for instance, how as a child he witnessed silent but firm injustices against women and children. He noticed that a woman’s position was not the same as that of a man. Men had many wives whether they were able to look after them or not and no body found that problematic. They demanded for many children from their wives and yet it did not matter whether they provided for them or not. It was a normal occurrence for men to batter their wives. He noticed too, how the many wives and children struggled for resources that were always inadequate while the men boasted about the big numbers. He saw wives struggle with jealousies because of one man who did not care. According to Justice Batema, polygamy, along with some other traditions, is legalised torture towards women and children. During his time at university, Justice Batema read about and listened to cases where murders were justified because a man had found his wife cheating or just because he suspected her of cheating. Even when the man had other wives, it did not occur to him that the women had accepted to share him. He questioned such judgements but could not do much about them at the time. He looked at what the law said, and noticed that for most of the cases, the law was silent or outrageously unjust. For instance, under the Ugandan Penal Code, a wife is guilty of criminal adultery if she engages in sexual intercourse with any man. On the other hand, a husband will only be guilty of the same offence if he has sex with a married woman. Furthermore, the Succession Law is silent about inheritance for women and girls. After Justice Batema saw these inconsistencies, he took a decision to study Women’s Law at the University of Zimbabwe. “My reason to go back to school was to question and problematise what society and the current law assumed usual and normal. By doing that, I would start a new debate around those issues in order to create ground for law reforms.” Upon return from Zimbabwe, he initiated the Jurisprudence of Equality Project (JEP) under the National Association of Women Judges – Uganda Chapter. He has carried out trainings with male and female judges and magistrates and equipped them with knowledge and facts to start questioning law provisions or the lack of, and the traditions that hinder women’s freedom and empowerment. “When you see men rule Dismantle Systems which Propagate Injustices Against Women Justice David Batema, High Court Judge - Fort Portal
  21. 21. UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 21 their households for years after their death, it is because of socialisation. You receive a card with; ‘The family of the late...invite you to a wedding of their son’. Why do we allow men to rule from the grave? These issues need to be questioned. However, since I do not have authentic weapons to change socialisation, I will focus more on the law”. When magistrates and judges take sides with men in court, it is because some of them were socialised to believe in male supremacy. When a woman seeks redress at a Police station, after being battered, the policemen are usually not helpful. The policemen are aware of individual constitutional rights and about the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), but they will still fail to help a battered woman because they have grown up seeing their mothers battered.” Justice Batema’s approach is bearing fruit. He reveals that the Employment Act 2006 has provisions on sexual harassment. He believes that if relevant laws are put in place and enforced, community voices of resistance against change can be dealt with. In addition to his negotiation for legal reforms, he worked with Plan International to train male and female Members of Parliament in Gender, the Law and Human Rights.Hehasalsosensitisedcommunities, including those in Kalungu, Rakai, Iganga and Jinja about the importance of partnerships in the advancement, not only of women, but of society as a whole. “I alwaysexplaintopeoplethatempowerment of women and girls is empowerment of the community. Gender equality is a struggle for Human Rights and all law enforcement officers must know that.” He has also developed training materials in Gender, Human Rights and the law. He has made documentaries on women’ issues, produced a Police pocket book on laws and guidelines on sexual and gender-based violence. There are challenges however, in building meaningful partnership with men and boys for the empowerment of women and girls, in that sometimes, women have not embraced all the parameters of the partnership. They desire empowerment but they continue to want to depend on men for everything. An empowered woman should be able to provide for children without waiting for the husband. Women should be daring, for example, they should be able to refund bride price that their fathers paid for their mothers in order to rescue them from an abusive marriage. He notes that within the judicial system, partnerships are very important because men easily get protected by fellow men even when they are in the wrong. The strategy of the Judge is to partner with men so that they would instead protect women The family of the late...invite you to a wedding of their son’. Why do we allow men to rule from the grave? as is provided for in the Constitution. This, he says will take substantive law, skills, change of attitude and continued judicial education. Once the structures have been dismantled and re-designed in a directed manner, women’s empowerment will fall into place. That is when a holistic development will be realised. We must teach our children that women rights are human rights. That way, the partnerships will be nurtured naturally. If we wait for them to learn that as adults, we shall be faced with a crisis. Abosoga tukoba akakyama amamela, bwokagolola obukulu kamenheka bumenheka. Hilda Twongyeirwe is a writer with FEMRITE and the Sub- Editor of the Uganda Woman Magazine Justice Batema tells his story about women’s empowerment to Uganda Woman’s Hilda Twongyeirwe
  22. 22. UGANDA WOMAN March 201422 Dr. Dorothy Okello, The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development is pleased to add its voice to the citations of honour you have received locally and internationally for your contribution to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Your latest accolade, the Digital Woman of the Year 2013, which was conferred upon you in Younde, Cameroon, is indeed an honour to the women of Uganda and to the country as a whole. As an engineering professional, we are pleased to note that you have initiated projects that promote the use of ICT by women in Uganda. Prominent among this is the Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) which you founded in 2000. This organisation is at the fore-front of empowering women in small scale organisations for national development. This anchors your job as a lecturer and researcher at Makerere University where you have been for the last 15 years. The Ministry applauds you for your professional involvement: in information sharing and networking; gender and ICT Policy advocacy; and, technical support, and for partnering with various organisations; including HIVOS, Indigo Trust, UNESCO International Programme for Development of Communication, the Swedish Programme for ICT in Developing Regions, the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation and the Association for Progressive Communication, for the benefit of the women of Uganda. Congratulatory Message to Dr. Dorothy Okello Senior Lecturer Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology Dr. Dorothy Okello(left) receiving an award
