ACFODE in partnership with the British Council and with support from the European Union conducted refresher trainings in Apac and Pader districts for women councilors, social actors and the civil society organizations. The exercise was intended to identify experiences encountered by CEDAW committees in the course of popularizing women’s rights in their communities. The activity attracted 121 participants (81 females and 40 males) from both districts.
During the event, it was learnt that from the sensitization offered by ACFODE, people have knowledge on their human rights, however there are still some gaps that need redress. Among the key issues that stood out from both districts included women discrimination in political, public, education and health sectors.
Women like Acaa Filda from Ogom sub county are supported to attend ACFODE events such as these with their babies
Some of the other issues that hinder growth, development and change among the community members in the aspects of women in leadership and education are cultural perceptions. These bear negative impact on the development of women in the society and they have to be dealt with absolute care so that women are not left out in decision making processes whether it is at the household, local or national level as women are an integral part of the society and should therefore be part of the development process in their nation.
Concerning education, most women noted that despite sensitization, most girls lack access to education as they are still perceived as being more productive in the kitchen and therefore the boy child is given priority and yet this lack of education directly limits and hinders their opportunities.
Furthermore, political representation of the women is still a big issue as many women are still unable to participate in political and public leadership. This is mainly because of the cultural attitudes towards the women in political life. Women are still looked down upon and many men have the wrong perception that when a woman becomes a public figure, she loses respect for her husband and also becomes adulterous. This was also reechoed during the radio talk show that was held in Radio Luo in Pader and Radio Divine in Apac district where the callers were very skeptical about the women in political leadership.
In regard to their role as leaders, women still have trouble getting information from the various sources especially the police. This has especially affected their effectiveness as leaders and therefore they were encouraged to be diligent in seeking information that they can use for lobbying and advocating for pressing issues in their communities thereby causing positive change. In view of this, participants strongly pledged to continue sensitizing their communities for advancement.
Women councilors in Apac district pose for a group pnoto during the follow up training on Gender and Human rights
As an organization that seeks to promote gender equality, our hope is that we shall be able to change the attitudes and mindsets of the people in the different cultural settings so that women are integrated in the development process of the country. Positive cultural values ought to be upheld so that the advancement of women is clearly realized in all spheres.
Human Rights Department