Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mock Debate Session Starts off Gulu Intra-University Debate Competitions

The Gulu university intra-university debate competitions kicked off in high gear on 23rd February with a mock debate between the different faculties. The mock debate was preceded by a debate training session in which students were introduced to concepts of gender, good governance and the British parliamentary debate system. The four sessions aimed to equip the young men and women with deeper understanding of gender equality and good governance, while providing them with a forum in which to discuss their understanding of the concepts amongst their peers with eloquent, cohesive arguments.

Students exchanging views during the mock debate
As a result of the sessions, the students were inspired to think outside the box concerning gender, with a number of critical questions being raised in that regard.  Interest was particularly piqued in regard to the extent of the effects of a patriarchal society on gender equality, with some questioning the agenda of the women's movement in eroding some protective mechanisms that are enshrined in a patriarchal system allegedly to protect women. For instance, exclusion from direct armed combat.

According to one student, the discussion was an eye opener for her. She sad, "It's up to us to take the responsibility to recognize that because society has been conducting things one way, it doesn't have to be the same forever, it is up to us to accept it and change ourselves before we can be able to inspire other people in the communities to change."

Challenged to go head-to-head in a mock debate, students from eight departments formed four opposing teams to argue the motion: "This house would abolish the woman seat in parliament." The rich debate widened the students' scope of understanding in regard to gender, and boosted their confidence for the final qualifier competitions to be held on 24th February. The four winning teams will represent Gulu University at the 2013 ACFODE Inter University Debates.

For more updates on the Gulu intra university debates, as well as a pictorial of the on-going events, click here.

You can also follow the debate proceedings on our website at: 

Compiled by:
Nancy Nandudu
Public Relations and Communications Officer
Action For Development (ACFODE)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

ACFODE Strengthens Her Campaign to End Sexualized Violence in Kisoro

ACFODE with support from EIRENE successfully introduced the newly amended police forms (3, 3A and 24A) as well as a streamlined system of SGBV case documentation in Kisoro district. This occurred from the 28th-31st January 2013 during training sessions for newly commissioned community facilitators held in Kirundo and Nyarusiza sub counties, which have recently been added to the organization's target area in their campaign to end Sexualized Gender Based Violence (SGBV).

Hope Turyasingura, an ACFODE member explaining the 
amended police form to the participants 

The new strategy will see community facilitators use simple, exhaustive "Case Management Forms" to effectively capture and update cases of sexualized violence within their communities of influence. This move is aimed at partnering with local authorities' to boost their recording systems and ensure more effective monitoring and resolution of the incidence of SGBV in the district, which will better inform and increase the effectiveness of future advocacy campaigns against SGBV in the area.

The trainings attracted 60 community facilitators and other stakeholders such as law enforcement officers, health workers and local political figures and featured trainings in the areas of SGBV, human rights and forms of justice.
Participants scrutinizing the new case manangement form

Through sessions that aimed at strengthening the capacity of community facilitators to collaborate with both the SGBV survivors and the duty bearers mandated to resolve their cases, the team was empowered to support the victims in their communities through the effective use of the justice system.  

The community facilitators were able to construct viable action plans for community sensitization and handling of SGBV cases through their different Combating Defilement, Rape and Sexual Harassment (CODERASH) committees.

Compiled by 

Andrew Ssekirevu
Gender and Economic Policy Department