  23. 23. UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 23 QUESTION: Honourable Minister, would you like to give Uganda Woman a short profile of yourself. ANSWER: I am Fredrick Ruhindi, a lawyer by profession and I believe that is why I am the Deputy Attorney General and also the Minister of State for Justice and Constitutional Affairs. I come from a humble family background. I did my schooling in Mbarara Junior School, then Mbarara High School, Ntare School and Makerere University where I completed my Law degree in 1979. Thereafter, I joined the Law Development Centre (LDC). I started working as a State Attorney in the Department of First Parliamentary Counsel from 1981 up to 1992. I left at the rank of Principal State Attorney. From 1992 to 1999, I was the Corporation Secretary of the Uganda Investment Authority. I own a law firm, Ruhindi Interview with Fredrick Ruhindi, Deputy Attorney General And Minister of State for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Fredrick Ruhindi, is Deputy Attorney General and Minister of State for Justice and Constitutional Affairs. He is also the Member of Parliament for Nakawa Division. In an interview with Uganda Woman, he speaks about what Government has done to empower the women of Uganda. Photo:ShawnMakumbi
  24. 24. 24 and Company Advocates at the Raja Chambers, Parliament Avenue. In 2001, I went into active politics, but even before 1997 I was a councilor at the Kampala City Council. I was LCI Chairman of Bugolobi, LCII Chairman of Bugolobi Parish; LC III and LC V Councilor, Kampala and then in 2001, I was elected the Member of Parliament of Nakawa Division until now. I have been a leader most of my life. In Primary, Secondary school and in higher institutions, I was either a prefect or a leader of debating, drama and other societies. I was the President of the Students Guild at LDC. My wife passed on in 1995 and left me with four children. They are all grown up now: one girl is married and works with the Uganda Bureau of Statistics; another girl has just graduated from Makerere University; one boy has finished MUBS [Makerere University Business School] and the last one is in UCU [Uganda Christian University] doing Law. Q: What do you think the status of women in Uganda is today? A: By and large, there is a great improvement, as far as women are concerned. It is true that some cultural practices such as the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) are repugnant and that is why through a private member’s Bill of Honourable Chris Baryomunsi, it was banned. Q: As Government, how have you dealt with the issue of violence against women? A: Violence by definition is very broad and can be any act that traumatizes a colleague or a spouse. It can be physical or psychological. We have passed the Domestic Violence Law. We trust that this will reduce the incidences of violence. The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and the Justice, Law and Order Sector are the lead implementers of this law. Q: What was the situation like when you were growing up? A: Most of us grew up in predominantly men-led societies. Even today, there are many of those. The good thing is that men’s subjugation of women has been greatly reversed, mainly through constitutional reforms. For instance, when the colonialists were here, they had courts for Africans, courts for Whites and they really fought our cultures, good or bad. Some of them labelled our cultures as repugnant and against natural justice and good conscience. However, not all our cultures were bad. Of course, it is true that some cultures were repugnant but I believe some of them were good. For instance, we get most of our herbal medicines from China but we could even be having better medicine than China’s. There was a tendency to relate the use of herbs to witchcraft. Of course, there were those who exceeded the limits and there was some witchcraft, but our herbs are medicinal. The Ministry of Health owes us a Bill to demarcate and promote the growth of herbal medicines in our communities. Those days when you got malaria, they would give you omururuza; or when you got worms they would apply ekimala or when you got constipation you got omutohooro; and you got well. Some clinical medicines have worse side effects, but our herbs have minimal side effects, if any. Q: What is your opinion of the socio- economic status of women in Uganda? A: This is very important. Around 2004 when I was a back-bencher, there was an amendment to the Land Act. In the course of debate there was an impasse on the family land rights. As a result of the impasse, the Speaker, now Vice President, Edward Ssekandi, formed of a Hon. Ruhindi explains his views on women’s empowerment to Uganda Woman’s Ikebesi Omoding UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 Photo:ShawnMakumbi
  25. 25. UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 25 Parliamentary Select Committee which I was chaired. Several people thought it was an insurmountable task but I saw it as achievable. I had very good members, Professor Ogenga Latigo, Hon. Mary Namuyangu, Hon. Sylvia Namabidde and others. We produced the report which was embraced by the House. The report underscored the importance of family land, which none of the spouses would sell without the consent of the other. Initially, it had a children’s section in it, but we tactfully removed it because the children are well taken care of under the Children’s Act. That is a very important statement as far as women’s emancipation is concerned. Some of us have witnessed homes in which the man or woman is a drunkard. Some of us don’t lead disciplined lives and become vulnerable in one way or another. This law puts people on notice that one cannot sell family land without the consent of the spouse because this is the land from which the family ordinarily derives its livelihood. If one has some other land which does not come into the definition of family land, then they can sell or deal in it without the consent of the other spouse, but if it comes