Thursday, January 27, 2011

Major ACFODE Highlights for the month of January

Board Retreat

It took place from the 14th-16th of Jan.2011. ACFODE Board of Directors, which entails of Jane Nakintu Chairperson, Alice Bwongyeirwe – Treasurer, Regina Bafaki – Secretary, Helen Twongyeirwe, Gertrude Sekabira, Christine Kawasiima, Robert Kabaale and Dr. Florence Muhanuzi (members) and George Kanyomoozi – ACFODE Staff Representative met to review ACFODE’s achievements in 2010 and to also lay strategies for 2011.

The Board reviewed its performance as well as ACFODE's 2011 work plan.

Networking activities

ACFODE attended a consultative meeting organized by UNIFEM and The National Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (NACWOLA) to discuss the ‘the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Bill 2010.’ The meeting highlighted the specific concerns NACWOLA such as mandatory testing, disclosure and criminalization of transmission among others. These were raised in light of Uganda's international, regional and national human rights obligations.

We also attend an International Conference organized by Brac on ‘Creating Useful Knowledge for Africa’s Development.’ Experiences from different sectors of development were reviewed in order to provide better understanding of the processes and challenges of useful knowledge creation, in the context of Africa and with particular emphasis on Uganda. Experiences from other developing countries about knowledge transfer and translation were also explored. Issues relating to scaling up HIV AIDS Research in Uganda, Research Innovation for Equity, Livelihoods and knowledge, the demand and usage of financial services in Uganda were discussed among others.

ACFDOE also attended the Women Cluster meeting organized by HURINET. It meant to lay a strategy for 2011 amongst member organizations.

On going activities

Popularizing the Citizens Manifesto in districts of Kisoro and Soroti

ACFODE in collaboration with NGO Forum held one day candidates’ forums in the districts of Kisoro and Soroti . The purpose of these fora was to create a platform for grass-root women and aspiring political candidates where critical women issues and demands raised in the Citizens Manifesto were to be discussed.


Action for Development supported by the International Centre for Research on Women is undertaking a research project entitled “Exploring access to justice through traditional mechanisms and the formal justice system for women who experience violence” The study is being conducted in four Sub Counties of Bwambara and Nyakishenyi in Rukungiri district (western Uganda) plus Apara and Ogur in Lira district in the north.

Submitted By Sandra Nassali

Public Relations & Communications Officer

Action For Development

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Trafficking of girls and women still on the rise in Uganda

Following a recent post in the New Vision, one of Uganda’s daily newspapers; trafficking of girls and young women is still awfully apparent in the country. Though the Government signed The Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act (2010), very few strategic action points have been taken to fully implement the law which is meant to protect all persons regardless of sex, age or demographic status from the occurrence.

In their concluding remarks about Uganda, the CEDAW committee noted with concern about the statistics on the number of women and girls who are victims of trafficking for sexual and economic exploitation. Against this background, the committee urged the state to fully implement article 6 of the Convention, including through the effective implementation of the new legislation on trafficking, ensuring that the perpetrators are punished and victims adequately protected and assisted.

According to the post in the New Vision of 24th.Jan 2011, Ugandan women mainly in their early 20s are being sold in Asian countries to work as prostitutes.

Read more..

Submitted By Sandra Nassali

Public Relations & Communications Officer

Action For Development

Civil Society Organisations agree on a way forward after the Geneva CEDAW Convention

Following up on the concluding remarks and observations on Uganda by the 47th Conclusions by the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Committee that gathered in Geneva from 4th-22 October 2010, ACFODE took up a number of activities to inform, support, lobby and advocate for their implementation . Among these were a Press Conference that was held on the 18th of Jan. 2011 and a workshop that took place on the 20th.Jan.2011 at ACFODE House.

In 2010, CEDAW ratified states gathered in Geneva to discuss the status of gender-related issues. Uganda, represented by a number of councils from the Government, Civil Society and NGOs was part of the event. The CEDAW Committee commended Uganda, for the roles she has played in eliminating discrimination against women.

Notably among these commendation were the inaction of; The Domestic Violence Act 3 (2010), The Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act 5 (2010) and The amendments to the Penal Code prohibiting defilement of girls and boys (2007).

