Promoting Gender Equality through Women Empowerment – Diakonia Sweden

This Diakonia Sweden-funded project entitled: “Promoting Gender Equality through Women Empowerment and Strengthening the Male Engaged Initiative in Northern Uganda” was implemented in Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro Districts from Sept. 2016 to October 2019. The purpose of this project was to create a peaceful society where the poor and vulnerable women and girls, men and boys demand and enjoy their full human rights.

Key results from this project include increase power sharing in households between men and women; increase economic diversification by the provision of farm inputs and capacity building of VSLA groups; stronger linkages between VSLA and farmers groups with financial institutions and private sector agricultural businesses; more peaceful land conditions in the intervention areas using Alternative Dispute Resolution; improved access to referral services for Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV); and better awareness of impact group members on climate change and mitigation or adaptation strategies.

Economic Empowerment

20 Women VSLA groups were trained on business management, planning and managing income generating activities, and the VSLA methodology. As a result, groups have buying and hiring oxen and plough to improve their crop yields. Our groups reported improved record keeping and group management and governance. These impact groups were also supported with farm input like soya beans, maize, bean, eggplants and cabbage seeds which increased their income and allowed the extra revenue to be re-invested in improving businesses and increasing savings.

20 Women VSLA groups and 20 Role Model Men (RMM) were linked to Bank of Africa, Equity Bank and Centenary Bank. We saw that 46% of our group members opened bank accounts. 190 people (male: 108; female: 82) were trained on financial literacy. 104 people accessed organic fertilizers through Alpha & Omega to increase their crop yields for domestic consumption and market.

Strengthening the Male Engaged Initiative

RMM conducted 300 household dialogues focusing on human rights, SGBV, and sexual and reproductive health (including Family Planning). As a result, 343 SGBV survivors accessed psychosocial, medical and legal support and redress. Cases of SGBV reduced in targeted households and women reported increased access to productive resources, participation in decision making in resource allocation, family planning and spousal participation in health.

Human Rights Education

847 community members (male: 410; female: 437) received information on women’s land rights and relevant laws, thereby increasing the knowledge of communities on land administration rights. 18 successful land mediations were concluded by the cultural leaders (i.e., traditional chiefs) who were trained in land mediation using Alternative Dispute Resolution approach,, in conjunction with political and technical leaders at sub-county levels.

Supporting Local Institutions

65 police officers were trained on SGBV scene of crime investigation and management of survivors. This project also supported 11 police posts with official police reporting forms for SGBV incidents. This has led to improved and enhanced capacity in the documentation and reporting of SGBV cases and reduced the burden faced by SGBV survivors. Further, there is strengthened coordination among different SGBV stakeholders through better collaboration and communication. Radio talk shows and spot messages reached 1 million community members spreading awareness about the causes of SGBV and the different roles each person can play in prevention and response.

Climate Change Adaptation

179 impact group members (male: 98; female: 81) received training on climate change and what can be done to reduce its negative impacts. Impact groups have developed better coping strategies to mitigate the negative effects of climate change using Climate SMART Agriculture, agro-forestry, and environmentally friendly technologies.