within the definition of the amendment of 2004, then one must comply. This law has been implemented to the letter. You cannot go to a bank to borrow money without the consent of the other spouse. Even in the SACCOS [Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies] when one wants to use land as collateral, the SACCO will demand the spouses’ consent. The greatest challenge came during the enactment of the Marriage and Divorce Bill. I thought that we would have sustained that Bill by constructive amendments, but it was agreed that we should have further consultations; we still have a challenge where this is concerned. Article 31, Clause 1(b) of the Constitution states that a man and woman are entitled to marry at the age of 18, and to equal rights at, and during marriage and at its dissolution. Besides, when we were debating the Marriage and Divorce Bill, we should have borne this in mind that the courts of law were going to continue legislating for us, unless, maybe, we take a drastic decision to amend the Constitution or comply with it. The courts continue to strike down some of the provisions as unconstitutional. Some of the laws are in conflict with the Constitution and they strike them down as null and void. An example; under the Divorce Act, in order to divorce, a man is only required to prove at least one ground of adultery, but a woman has to add one or more grounds for the dissolution of marriage. That was struck down as unconstitutional because it would be contravening the Constitutional provision on equal rights. The best would be to avoid an Omnibus Bill which deals with marriage and divorce. The Marriage and Divorce Bill covers church, customary and civil marriages as well as divorce. It was meant to cater for Islamic marriages as well, but we took a decision to treat Islamic marriages separately. The Marriage and Divorce Bill remains an Omnibus if you put all these together. One small provision can stall the whole process, and that’s what happened. The best is to have the laws named specifically and amend the specific laws when it is required. Women leaders who had just been decorated with medals of honour by H. E President Museveni at a Women’s Day function Photo:ShawnMakumbi
  26. 26. UGANDA WOMAN March 201426 Q: How have these interventions affected the Women’s Movement, empowerment and affirmative action? A: The benchmarks we put in place as a country, in order to achieve affirmative action, were excellent. In Kenya, during the making of the Constitution recently, they provided for one-third of the seats for women. After the passing of the law, they realized they had not put in place the necessary processes to achieve that. In Uganda, when we adopted the one- third provision for the participation of women, we put in place the necessary processes. For instance, we decided that in every district, there would be a woman representative; Kenya did not do that. At elections, the Kenyans realized that they were not going to realize the one- third requirement for the women. They could have amended the law but that would mean a larger Parliament. They instead sought an advisory legal opinion on this matter and won the approval of the Supreme Court which ruled that the principle would have to evolve in its implementation. You can see that, not only do we have supportive provisions, but we comply with them. In Cabinet, when there are proposals for constituting boards, authorities and commissions, whoever minister is making proposals for Cabinet to approve, must ensure that they comply with the one-third provision for women. Even in the appointments of the judiciary, this principle must be complied with. Furthermore, currently, the President and Vice President are male. The Speaker is a female. At one time, the Number Two was a lady. In Uganda, there has been a paradigm shift from a male-dominated society to one which takes care of both genders. As far as the productive sectors are concerned, men are aggressive in business matters, but at micro and macro level, women play a bigger role. At local Government level, the majority of SACCOs in the constituencies are run by women. Women are accessible and disciplined. At household level, the women contribute significantly to the family income. Women are critical in the productive process, and that matters a lot. Q: What do you advise men and boys on empowerment of women and girls? A: We must promote simplicity and frugality. For instance, a young man graduates from university, starts work and gets a fiancee; he cohabits with the girl because he doesn’t have enough money for the introduction ceremony. Of late, the money that is spent on such functions is exorbitant. It is enough to fund the introduction, the wedding and some of it could even be used as start-up capital for some business. Recently, in Kyankwanzi, someone addressed us on this matter and noted that we are wasting productive resources in unproductive ventures. This has actually deteriorated into cultural blackmail. I was told that lately men go to a bonded warehouse and hire cars to parade as gifts to the girl or the in-laws and after the introduction ceremony, they return the car to the warehouse. The introduction arrangement should be between few relatives. We should think of helping the couple psychologically and mentally for a meaningful marriage. The church rose up in arms when we proposed that when a couple has lived together for between 5 and ten years, they should be deemed married. If we insist on formal marriage, ceremonies should be simple. The issue of dowry is sensitive. Dowry could be viewed as a gift, and when the marriage breaks it should not be refundable. In some of our societies however, this is a serious matter. For instance, I understand that communities in Teso and Karamoja, 50 or more cows are paid for dowry. The cows have to be returned if the marriage breaks down. Some of our cultural practices need to be simplified because they are still relevant. A traditional introduction ceremony: Marriage ceremonies are becoming unaffordable and prohibitive Photo:PaulWambi
