Women Transformational leadership

Community leaders including women supported by Oxfam in Karamoja. credit Zahara Abdul/Oxfam

Context

Whilst parliament has legislated on various issues to address women’s rights in Uganda, violence against women and children remains a serious problem. Similarly, in spite of affirmative action, the social environment does not adequately support the promotion of women’s rights. There is need for budget advocacy for financing the implementation and monitoring of gender related legislations. Women’s poverty is primarily caused by inadequate control and ownership of productive resources such as: land, information and communication technology and financial capital. The wage difference between men and women and unequal employment opportunities has resulted into fewer women than men, attaining leadership positions. Unpaid care work, low levels of decision making at household level, comparatively lower access to basic and higher education, negative cultural practices and social vulnerabilities all combine to prevent women in Uganda from achieving equality with men.

Promoting women's rights

Oxfam’s experience across the world has shown that a strong feminist movement is the most important success factor for changing laws on violence against women and having a real impact on women’s lives. With this in mind, the Women Transformational leadership project  empowers women at all levels of society to promote women’s rights: at the grassroots level, supporting community activists; at the district level, training councilors and leaders in policy drafting and lobbying; and at the national level, supporting politicians to lead improvements to key pieces of legislation.

Work at the national level also includes a strong advocacy element, pushing key decision makers to influence policy to ensure that laws on violence against women and women’s land rights are properly utilised and respected.

Oxfam supports partners UWONET and the Women First Coalition, (a national coalition of women’s right organisations)  to increase their skills and capacity, for example on strategies such as gender budgeting, so they can drive the project’s activities forward. The project is implemented alongside the Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET) in four districts of the Northern Region.