WOMEN, AND GIRL’s RIGHTS AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT (WREE)
Gender equality is a fundamental human right, and a pre-condition for sustainable development. Providing women and girls with quality education, health care, decent work, access and ownership rights over property and technology, and equal participation in political and economic decision-making processes is key development goal for Vision 2040. Despite being fundamental human rights, gender equality remains gap in Acholi sub region, in part due to conservative cultural practices norms and beliefs that subdue, discriminate and disadvantage women in status, accessing, utilising, and owning political, social, and economic resources and opportunities required for development. In the region, women illiteracy and poverty rates are higher than men, because male children are often favoured in education opportunities and economic resources including customary land, while women only own property only when they are children, or married, once their spouses die often, they are disinherited and deprived of the property they got when their separate with their husband.
The post war Acholi region experiences increasing VaWGs as evidenced in police report which puts Agago and Pader districts in the lead in cases of GBV (i.e. physical violence and aggravated defilement), and further that rural women are barred from attending meetings, discussing or voting some candidates without the consent of their husbands, in 2019 national statistics put Omoro district in the lead in teenage pregnancy with 28.05% , while in 2020 the District Community Development Offices in Acholi sub region reported unprecedented teenage pregnancies in the region with Pader district registering 801 pregnancies, Amuru 620, and Gulu, 150 during in the spate of 3 months (March-June 2020) of the COVID 19 lockdown.
Women’s participation in governance in Uganda is also challenged by negative cultural perceptions and attitudes about leadership, coupled with violence politics, high rate of illiteracy, lack of access to knowledge and support networks, discriminatory election systems, and processes and insufficient financial resources, only few women dare participate in politics and leadership roles. In many rural areas, women still have to seek permission from their spouses to aspire for political positions or participate in voting or associating in their groups.
To promote gender equality (women and girls) HURIFO will focus on strategies that will aim to eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls; it will focus on cultural transform; and women empowerment for access, utilization, and ownership of resources and opportunities. These will subsequently contribute to SDG 5.
(SO.3.1): To promote and protect women and girls’ rights.
(KRA.3.1). Increased awareness and respect for women and girls’ rights
- Sensitize the community on women and girls’ rights.
- Conduct dialogues targeting cultural leaders on cultural practices and beliefs to help them revise unconstitutional and human rights non-compliances clauses in their byelaws.
- Sensitize and engage community, men and boys to end all forms of violence, and discrimination against women and girls.
- Advocate for the passage and implementation of laws, policies, ordinances and practices that will help address and respond to different forms of violence against women and girls.
- Network and collaborate with state and non-state actor to fight early marriage, defilement, and trafficking of women and girls.
(SO3.2): To economically empower women and girls for gender equality, and poverty reduction.
(KRA 3.2). Women and girls in Acholi sub-region access, own, control and utilize economic opportunities and resources for development.
- Conduct community sensitization on equitable access, utilization and control of productive resources
- Support the disadvantaged women and girls to attain skill trainings for economic empowerment.
- Mentor and link women and girls to economic opportunities and resources for income generation.
 Monitor newspaper January 25th 2016, page 8