  27. 27. UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 27 By Staff Writer Dr. Olive Sentumbwe currently works with the World Health Organisation as a Family Health and Population Adviser. She is one of Uganda’s most renowned senior consultants of obstetrics and gynaecology. She is an expert on reproductive and maternal health. According to her experience, the need for male involvement in the health sector is critical especially in the management of HIV and AIDS and Reproductive Health (RH). Dr. Sentumbwe explains that male involvement is not just a strategy for Uganda. It is embedded in the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action which cites male responsibilities and participation as a critical aspect of improving RH outcomes, achieving gender equality, equity and empowering women, reducing maternal, infant mortality and morbidity. “Uganda has only been slow to implement the programme but it is not a new strategy,” she says. The Doctor explains that women and children’s health has a lot to do with how men conduct themselves. The way men conduct themselves has a lot to do with socialisation. She advises that every individual must care about how they bring up their children because nurturing impacts on everybody, even in old age. A man who grows up without cooking will not cook even when his wife is not well. A woman who has been brought up to think that it is a man’s job to fend for the home, will not tell her husband to use a condom even when she knows that her life is in danger.Fromconfessionsmadebypatients, friends and family, Dr Sentubwe reveals that in most cases, men are completely not concerned with reproductive and other family roles but they decide how many children their wives should have. “Some women ask me to write letters to their husbands so that they can let them begin family planning,” she says. The women take care of the home; they cook food, collect firewood and water, till the garden and nurse the children. “But, when we talk to the men, we make them understand that family is about the woman, the man and the children.” She further explains that men’ decisions are communal. Sometimes a man will not do certain things just because he is not sure of what other men will say about him. She advised that in order for men to be present and to be partners, there is need to negotiate with them because men carry the baggage of what society considers right and wrong. Therefore, it is important to engage the men by showing them the benefits of these partnerships in all sectors and to reposition them in such a way that they become the defenders of the women. It is not enough for instance to ask the man not to have many children. “Tell him that many children will be too demanding and will not be healthy. Tell him that his wife should not have many children because they will be weak and he will have many responsibilities.” It is also very important to identify male role models so that they are encouraged to inspire change and to attract more men into the health sector. Dr. Olive Sentumbwe In order for men to be present and to be partners, there is need to negotiate with them because men carry the baggage of what society considers right and wrong. Negotiation is Key in Building Sustainable Partnerships: An Interface with Dr. Olive Sentumbwe
  28. 28. UGANDA WOMAN March 201428 By Dr. Kareem Buyana What roles can men and boys play to breakdown the barriers to women’s and girls’ pursuit of positive change in their lives and that of society? Globally, equal benefit is measured by progress made towards the closure of gender gaps in earnings, productivity and the distribution of national income. At the 2014 World Economic Forum held in Switzerland, leaders debated how markets could be reformed to enable women to compete equally with men in business start-ups, corporate expansion and access to gainful work. Various options were suggested, including gender-responsive government policies, partnerships for gender-driven growth, women empowering women and reforming markets to enable women equally compete with men in business. Across this range of options, not so much was discussed about men and boys working with women and girls to empower the latter. Nevertheless, in Uganda, men’s presence in programs like prevention of violence against women as well as family planning interventions has been documented. The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has also held discussions with its development partners and other government agencies, on how to shift from focusing on men as perpetrators of violence to involving them as partners in primary prevention strategies. However, it still remains questionable whether men and boys can act as agents of change and downplay norms that okay lesser power for women and girls in exercising choices that positively influence their lives and transform society at large. In this article, I explore what men and boys have done for the empowerment of women and girls. The aim is to encourage public debate about the necessity and impact of upscaling men’s participation in programs thatseektoendgirls’andwomen’sinability to participate in and equally benefit from socio-economic programs at various levels. I support the involvement of men and boys in empowerment programmes for women and girls, although I believe that attention should be paid to the conditions and principles that would make such involvement careful not to promise too much, since there are pressures elicited when certain traditions in society are tampered with. Men’s behavioral change programmes are increasingly being recognized as key to Men as Partners in the Empowerment of Women A woman shows off her wine: More women are involved in large scale business today
  29. 29. UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 29 successful intervention in women’s health and education advancement. For example the United Nations Children’s Fund in Uganda is working with the Ministry of Education and Sports to engage male opinion leaders such as religious and cultural leaders, to use their voice and influence in the Girls-Go-Back to School Campaigns in Northern Uganda. This intervention seeks higher completion rates amongst girls in Universal Primary Education (UPE) schools. The same approach has been applied by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in theatrical and outdoor advertising campaigns on family planning and cross generational sex. This kind of corporate norm, where exemplary males are involved, creates supportive attitudes towards programmes that are sometimes misconceived as distortions of tradition. However, attempts to popularize and institutionalize male campaigns for women’s and girls’ empowerment are still limited and scattered in Uganda. In some countries, male activism has been institutionalized to effect responses on women’s empowerment. For instance the White Ribbon Campaign in Canada encourages men to wear white ribbons as an expression of their public opposition to violence. In 2003, the Australian Office of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), partnered with men and men’s organisations to make this a national campaign in Australia. It is a good example of a community- based intervention by men, which is now supported by federal government. While marking the launch of the 2013 Global Gender Gap Report – which measures inequality of outcomes between men and women – the Deputy Executive Director for Policy and Programme at UN Women, Mr. John Hendra, argued that if countries are to walk a sustained and inclusive