Friday, December 16, 2011


From the 25th of November to the 10th of December 2011; ACFODE joined the rest of the world to celebrate the 16 Days of Activism against Violence Against Women. This time however, it was not business as usual as a number of innovative approaches were used to raise awareness at the local and national level about violence against women and girls, and how it can be mitigated.

First were the skaters who were clad in white t-shirts with advocacy messages against VAW located on different 6 roundabouts (Clock Tower, Jinja Road, Bwaise, Nateete, Wandegeya and Spear Motors junction) in Kampala distributing information packages on VAW to people in cars, on the streets, shops and in offices on the 25th of November.
Each information pack consisted of a paper bag, fact sheet, ribbon and car sticker.

The packs had information about the causes of VAW, its effects, and info on how it can be prevented/ ended. They also had information that challenged receipts to be actors in preventing/ ending VAW by for instance having respect for women and girls, giving necessary support to survivors, speaking out against VAW, encouraging survivors to break the silence, promoting a culture that fronts the protection of women and girls, and reporting any incidences of VAW to the LC or the Police.

After distributing the packs at about 10 am, the skaters headed for a Road Show that started from Buganda Road Play Grounds, to Game Stores in Lugogo. During the road show, the skaters were holding placards with messages advocating for women and girls’ right so that they too are in position to enjoy a peaceful life. Examples of the messages that were embedded on placards include; act now! stop violence against women and girls, we all have a right to be safe: protect women and girls from violence, and violence against women is a violation of human rights. stop it!

In order to reach a wider audience and sensitize more people on women and girls’ rights, ACFODE launched a National Awareness Media Campaign on VAW on CBS Radio on the 25th of November, with spot ads running throughout the 16 Days, challenging Ugandans to prevent, and end all forms of violence against women and girls in their homes, at the work place and in their communities. In order to reinforce the media campaign further, ACFODE was hosted on CBS’s “Kiiriza Oba Gana” talk show on the 1st of December 2011 (International World Aids Day where Hope Turyasingura (ACFODE Member) and Jane Nakintu (Board Member) discussed in depth VAW dynamics, and also talked about the intersection between HIV/AIDS, and VAW.

At Grass root level (29th November), ACFODE was in Pallisa to launch a local/ grass root campaign for 16 Days. A number of activities that were carried out in Pallisa include; a Public March, an Open Forum, a Football Match, and a Dance themed “Dance out VAW in Pallisa District”. All these aimed at creating awareness and challenging community members to protect women and girls from all forms of violence.

The activities were well attended with representatives from the district, CSO organizations, community, religious and cultural leaders, as well as community members. Pallisa was chosen because apparently, VAW is at its peak in the district with defilement at 80%, followed by rape which is at 60% according to a research carried out by ACFODE in 2009.

And on the 1st of December 2011 (International World Aids Day), ACFODE was hosted on CBS’s “Kiiriza Oba Gana” talk show. Hope Turyasingura (ACFODE Member) and Jane Nakintu (Board Member) discussed VAW dynamics in depth, and also talked about the intersection between HIV/AIDS, and VAW.

Please follow link for an interesting pictorial for all the activities we carried out during our 16 Days of Activism Campaign;!/photo.php?fbid=291934404175673&set=a.291934357509011.59377.175465652489216&type=3&theater

Sandra Nassali
Public Relations & Communications Officer
Action For Development

Thursday, December 8, 2011


In December 2010, at the request of the ICGLR Regional Women’s Forum, Heads of State agreed to dedicate a special session on the problem of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and this is going to be fulfilled in the upcoming Heads of State meeting due next week. One day of the Summit will be specifically devoted to a Special Session on SGBV under the theme: “United to Prevent, End Impunity and Provide Support to the Victims of SGBV in the Great Lakes Region.”

In preparation for the Special Session, national, regional and international human rights organizations based in Kenya and Uganda have spearheaded a regional process to mobilize civil society organizations in the Great Lakes region to participate in deliberations leading up to the Summit.

The CSO Engagement, which is taking place from today the 9th of December 2011 to the 10th at Speke Resort Munyonyo is aimed at promoting clear and consistent messaging on SGBV experiences and demands to Heads of State for immediate commitment and tangible action, empowering local and national women’s rights groups in the region to speak for themselves, and to ensure that their voices are heard at high level decision making platforms, and are in line with international and regional treaties and agreements. This engagement will involve a number of activities namely; parallel sessions on SGBV in the Great Lakes region, presidential mock debate, and an exhibition.

