“Kabale does not usually get such workshops that focus directly on the women legislators. This has reminded us of our debt to the women and the issues they voted us into office for,” noted ,Hon. Loy Zikampulira, the District Speaker Kabale District.
Action for Development (ACFODE) with partners Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) organized a mentoring and coaching workshop for the district caucus of Kabale. This was to impart the leaders with skills on documentation, resource mobilization, advocacy and influencing council decisions.
The caucus formed after the 2016 general elections is yet to perform to their (women leaders) expectations. They still have a lot of internal challenges, as well as skills and knowledge gaps.
It is against this background that, ACFODE encouraged the women councilors to form caucuses. The caucuses bring together women leaders belonging to different parties to harness, strategize and build consensus on critical issues affecting them as leaders and women/ girls within their communities for common actions to take either within or out of council. The caucuses provide the women leaders with one voice to speak when pushing for women’s concerns and issues on the floor of council.
It has however been noted that women leaders especially those in the local councils are still unable to effectively articulate the interests of women for various reasons including limited knowledge on relevant laws and policies on their roles and responsibilities; lack of essential skills like lobbying, advocacy, communication and resource mobilization, limited exposure, as well as the dynamics of multiparty politics which emphasizes supporting party positions regardless of whether or not they promote the interests of the electorate.
A participant explaining her views to the audience
Hon. Bridget Tumwesigye, the district Vice Chairperson also noted that the inclusion of the Women’s Manifesto was good; for most people manifestos end with the campaign period, but the session of the women’s manifesto was a reminder of how much work is still needed to be done.
The workshop also included male councilors, this was in recognition of the fact women councilors need the support of their male counterparts to push for women’s concerns in district budgets and work plans.
Contributing towards the session on Gender, Mr. Pius Twinomugisha said he was very glad ACFODE had called the councilors, “There’s an assumption that we understand gender and women’s issues and yet we don’t. I have learnt a lot and I pledge to support women’s issues,” he said. At the end of the training the District Caucus made Action Plans, based on the five issues of the Women’s Manifesto and pledged to go back to their fellow councilors with the knowledge gained and prioritize the issues of women and girls in their constituencies.
Human Rights and governance department