path to growth, economic and political empowerment and ending violence against women should be high on the agenda. In Africa, this would for example mean an agricultural sector that creates jobs aligned to women’s capabilities. It would also mean promoting intra-African trade in emerging sectors like tourism, information and communication technologies and the extractive industry, in ways that offer profitable linkages to small and medium enterprises where women have ease of entry and possibilities of rising to corporate boardrooms. Moving women from the sidelines of lucrative sectors is believed to be a good entry point for educating more girls and boys, improved seeking of professional family health care and accumulation of assets that give collateral value to households. At the launch of the African Queens and Women Cultural Leaders Network (AQWLN), President Yoweri Museveni argued that if economic transformation for wealth creation becomes the idea behind women’s empowerment rather than aid channeled through civil society organisations, then the different forms of gender inequality would be resolved sustainably. This statement illustrates how men can act as paradigm shifters by regarding women’s empowerment as an economic issue rather than its usual conception as human rights activism. As a policy shaper, World Bank Economist, Stephan Klasen, argued that China, although less perfect in its human rights record, has grown partly because of its prioritization of girls’ education and inclusion of women in the workforce. Further, while speaking at a university in Saudi Arabia, Bill Gates advised that tapping into women’s untapped talents is a prerequisite for countries that want to make it to the top in the world of information technology. Gates’ advice means that if African countries, like Uganda, are to compete sustainablyin today’s knowledgeeconomy, human capital investments across all sectors should take women’s health and longevity in school and professional training as a must-do for economic growth and development. This resonates with the push for gender responsive planning and budgeting by male gender programme officers in the public and non-government organisations. Notable of these are male Ugandans like; Mubarak Mabuya, Richard Ssewakiryanga and Aramanzan Madanda, who have worked for not less than 10 years with the ministries of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Finance, Planning and Economic Development and the academia respectively.Itisevidentthereforethatmen have for a long time played a substantial role in advancing the goals of women’s empowerment. Although feminists have criticized If economic transformation for wealth creation becomes the idea behind women’s empowerment rather than aid channeled through civil society organisations, then the different forms of gender inequality would be resolved sustainably centering men in women’s empowerment efforts as something that can lead to misrepresentation of women’s experiences and desires, the use of male role models in behavioral change campaigns, policy and programmes is a factor that has worked and worth investing resources in. Dr. Kareem Buyana is a Gender Advisor, UN Women
  30. 30. UGANDA WOMAN March 201430 Female Permanent Secretaries Since 1986 TheNRM Governmentconstitutionalisedgenderequalityandwomen’sempowerment. As a result, the number of women in leadership positions has grown significantly. Presented below are the women who have attained the position of Permanent Secretary since 1986, to-date. This level is the highest position of a technical officer in the Uganda Civil Service. 1987 - 1995: Secretary, Education Service Commission 1995 - 1998: Secretary, Civil Service Reform Philomena Kemijumbi Nshangano Erina Baingana Permanet Secretary, Ministry of Public Service Secretary, Public Service Commission Secretary, Judicial Service Commission 1987 - 1989: Permanent Secretary and Secretary to Treasury 1990 - 1993: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Trade Joyce Naluggwa Busuulwa (RIP)
  31. 31. UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 31 Florence Mugasha 1990-1996: PS, Ministry of Internal Affairs 1996-2002: Head of Public Service and Secretary to Cabinet 2002: Deputy Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat Thecla Kinalwa 1990 - 1991: Secretary for Constitutional Affairs 1992 - 1993: Secretary for Industry, Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Cooperatives 1993 - 1996: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government 1996 - 1997: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Gender and Community Development 1997 - 2003: State House Comptroller 2003 - 2013: Secretary, Office of the President J.A. Ocaya Lakidi 1990 - 1991: Ag Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water and Mineral Development 1991 - 1993: Secretary for Environment Protection 1996 - 1998: Secretary, Ministry of Defence 1998 - 2005: Secretary to the Judiciary Mary Ann Lwanga 1989 - 1991: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Construction 1991 - 1993: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Rehabilitation and Social Welfare
  32. 32. UGANDA WOMAN March 201432 Jassy R. Kisakye Mary Lubowa Nannono 1996 – 1998: Principal Private Secretary to the Vice President 1998 – 2000: Permanent Secretary, Office of the Vice President 2000 – 2007: Secretary, Education Service Commission 2007 – 2009: Secretary, Ministry of Health as Permanent Secretary 1995-1998: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare 1998- 1999: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government, 2000-2002: Secretary, Health Service Commission Hilda Musubira 1995-1997: Permanent Secretary for the then Ministry of Lands, Housing and Physical Planning 1997-1998: Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 1998 - 2003: Principal Private Secretary to His Excellency The President 2003 - to-date: Deputy Head of Public Service and Secretary Administrative Reform (based in the Ministry of Public Service) Christine Guwatudde Kintu 1998-2002: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Ethics and Integrity 2003-2006: Secretary, Health Service Commission 2007-2013: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development 2013- to date: Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister
  33. 33. UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 33 2007 todate: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of East African Community Affairs Edith Nsajja Mwanje 2007 to date: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence Rosette Byengoma Dorcas Okalany May 2008- to date: Permanent Secretary, Judiciary Dr. Rose Nassali Lukwago 2013- to date: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Sports Deborah Katuramu 2009 - 2013: Secretary, Health Service Commission 2013- to date: Secretary, Office of the President
