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

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