The newly elected Executive Committee for the Pader District Women Administrators Forum
From the 2nd to 7th of September 2013, ACFODE with support from Diakonia and the Netherlands government carried out workshops aimed at building the capacity of female public administrators in Pader, Dokolo and Namutumba districts to harness their individual and collective potential for greater influence in their districts of leadership. The workshops enabled ACFODE to follow up on the commitments made by the female administrators during dialogues held in September 2012 in the targeted districts. Specifically, commitments were made to form and enforce three forums for women in public administration, that is, the Pader District Women Administrators Forum, Dokolo District Women Administrator's Forum and the Namutumba District Women Administrators Forum.
In addition, the participants were trained on gender sensitive planning, coalition building and goal setting. A Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis of the district forums exposed a number of common weaknesses such as; low attendance to forum meetings due to great distance between members sub counties of operation, poor coordination of the forums due to a shaky Executive Structure, and low self esteem among several members.
As a result, the forums were facilitated in a session on goal, vision, mission and objective setting. This was followed by re- elections of the existing Executive Committees, in order to ensure the existence of leaders who are committed to the attainment of the forum vision.
Despite the apparent challenges however, the workshop participants were able to report significant achievements both as individuals and as district forums. Some of these include;
ALICE AYO OGAL
HUMAN RESOURCE OFFICER PADER DISTRICT LOCAL GOVERNMENT
CHAIR PERSON-PADER DISTRICT WOMEN ADMINISTRATORS FORUM
My name is Alice and I am a beneficiary of the first training for female public administrators organized by ACFODE in 2012. Before the training, I had submitted to the District Service Commission (DSC) a request for the promotion of two female staff, that is, Lamaci Christine an Accounts Assistant and Amony Christine Ruth a Health Inspector. The person working as the Secretary, DSC at the time refused to work on the two files simply because he had a negative attitude towards female employees. All my efforts to follow up the matter were fruitless.
When ACFODE brought a workshop for women administrators in 2012, they trained us on the importance of our voices in the society and the power of a good legacy as a woman administrator. I regained confidence and determination to return to the DSC. I was relieved to find a new Secretary in place, and I resubmitted my request after explaining the importance of promoting the two female employees.
As a result of my efforts, Lamaci Christine was promoted to senior accounts assistant. Although Ruth Christine Amony's promotion hasn't been realized yet, I am confident that it is currently being processed.
HEAD TEACHER, IGULI PRIMARY SCHOOL
I attended the ACFODE training in September 2012 and I was able to learn a number of things. I learned that it is important to leave a good legacy behind as a leader and that an effective leader makes her voice heard on issues of importance. I realized that in my school, girls were afraid to take up leadership positions. Therefore, in October 2012 I instituted empowerment sessions for girls. As a result, the girls stood for leadership positions in 2013 and as I speak, the overall Head Prefect at Iguli Primary school is a girl, Annet Akello, while the Head of English is also a girl, Flavia Egol. I am determined to empower these girls; recently a few months ago I was called away from school for a day and I appointed Annet Akello as AGG Head Teacher, although she was afraid of the responsibility. When I returned, the school was in order and everyone including teachers were able to give her respect because of her maturity in leadership. I was impressed and glad that her leadership skills are being developed.
I also encourage my female teaching staff regularly to develop their potential, and even apply for positions of leadership whenever an opportunity arises. This is because most of them are shy and afraid of men. However, I am glad to report that the Dokolo district local government is set to advertise for head teacher positions in government schools in October, and my female teachers are eagerly looking forward to submitting their applications. I am glad that they are not shying away from great responsibility.
In addition, one of my female teachers, who was totally dependent on her husband for money, failed to take her children to school when he denied his responsibility. I encouraged her to take leadership of her home, and taught her how to budget her salary. She was soon able to open a simple lock-up next to her home where she sells bread that she bakes from home as well as some agricultural products including simsim, millet and maize from her garden. Her children are back in school and she is a stronger woman.
LILLIAN GRACE OCARI
SECRETARY, DOKOLO WOMEN ADMINISTRATORS FORUM
It was evening when my phone rang and I was informed that one of the members of the Dokolo District Women Administrators Forum, Ms Lydia Ogwal, had lost her husband. Thankfully, luck was on our side because the Forum committee meeting was scheduled for the next day. I used my office as the committee secretary to present to the meeting the need to offer emotional and financial support to the bereaved member. I further requested the committee to send representatives to the funeral.
To my satisfaction, the members gave financial assistance to the tune of 900,000/- and others ensured their physical presence at the burial. As a result of our concerted effort to attend the burial as a forum, we gained visibility from other districts that were represented. This experience taught us a great lesson; that the formation of a forum for women public administrators is a strong factor that unites us despite our diverse professions. Therefore, we are determined to maintain its existence.
HEAD TEACHER, BUWAMBI PRIMARY SCHOOL
After the ACFODE training in September 2012, I learned that as a leader, it is important to leave a good legacy. Therefore, in July 2013 I gathered all 6 female teachers from my school and formed a female teachers association. The association exists to promote the economic development of its members. Every month members contribute 30,000/- each to a construction fund and the lump sum is given to a chosen member to build her family home. So far, our group Treasurer has been able to Plaster the walls of her house, as a result of this fund.
Our association also collects an extra 3,000/-, from members on a weekly basis as part of a fund to purchase agricultural products. At the end of the month, we divide the products amongst ourselves and trade them for regular income. I am grateful to ACFODE for teaching me such relevant leadership skills, which are of benefit not only to me, but people around me.
SENIOR PERSONNEL OFFICER
CHAIR PERSON-NAMUTUMBA DISTRICT WOMEN ADMINISTRATOR'S FORUM
The Namutumba District Technical Planning Committee had only one woman representative, before the ACFODE training in September 2012. After learning about the need for greater representation of women public administrators in decision making positions, we as the Namutumba District Women Administrators Forum encouraged more women to apply for positions, when vacancies became available. As a result, 3 more members of the forum applied and were accepted into the district planning committee.
In addition, due to the increased representation of the forum on the committee, we have been able to advocate for women to be given special consideration for promotions. Some members of the forum have been promoted at the District due to this effort, they include;
Ms. Rose Kagere- Assistant Chief Administrative Officer (ACAO).
Ms. Esther Nandase- Senior Probation Officer.
Zainabu Kagoya- Senior Personnel Officer
PUBLICE RELATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER
ACTION FOR DEVELOPMENT
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