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

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