As CSOs in the Great Lakes region, and as actors of social change, we consider this as a good opportunity for our leaders to provide a lasting solution to the problem of SGBV.
We therefore strongly urge them to be at the frontline of the fight against Sexual Gender Based Violence, and to:

  • Declare Zero Tolerance Now on SGBV crimes and impunity
  • Allocate specific and adequate funding for SGBV prevention programmes within a Gender Responsive Budgeting Framework
  • Institutionalise, early warning and response to SGBV, in collaboration with the security community policing in the prevention service sector
  • Establish an independent Regional Impunity Monitoring Unit by the next Summit of the Heads of State, to thereafter report on progress annually to the ICGLR Ordinary Summit of Heads of State
  • Adopt a comprehensive SGBV performance framework (in the form of an Index or Barometer) with clear standards and targets, with opportunity for civil society to present shadow or parallel reports.
  • Establish national Reparation Funds for survivors of SGBV by the next ICGLR Ordinary Summit of Heads of State.
The Civil Society Planning Committee is compromises of; Action for Development (ACFODE), Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development (ACORD), ActionAid International, African Women’s Development and Communication Networ (FEMNET), Akina Mama Wa Afrika (AMWA), CARE, CCPAU, East African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI), International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI), Isis-Women’s Cross-Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE), National Association of Women’s Organisations in Uganda (NAWOU), Regional Associates for Community Initiatives (RACI), and Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET).

Submitted by Sandra Nassali
Public Relations & Communications Officer.
Action For Development

Monday, December 5, 2011


On the 18th of November 2011, ACFODE celebrated 26 years of existence. Reasons for celebration were as varied as the women on mother earth. We celebrated because more women and girls have been empowered socially, politically and economically as they learn to read and write and, often for the first time, since the state and families are investing in girls' education. We were also pleased that women are living longer and healthier lives and that more of us are surviving childbirth as we gain greater access to health care and reproductive services. We also see throughout Uganda that women are discovering a new level of economic independence. They're contributing more to their families and communities. They're gaining access to credit and jobs that can give them a decent standing of living.

ACFODE Day was s a day to commemorate women's struggle for change, to celebrate the progress ACFODE has made towards improvement of quality of life of women, and to lay a strategy for the future. It was also a day for reaffirming ACFODE’s commitment to the liberation of women, and to the promotion of the gender equality agenda.

It is heartening that the day was, and continues to be marked annually by ACFODE staff, members and beneficiaries. This year, ACFODE hit a land mark of 26 years in existence; and celebrated being at the front lines in the battle for women’ empowerment through advocacy for the protection of their rights and dignity as it is the mother of women’s empowerment in this country.

The day was graced with Women Members of Parliament, CSO representatives, representatives from the donor community, dignitaries from the government, as well as ACFODE members, staff and beneficiaries. Among the many action packed events was a Press Conference on VAW & Peace, cultural entertainment from Rainbow House of Hope, and a dinner which was companied by jazz music from Ife.

Remarks were given by ACFODE’s Chairperson Ms. Gertrude Ssekabira, the Executive Director Ms. Regina Bafaki, and one of the founder members Dr. Hilda Tadria – all of whom commended the ACFODE fraternity for the work well done.

Being an ACFODE beneficiary herself, the Guest of Honor Hon. Rose Mary Nyakikongoro (Vice Chair person of Uganda Women Parliamentarians) applauded ACFODE for changing the lives of many women in Uganda by helping elevate their social, political and economic status. “I worked with ACFODE, and my stay here mentored me in so many things. I partly attribute my success today to ACFODE. I learnt a lot to do with women’s rights and empowerment from ACFODE and it never left me the same. I promise to even renew my membership very soon,” noted Rose Mary amidst much cheering. She also called upon all women organizations to devise means of working together to move women’s issues and also to reflect on how Uganda can embrace the peace everyone is talking about. “We need to work together to enjoy the peace we want to have” She further noted.

As of now, ACFODE still stands to challenge the government, female and male politicians, the media, Ugandan men and women, and other key stakeholders in this country to be mindful of the numerous challenges still faced by the Ugandan women.

Notably are; the high maternal mortality rate due to inadequate health facilities, difficulties in accessing education leading to high illiteracy rates where only 53% of females are literate compared 61 %males, injustice, unfavorable credit schemes and lack of other basic services. Women still trek long distances to fetch water and fuel wood and majority of them are still the beasts of burden. They literary keeps the fire burning within the families and the communities. Though women are more than 50% of the Ugandan population, only 16%- 21% own land; though they till and contribute greatly to the economic advancement of their families and the nation, their value is not recognized nor appreciated.

Violence against women in all its forms is also still meted against women, both within the private and public sphere yet justice still eludes them. The abject poverty experienced by the women also contributes to their vulnerability to violence and increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections, the physical trauma of violence and sexual assault impacts scars and unimaginable emotional damage on many women while the culture of silence leaves the perpetrators un- apprehended.

We take this opportunity to thank all those who collaborated with us to make this day a success. Our special appreciation goes to EIRENEN, one of our development partners who funded this celebration. The struggle for gender equality and equity is still on, and calls for togetherness as we strive to achieve social justice, and peace in our homes and in this nation. Let us not lose the focus.

Click to view a pictorial of the whole event;

Submitted By Sandra Nassali

Public Relations & Communications Officer

Action For Development