  34. 34. UGANDA WOMAN March 201434 Building Partnerships: Recommendations of the Commission on the Status of Women achieving gender equality as one of the priority themes at its 48th Session in March 2004. Extensive discussions concluded that an understanding of the role of equal rights, opportunities and access to resources, equal sharing of responsibilities for the family by men and women, and a harmonious partnership between them were critical to their well-being and that of their families as well as to the consolidation of democracy. The outcome of this session was a major step in the development of a global policy framework to facilitate the role of men and boys in the achievement of gender equality. It was noted that men had a crucial role in sharing family responsibilities, including caring for dependants; preventing violence against women, including trafficking and HIVandAIDS transmission; and providing role models for the younger men. The role of men in efforts to mainstream gender perspectives into national and international policies and programmes was also recognized. The Session recommended deliberate male involvement in gender equality efforts, catalysing socio-cultural change through By Agnes Kisembo Gender equality is premised on the fact that men and women are born equal and as such, should be treated as equal partners in all development processes. This should be reflected in the respect for human rights for all, equal participation, access to opportunities and shared responsibilities between women and men, boys and girls at all levels. Empowerment is attained when the rights of women and men, boys and girls are preserved and protected and they are free from discrimination and exploitation. Equality does not mean that women and men are alike, but that they are born and posses different potential and gifts and both require space to exercise their potential and freedom of expression. Gender inequalities exist because society and structures have permitted it. Therefore, achieving equality should not be a women’s issue, but should be the concern of men and boys as well. Equality between women and men is both a human right and a precondition for sustainable and people- centered development. Achieving gender equality requires that the interests, needs, priorities and contributions of both women and men are taken into consideration, while recognizing the diversity of different groups of women and men. It is when women and men are free to make informed choices without fear of being discriminated or coerced that empowerment will be realized. The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women 13 was the first United Nations inter-governmental body to address the engagement and responsibility of men and boys in a comprehensive manner. The Commission considered the issue of the role of men and boys in socialisation and educational processes and sensitizing men particularly in male- dominated institutions, industries and associations regarding their roles and responsibilities in the promotion of gender equality and the full enjoyment of all human rights by women. In2006,atits50th Session,theCommission on the status of women highlighted the importance of education and the sensitization of boys in their formative years both through the formal educational system and in informal settings through peer programmes. Public information campaigns were highlighted as important mechanisms for disseminating positive messages. Close collaboration with civil society was also recorded as an effective measure. Furthermore, men’s partnerships in anti- violence campaigns and in women’s groups are critical because they are a powerful and practical demonstration of shared interest in stamping out violence. Agnes Kisembo is a Programme Specialist, UN Women Participants during a partnership training programme
  35. 35. UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 35 By Dr. Hilda M. Tadria The Mentoring and Empowerment Programme for Young Women (MEMPROW) addresses three issues in the process of empowering girls and young women: Firstly, it addresses Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) against girls in primary and secondary schools because this is one of the major barriers to girls’educational attainment. SGBV is still endemic. Secondly, it addresses girls’ low social esteem and confidence; and thirdly, it addresses their life skills and knowledge, such as sexual and reproductive health information, entrepreneurship and leadership skills. MEMPROW addresses these issues Dr. Tadria (with head scarf) at a function because gender inequality in Uganda affects young women in multiple ways and more adversely than any other category of people. For example, evidence from the Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS 2011) indicates very high vulnerability of women to violence. “Almost four in ten women (39%) age 15- 49 have ever experienced sexual violence, compared to one in ten men (11%)”. In education, a UNICEF report (2008) highlights some of the reasons for girls’ under-performance and under visibility in education. These include; their susceptibility to violence, compromised gender equality in school processes, and teachers’ negative attitudes to girls capabilities. Lack of self-esteem, confidence, and weak life skills among girls and young women are also examples of gender inequalities. These are clearly manifested in the girls’ and young women’s sexual and reproductive health status. Young school girls experience extreme pressure for sex, not just from boys of their age but equally, if not more so, from teachers, their guardians and male relatives. As a result, “six out of 10 (58 %) girls have their sexual encounter before they are 18 years compared to boys at 47%”; and “one- quarter of women age 15-49 (24%)”, say their first sexual intercourse was forced against their will. The negative implications and impact of all this on the girl child can only be imagined. However, a few examples show the gravity of the impact the girls’lives. Statistics from the Population Secretariat MEMPROW Targets Men for Girl-Child Empowerment Photo:ShawnMakumbi