During the convention, a number of concluding observations and recommendations for Uganda were reached by CEDAW committee, basing on issues that limit/foster the protection, empowerment and involvement of women in the social, political and economic spheres of the life.

The Committee took note of a number of important decisions of the Constitutional Court that declare part of the existing legislation unconstitutional for being discriminatory against women for example the discriminatory laws in the legislative system, poor visibility of the CEDAW and continued weak institutional capacity of the ministry of Gender.

Following this high-level dialogue between the Government of Uganda and the committee, ACFODE, one of the organizations that attended IWRAW training and the CEDAW Reporting, organized a number of activities (press brief and workshop) with support from IWRAW. The purposes of holding the activities were as follows:

• To disseminate the CEDAW Committee’s Concluding Observations to different stakeholders

• To share experiences gained at the IWRAW training and the CEDAW Sessions with national women’s rights activists

• To advocate to the State Party to implement the Convention and the Concluding Observations.

Outputs from the press conference

• A total of 47 journalists attended the press briefing and were equipped with knowledge on CEDAW Committee’s Concluding Observations on Uganda for onward broadcasting on radio and TV stations as well as in the print media

• Different media houses aired the concluding CEDAW Committee observation on Uganda as a State Party for instance Nile Broadcasting Corporation, one of the most popular local television channel.

• The press conference provided an opportunity for the media to interact with ACFODE and other civil society organization that were represented

Outputs from the workshop

A one day workshop was held on 20th January 2011. In attendance were representatives from women rights organizations; other CSOs, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development; Ministry of Health; United Nations High Commissioner For Human Rights; European Union and the Media. A total 42 participants attended. The purpose of the workshop was to provide a platform for women who attended the CEDAW session in Geneva to share their experiences, discuss the CEDAW concluding recommendations on Uganda with participants and determine how best to take the issues forward.

In the way forward organizations agreed that ACFODE:

• Compile the proceedings of the workshop and forward to all participants.

• Send a formal communication to all organizations requesting them to come with concrete actions since majority of the participants didn’t have the mandate to commit the organizations

• Follow up on the organizations to ensure that they submit their action plans/points within a period of three weeks

• Coordinate and involve the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development in the whole process

• Form a cohesive and coherent CSOs coalition to ensure follow up of workshop deliberations, awareness and advocacy on the Concluding Observations

Participants also appreciated the issues that were raised by the CEDAW Committee on women’s rights promotion in Uganda. As CSOs, they realized that it is their role to follow up and ensure that the Government meets its obligation in addressing issues of discrimination against women. A quick observation made by the participants during the workshop was that they had been re-energized to monitor and disseminate information on concluding observations as evidenced by the actions that they identified to follow up.

Submitted By Sandra Nassali

Public Relations & Communications Officer

Action For Development

DEMGroup’s account on the participation of women in the upcoming 2011 Electoral process in Uganda

Uganda is approaching its second national general election since Her return to multi-party democracy in 2006. Acknowledging past electoral problems and noting that the forthcoming elections may be very competitive and turbulent, DEMGroup, a consortium of four civil society organizations i.e Action for development (Centre for Democratic Governance) Uganda joint Christian council, and Transparency international Uganda; is undertaking a series of activities to foster free, fair and transparent elections in accordance with national, regional and international standards. Particularly among these was a press conference held on 20th Jan.2011.

Having been attended by over 30 journalists from different media houses, an open door was established for the statement to have good coverage in the country.

Ms. Regina Bafaki, a board member for DEMGroup addressed the press. She noted that the statement was a follow up activity for a study that was carried out to evaluate the representation of women in the political process of Uganda.

Drawing on their 215 constituency observers, 22 regional observers, focus group discussions, key informant interviews, Electoral Commission data and recent opinion pollings, DEMGroup established the following key findings and recommendations:

• 63% more women are participating as candidates for affirmative action seats in 2011 than did in 2006. In the future, performance must be tracked to determine if the increased competition within affirmative action seats results in better quality policy outcomes for women.

• It is clear that both men and women support the idea of gender equality in political representation. Both men and women listed many positive attributes that women can and do bring to politics that could make them more desirable as elected officials. Despite this the same respondents (both male and female) would overwhelmingly support a man over a woman if they were contesting.

