Reports from Nebbi and Oyam districts indicate that clan leaders are spear heading awareness creation on women’s rights in Nebbi and Oyam districts. Considering most cultural beliefs and norms are opposed to having women at the forefront, their involvement in realizing women’s rights envisions gender responsive communities is paramount. This was learnt during a follow up meeting for CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against women) committees on the 2nd and 3rd in Oyam District and on 4th and 5th in Nebbi District.
The follow up meetings intended to; share experiences on how the knowledge was put to use through the various CEDAW committees based on the drawn Action Plans, track progress and capture change stories following the implementation of the action plans, share challenges faced by the participants in trying to put the knowledge acquired to work, identify existing knowledge gaps following the initial training on women’s rights based on CEDAW and offer appropriate refresher training, as well as get feedback and recommendations from participants on how to best improve the project.
A participant makes a presentation during the meeting
The committees resulted from the Gender and Human Rights trainings held in the named districts and are composed of women councilors, social actors and civil society actors totaling to 151 members (97 female and 45 male). These have been effective in monitoring, advocating, lobbying, as well creating awareness on women’s rights.
Committees have reached out to different communities to sensitize citizen’s hence changing people’s attitude towards women. Hon Anna Ongom form Oyam district noted that “it is very important that clan leaders are involved in the project because they are the judges in clan courts, where cases of domestic violence are mainly handled. Men have always taken sides with their fellow men. Whenever a woman is taken to a clan court, she is intimidated, harassed and branded as big headed and above all women are not allowed to defend themselves even when they are innocent.”
The activity is under the project: Action for strengthening Institutions and Communities in Promoting Women’ Rights and it is conducted in partnership with British Council and with the support from European Union. The project aims at strengthening the participation of women in the social, economic and political life in support of a society where women and men are valued equally and have equal access to opportunities, resources and government development Programs.
A clan leader shares how they are creating awareness about women’s rights
Volunteer – Human Rights and Governance Department