Women’s Democratic Governance and Leadership

Strategic objective: To promote local women’s participation in leadership and influence institutions to respect women’s rights and promote gender equality;

The general perception and belief in the Karimojong society is that women are of a low status and cannot make decisions that bring development to the society. As a result, they are often excluded from decision making circles. It is believed that the best thing women can do is to stay at home to fend for the family. A woman would not therefore be respected or listened to in any public fora.

The patriarchal and male-dominated society of Karamoja has marginalized women and placed them in a hopeless and powerless position that the women themselves believe they are second class citizens to men without having the right to political participation and representation. They for example don’t attend public gatherings, even if they did; they are not allowed to speak. Similarly, they would not vote for candidates of their choices since they are oftened directed on whom to vote for by the men. Women don’t compete or stand for directly elected positions of leadership as these are believed to be reserved for men. The women don’t demand for accountability from duty bearers for the services provided to them since they are not aware and articulate enough to do so. True participation of the poor rural women is therefore far from being realized. Generally, women in Karamoja are ignorant and lack awareness and information on their rights in society.

KAWUO believes that the poor local women must be informed and empowered. Equal access of men and women to power, decision-making and leadership at all levels is a necessary precondition for the proper functioning of this society. Women must be involved at every stage of efforts to reassert the rule of law and rebuild society through transitional justice. Their voices must be heard and their rights must be protected

Women’s Access to Justice

Strategic objective: To strengthen individual and collective actions to prevent and respond to GBV, HIV/AIDs and discrimination against women and girls in the household and communities of Karamoja

Gender Based Violence (GBV) is wide spread in Uganda and it affects all people irrespective of their social economic and political status. Its occurs in families , communities , workplace and institutions for example the Uganda demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) 2011 indicates that 56% of women aged between 15-49 years

in Uganda have experienced physical violence at some point in life ,28% of women in the same age group have experienced sexual violence compared to 9% of men ,Uganda police force data indicated that in 2013 alone violence accounted for 360 deaths, 9598 defilement and 1,042 rape cases .Actions taken to prevent GBV include the operationalization of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda provisions. In this regard specific laws have been enacted :The Domestic Violence Act 2010 and its Regulations 2011, The prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation 2010 an d Its regulations 2013, The Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act 2009 , The Penal code Act , Cap 120 , The Children Act Cap 59,The International Criminal Court Act 2010, and Other laws include the land Act, cap 227, the Employment(sexual Harassment regulations 2012 The Government has also developed policies and frameworks to prevent and respond to Gender Based Violence these include; The Uganda Gender Policy(2007) this are all geared to prevent and respond Gender Based violence in the Communities of Uganda.

Violence against women in Karamoja is physical, emotional, psychological, and economic. Physical violence which includes courtship rape, opportunistic rape, and domestic violence, Economic violence is perpetrated as women have unequal access to household resources because men maintain exclusive ownership over cattle, children, land, and any other property in the households. The root cause of the violence against women and girls in Karamoja is the power imbalance between men and women, alcoholism, and bad cultural practices like widow inheritance, early marriage, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and that a girl who has gone to school never makes a good housewife or will never fetch good bride price; and may become a prostitute, and these has predisposed them to STIs/STDs/HIV/AIDs and/or Reproductive Health complications, and extreme trauma and stigmatization from the community.

Compounding to the fate of women in Karamoja, this Strategy therefore intends to prevent Gender Based Violence by dialoguing with Elders, youth, and women to come up with actions which will be implemented.

Women’s Economic Empowerment

Strategic objective: To promote and establish income generating activities for disadvantaged women and youth to rise out of poverty

KAWUO believes that Women’s rights to access, control and own productive resources individually and collectively needs to be reinforced by policy, practice, and enabling environments. The structural, institutional and socio–cultural barriers that hinder women from this pursuit should be challenged through

economic and legislative reforms intended to recognize that women have economic rights which entitles them to share and own not only the products of their labour but also to have control over decisions intended to transform them economically. Economic, financial, labour and agricultural policies, laws and regulations should be reviewed, reformed and implemented to enable women not only access but also own and control economic resources and attainment of economic justice

Institutional Development and Organization Strengthening

Strategic Objective: To strengthen the institutional capacity of KAWUO and her member organizations for effective service delivery

KAWUO occupies a strategic obligation as Karamoja region coordinating umbrella for various women initiatives. To the extent that it can increase its leadership in the role, it will help secure a stronger and more consistent voice for women concerns in Karamoja and neighboring.

regions. KAWUO will therefore embark on various institutional development initiatives, aimed at building up KAWUO’s capacity, sustainability, and positioning. One important component of this is to establish KAWUO internal management systems more firmly and make sure they are being implemented fully. During the next five years the focus of institutional policy development will be to develop organizational policies on internal and external communication, monitoring and evaluation, Board governance and leadership, and strengthen its gender mainstreaming and programming. KAWUO will also concentrate on ensuring that previously developed policies on financial and human resource management are implemented according to national standards.

To provide a senior level of leadership and advisory support. Finally, KAWUO will provide Capacity building support for its staffs and the member’s organization in core organizational needs including resource mobilization, proposal writing, management, monitoring and evaluation, ICT, and organizational policy orientation, to provide a greater diversity of skills within KAWUO’s lean staffing structure an members

To achieve KAWUO’s broader objectives, the organization will concentrate on building up strategic partnerships and establishing a set of relationships with member organizations that can help KAWUO better coordinate advocacy and capacity building on a regional level. KAWUO will seek strategic partnerships with major national organizations in each calendar year. It will also grow its regional base of women organizations to amplify women voices from a greater range of geographic and institutional women groups. Finally, KAWUO will develop a set of membership obligations, policies and procedures to ensure that it harmonizes its expectations with those of its members and maintains clear mutually productive relationships with all partners and stakeholders.