• The above finding partially explains why women make up only 37% of the candidates in the 2011 election though they are legally eligible to contest for 100% of the seats. At Parliamentary level in the 2011 elections, only 46 out of 1269 (4%) are contesting. In 2006 it was 28 women out of 808 at 3.4%.

• Both socio-economic and cultural barriers hinder women’s competition and endearing non-affirmative action seats. Poor and rural communities depend upon and therefore prioritize women to play other roles in society including caring for the family and supporting the family livelihood rather than public service.

• Activists seeking to promote equality in politics and the positive policy outcomes that come along note that the most important and strategic step to take is the move from knowledge distribution to action oriented strategies that give women more tools to participate in public life.

• Political Parties’ provision of equal opportunities for women and men to represent the parties should be worked upon to have clear quotas for key positions. The Electoral Commission nomination returns, participation of women for all political party positions shows NRM leading with 43% followed by UPC with 32%, FDC and DP at 31%. PPP16%, UFA has 16% while PPD has 0% women representation. Even with this portrayal there are still no mechanisms in place to guarantee women participation in party politics. DEMGroup therefore recommends that women’s activism for gender equality in politics should target political parties and insist that each party must clearly state the proportion of women to men (quota ) for positions in party leadership and constituency representation. South Africa ‘s practice is very positive where proportional representation is used across all political parties and therefore; Uganda can draw lessons from there.

• Violence against women continues to happen. Judging from the community responses given in focus groups and surveys, its not s matter that’s taken seriously. Most of the violence is talked about but not reported. Against this background, DEMGroup demanded for more documentation focusing on violence against women during elections. The organization has a free hot-line ‘6090 Ugandan Watch; The Citizens’ Reporting Hotline’ where Ugandan citizens can call/ text to detail such cases as well.

Submitted By Sandra Nassali

Public Relations & Communications Officer

Action For Development

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

ACFODE joins the Face Book world

Face book, a social networking site launched in 2004 is changing the professional ways on how different organizations operate. With more than 500 million members worldwide, it is the most popular social networking site on the internet today.

Social Networking Sites (SNSs) can be defined as web-based services that allow individuals/organizations to (1) construst a public or semi public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system.

Since their introduction, SNSs such as MySpace, Facebook, Cyworld, and Bebo have attracted millions of users, many of whom have integrated these sites into their daily practices. As of this writing, there are hundreds of SNSs, with various technological affordances, supporting a wide range of interests and practices.

While their key technological features are fairly consistent, the cultures that emerge around SNSs are varied. Most sites support the maintenance of pre-existing social networks, but others help strangers connect based on shared interests, political views, or activities.

Some sites cater to diverse audiences, while others attract people based on common language or shared racial, sexual, religious, or nationality-based identities. Sites also vary in the extent to which they incorporate new information and communication tools, such as mobile connectivity, blogging, and photo/video-sharing.

What you will find on our fans Page


Ellison, Steinfield, and Lampe (2007) suggest that Facebook is used to maintain existing offline relationships or solidify offline connections, as opposed to meeting new people. These relationships may be weak ties, but typically there is some common offline element among individuals who friend one another, such as a shared a goal, interest or objective. On this page, ACFODE and the fans will have an opportunity to bond and network.

Specifically reach out to our fans' interests

Facebook's publicity placement system is people centric. The site has a huge database of personal information of people including age, gender, address, likes, dislikes, marital status, employment information and the live stream of current status messages. This provides Facebook with a lot more leverage when it comes to targeted publicity. Prompts can be placed by selecting very specific details ofa user's profile. With this in place, ACFODE will be in position to find out what our fans' interests are and then reach out to them considerably.

Knowledge sharing platform

Since facebook also acts as a knowledge sharing platform, ACFODE will be in a position to share the latest information and updates about her activities to the fans i.e blogs, photos, videos etc). So you get to find out the latest features and highlights from ACFODE on this page. The page also allows you the fans to share any information from your own personal opinions with the organization.

Click here to follow us on facebook

Thank you

Submitted By Sandra Nassali

Public Relations & Communications Officer

Action For Development