  36. 36. UGANDA WOMAN March 201436 show there has been a 24% increase in teen pregnancies with 12% of these ending in unsafe abortions. This is an indication of lack of life skills as well as inadequate access to sexual reproductive health knowledge and services. The link between early sex and girl-child education attainment is even clearer. For example, UDHS 2011 reveals that while there is almost no gender gap (0.96) at Primary education level, this drops to 0.86 at Secondary level. The link between the girls’ sexual reproductive health status and school dropout is very clear; the differences in the proportion of male and female school attendance becomes starkly visible at the age of 16 when the proportion of males attending school becomes higher than that of girls. To involve men and boys in the empowerment of women and girls, MEMPROW has defined a two-pronged approach. The first approach targets changing the mind-sets, developing self- esteem and providing life skills knowledge and skills to girls and young women. This approach is based on conviction that change begins with women and girls. It is also based on the belief that unless girls and young women understand the basis of their exclusion and marginalization, they cannot understand where change needs to happen and to demand for it. The centre of operation is the school where MEMPROW works with girls to enhance their belief in self and value to society and to improve their performance. MEMPROW’s second target for change is society’s negative mind-sets and attitudes to rights and capabilities of girls and young women. The devaluation of girls and women is a direct consequence of our patriarchal systems in which the power relations are clearly and unequally defined on the basis of gender. While the women are custodians of this patriarchal system, men define the framework of operation. MEMPROW therefore notes that in order to change the negative cultural context in which gender inequalities are sustained they must work with boys and men. The organisation specifically targets teachers and community leaders, almost all of whom are men, to enhance their understanding of the value of a gender equal society and a school that is free of sexual violence to girls’ performance and education attainment. The negative attitudes of male teachers and students to girls’ capabilities and value in society are major contributors to girls’ poor performance. As a result, the protection of school girls from sexual violence and their rights to education is the centre of MEMPROW’s advocacy work The organisation has anecdotal evidence showing that in the schools MEMPROW work in, girls’ attitudes to education and perceptions of themselves have changed positively. Girls are beginning to recognize that change starts with them as advanced by this testimony of one girl after a social survival training by MEMPROW: “The training has changed my perspective towards sexual relationships, I have a boy friend who has been pushing me to have sex with him, but this training has helped me discover that a person who wants sex from me at my age does not love me and only wants to use me. I am going to break this relationship when I return home for holidays.” In another example, the information we have is that pregnancy related school drop-out has not been registered since MEMPROW started working in the school. Working with school teachers and community leaders, the organisation has been able to work towards the valuation of the girl child. Male teachers and students in schools are beginning to appreciate the role they can play in eliminating gender violence in their schools. The approach is proving that empowering girls is necessary, but that without partnership with men and boys it is not sufficient to keep them in school. Dr. Hilda M. Tadria is a Gender and Social Development Specialist Students involved in MEMPROW activities: The programme provides lifeskills knowledge to girls
  37. 37. UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 37 By Regina Bafaki Men play different roles either as household, cultural, political or religious leaders.Theycontrolaccesstoinformation, services, finances and other key resources including land. As Heads of State and Government, as ministers and Members of Parliament, as leaders of religious institutions, as judges and law enforcers, as clan and village heads, or indeed as husbands and fathers, men often wield enormous power over various aspects of women’s lives. Therefore, gender equality cannot be realised without the involvement and cooperation of men. Cognisant of the key role men are capable of playing in championing gender equality, Action for Development (ACFODE) an indigenous, voluntary, non-partisan, non-governmental women’s interest organization piloted a male champion approach in the Lango sub region. It was envisaged that an increase in the number of males engaged in the promotion of positive social cultural practices in selected communities would cause change in the gender disparities. Theorganisationidentified120outstanding male social actors – who included clan leaders, religious leaders from different religious denominations, political and technical leaders, including Local Council chairpersons and parish chiefs. These were sensitized on the existing harmful socio- cultural practices in their region and they made commitments to advocate for gender responsive socio- cultural practices. Thereafter, they were commissioned as Male Role Models. Interactions with this group later revealed that, now, the men understand and appreciate the different negative and positive socio-cultural practices. One male role model had this to say: “We were practicing behaviour that degrades women, for example leaving all the domestic work to them; refusing them to own property, including land; and taking control of all the produce during harvest time.” They revealed that now women can take part in activities initially done by men only, such as inheriting property. Women can also participate in leadership, including holdingpoliticalofficesandclanleadership positions. The Male Role Models have demystified gender equality through practice and change of attitude in their homes. They have mobilised and sensitized fellow men, teachers and school children on issues such as: domestic violence, women’s right to own land, girls’ and women’s right to choose a husband, without being forced into any marriage or widow inheritance, children’s rights, including equal right of boys and girls to access education; and, women’s ability to hold leadership positions, among others. The men have used different avenues and platforms they find convenient such as churches and mosques, funeral gatherings, drinking places, family meetings and clan meetings among others.As a result, several people in the community have started to change and respect women’s views and opinions in a number of aspects, and cases of domestic violence have reportedly reduced. The Ibuje sub-County Police Officer in- charge of Station stated that; “We used to receive a lot of cases at the Police Station. Many women were reporting their husbands for battering them. In a month we would record around 28 cases but now we just record 6 to 9 cases. The intervention has helped the families to unite and solve cases amicably.” The role models have encouraged women to take part in decision-making in their homes. Accordingly, negative attitudes towards women are beginning to change. There is co-operation in households as proceeds from the farm sales are shared between husband and wife, and cases of domestic violence have reduced. For example, during harvest time, there used to be many cases of domestic violence; now women know their rights and often stand up to demand for accountability from their husbands. The role models have appreciated the intervention saying; “Bringing women nearer planning and decision-making processes is good for development. The approach being used by ACFODE is unique and engaging. I feel that as a man I have great responsibility to play in the promotion of gender equality.” Growing Gender Equality in Communities Women building a latrine: A case of women empowerment
