Friday, April 26, 2013

ACFODE Launches a New Project to Promote Positive Socio-Cultural Practices in Apac District

ACFODE, with support from the Swedish Cooperative Centre (SCC) a non-profit organisation that offers support to self-help development initiatives, cooperatives, farmers' organisations and informal groups in developing countries, has rolled out a project titled “Strengthening Formal and Informal Institutions to Promote Gender Responsive Social Cultures in Uganda.”

The one-year pilot project, which will be conducted in Apac district in northern Uganda, will seek to engage leaders from both formal and informal institutions as well as communities in the promotion, establishment and application of gender responsive social cultural practices which facilitate gender equality.

Despite the fact that Uganda has made significant progress in eliminating discrimination against women and girls through the enactment of gender sensitive laws such as; the constitution, the Domestic Violence Act and the Child Protection Act, as well as the ratification of international protocols like the Maputo Protocol, CEDAW and ICGLR, the vice largely continues to persist. Coupled with a general lack of awareness among duty bearers about the related laws as well as the absence of effective mechanisms for the enforcement of such laws, their effective enforcement within communities remains a challenge. 

The new project will therefore employ a fresh perspective on the intervention, which will focus on highlighting the importance of boys and men as champions in the elimination of negative socio-cultural practices which promote violence against women. The premise of the project's focus is the fact that a balanced society is one in which both male and female actors are aware of each other's worth and equally respect each other.

Working alongside partners in the east African community, that is, GROOTS and Men for Gender Equality Now (MENGEN) in Kenya and Tanzania women lawyers association (TAWLA) in Tanzania, the project will utilize innovative methods of intervention with the different stakeholders in the communities in Apac district.  

ACFODE therefore calls upon all citizens of Uganda to work together in order to achieve a society where male champions for gender equality can successfully lead the way in the development of a national movement that appreciates the capacities, potential and rights of women and girls.

Compiled by:

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

Saturday, April 6, 2013

ACFODE Intra University Debates Move to South Western Uganda

In its campaign to empower young people with skills in discussing topical issues on good governance and democracy, ACFODE in partnership with Konrad Adaneur Stiftung (KAS) conducted intra university debate competitions in Kabale University. The two-day activities that aimed to select a representative for the western region at the national inter university debate championships in Kampala kicked off with a debate training workshop for the students on April 6th 2013.

Under the theme, "Youth Spearheading gender equality and good governance in Uganda," the training workshop targeted students from various faculties, including; Arts, Social Sciences and Education with lessons in gender and gender roles, emphasizing the need for promotion of equity for the sake of sustainable gender equality. Professor Aggrey Yesigomwe from the department of Development Studies at Kabale University, who led the participatory session, remarked on the ideal type of gender equality that women strive for, in an effort to differentiate between gender equality and equity. 

The training session on good governance and democracy, which preceded an introduction to the British Parliamentary debate format, focused on developing the students' awareness of the concepts of human rights, privileges and obligations of stakeholders in the practice of democracy and the consequential achievement of good methods of governance.

Some of the contentious questions raised during these highly participatory sessions included matters of discriminative gender roles, the misuse of affirmative action for women as well as the rising marginalization of men in gender discussions.

The workshop was crowned with a trial debate in which the students utilized their newly learned skills in the British Parliamentary format of debate to argue the motion, "This house would abolish the women's seat in parliament." The mock debates were held in preparation for debate competitions, to be held on 7th April.

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