By Cuthbert Otim
Women leaders in in the eastern district of Amuria have thanked the leadership of Forum for women in democracy (FOWODE) for nurturing women in leadership and into self-reliance.
This was sounded by women leaders of various savings groups from across the 7 sub counties of Amuria district, while at the workshop organized by FOWODE at Top Guest in Amuria town council yesterday 3rd June 2021.
While giving her testimony on how FOWODE has transformed livelihoods in their households, Grace Apugo a resident of Asamuk Sub County said they (women) have been equipped with skills on how to sustain self-reliance in their communities and that, women nowadays have a voice and rights over property.
However, the FOWODE area manager Simon Jackson Okiror revealed that out of the project implementation of empowering women in leadership one of the women trained by FOWODE on leadership was able to emerge victorious in a recently concluded general local government elections.
He added that the woman was appointed the district vice chairperson Amuria which he said was a big achievement.
“This sends a signal to other women in the society that even women are capable of making leadership in the communities they live in,” Okiror said.
The district chairperson Amuria, Moses Emabu, who was the chief guest at the function thanked FOWODE for being a transparent partner and advised women to stick to the ideal teachings of FOWODE and also asked them to work hand in hand with their spouses in order to change the livelihoods of their families.
FOWODE is a women’s national nonpartisan organization established in 1995 with the vision of a just and affair society where women and men equally participate and benefit from decision making process.
FOWODE has continued to be a pace setter in promoting gender equality and women s leadership in the country. Whereas it primarily focuses on women issues, FOWODE also seeks gender equality and thus involves men in all aspects of its work.
Under the strategy of community empowerment, FOWODE endeavors to build a critical mass of women and men who are vigilant on the promotion of good governance and gender equality.
Since October 2019, FOWODE has been implementing the women’s empowerment and leadership project that is harnessing the power of women organizing at the grassroots to promote their economic self-reliance, as a catalyst for participation in leadership and governance in all the seven sub counties of Amuria district, nationally in the districts of Amuria, Gulu, Kibuku, Luwero and Rukungiri.
The project is directly working with women at various levels, including but not limited to, women leaders, women in 128 groups, experienced women leaders and business mentors.
In order to nurture democratic space, the project is also closely working with 64 male champions in their communities to tackle deep rooted patriarchal obstacles to women’s empowerment.
This is building a formidable cadre of women and men with a voice and agency, championing women’s equality and rights. In a bid to increase community activism and advocacy, the project has held a number of activities including regional and national conferences for women in politics, training of aspiring women leaders, training of Community Based officers CBOs on lobbying and advocacy among others.
These trainings have empowered women to advocate for genders responsive budgeting in their districts. Consequently, there have been over 15 proposals made by women leaders, citizens and CBOs for incorporation into laws, policies, programs and budgets.
Most of the proposals made across the 5 districts are focused on increased budgeting towards maternal health, promoting girl child education, better access to safe water, women’s economic empowerment and advancing women’s leadership.