  38. 38. UGANDA WOMAN March 201438 NAWOU Guides on how Men can Champion Women Causes By Monica Emiru Enyou It is widely acknowledged that gender equality cannot be realized through actions of women alone. The cooperation and participation of men is a very important ingredient in achieving gender equality. In Uganda, and indeed in many developing countries, men are the power- holders over culture and tradition which guide relationships between women and men in families and communities. Also, gender roles and relations are dependent on social contexts in which cultural, religious, economic, political and social circumstances are inter-twined. Over the last twenty years, the National Association of Women Organizations in Uganda (NAWOU) has been working with its members, who are women civil society organizations such as women’s groups, community based organizations (CBOs), faith based organizations (FBOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) across the country to build their capacities to promote gender equality and eliminate negative practices such as gender based violence (GBV). ACFODE targets boys and girls within 70 primary and secondary schools across the country. It piloted a boys led peer education model in four primary schools in Lango sub- Region. Through a media campaign children were sensitized on their rights. Child rights clubs were formed and 30 senior teachers were oriented on children’s rights, equality of boys and girls as a source for peace within schools and homes, detecting and reporting any form of sexual violence within the school. The members of the clubs actively participated in developing talking- compound messages which are placed in strategic locations around the school compounds. “There should be equal rights and responsibilities for both boys’ and girls’, ‘SendAll Children to School’, ‘Stop Child Labour’ and ‘Stop Early Marriages’ are some of such messages.” The relative status of men and women; the interaction between gender and race, class and ethnicity and questions of rights, control, ownership, power and voice have a critical impact on the success and sustainability of every development intervention. Therefore, ACFODE will continue empowering women and girls, but also increasingly involve males as key partners in advocacy for gender equality. Regina Bafaki is the Executive Director, Action for Development (ACFODE) Men attend a community sensitisation meeting
  39. 39. UGANDA WOMAN March 2014 39 (NAPAKAWO) marketing network and micro credit programme offered economic empowerment training to its members. Thereafter, the women decided to grow and sell groundnuts. The men supported the project because they had been consulted from the beginning. The men opened up the land and participated in other farming activities as well. They also allowed the women to take control over the proceeds from the project. From the proceeds of the groundnut project, the women have expanded to other income generating activities. In Kayunga, the promotion of the rights of women and gender equality through the popularization of the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Violence against Women (CEDAW) attracted the involvement of men. Mr. Collin Kafeero, a Community Development Officer who was part of the project still updates NAWOU regarding progress on realization of the rights of women in Kayunga. He confesses that the training opened his mind and changed his perception about women’s rights. The CBO capacity building project in Agago, Moroto and Soroti engaged 12 CBOs and equipped them with various skills including; governance, leadership, programme design, monitoring, evaluation, networking and advocacy skills. The members, one third of whom were men, were also sensitized about human rights and gender equality. During monitoring in Agago, it was established that the project was able to extend its village savings and loans to more women as a result of implementing projects with limited funds. Furthermore, it was established that CBOs in Agago, with mixed membership, developed a position paper demanding for action on defilement and GBV. In Moroto, the men engaged the warriors and other men who are the perpetrators of GBV. In Apac, Kanungu, Mubende and Sironko, combating GBV through drama has attracted male involvement. Mr. Obote, who was a renowned wife-beater, reformed after receiving advice and counseling from the Ocan Onote Group. He stopped drinking alcohol and started participating in domestic chores. Now, he is an advocate against wife beating and other forms of GBV. Then, a lady revealed that the drama and community dialogue changed her husband and now, he is supportive of her and the children. Despite, these achievements, equality between women and men, is still a far cry for women in Uganda. For instance, the practical and strategic gender needs of womenarestilllacking,theimplementation of policy and enforcement of legislation is inadequate, also, institutions need to prioritize women and girls and mainstream their concerns in all their programmes. NAWOU adds its voice to the call for all actors to work together, build partnerships with men so that the goal of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls is achieved. Monica Emiru Enyou is the Secretary General, NAWOU Experienceindicatesthatpromotinggender equality and elimination of GBV can only be achieved when women and men work together to identify the underlying causes to the challenges, design mechanisms for response and implement them together. Male involvement is not about bringing men into the project as observers and/ or recipients of programme interventions. It entails involvement of men right from the design and inception of project, consulting men and women regarding the underlying issues to be addressed and the best strategies to apply to obtain results. Men have been very instrumental where their participation is sought from the beginning and the fruits of male involvement have began to show. In the Eastern Region the Nakapiripirit, Pallisa and Katakwi Women Women and men farm together in Kabale Photo:PaulWambi