UN Women Uganda conducts training on strengthening the women’s movement to rethink advocacy for gender equality and women’s empowerment

A five-day training on strengthening the women’s movement was organized by UN Women in Entebbe, Uganda, from 18 to 22 July 2022. This workshop, supported by UN Women as part of the EU-UN Global Spotlight initiative , aimed to strengthen the work of Pillar 6 partners and the existing women’s movement in Uganda.

The Spotlight Initiative is the largest targeted effort to end violence against women and girls, and Pillar 6 of Labor aims to promote a strong and empowered civil society and an empowered women’s movement. This will be achieved by advocating for stronger laws and policies, ensuring the participation of civil society, building the capacities of CSOs and enhancing networking opportunities.

To open the workshop, UN Women Acting Country Representative, Ms. Adekemi Ndieli, highlighted the importance of the women’s movement in achieving gender equality and Sustainable Development Goal 5. saying “UN Women owes its existence to the women’s movement. As feminists in the room, we want to ensure a transformational approach to everything we do in all our areas of work, from economic empowerment to ending violence. We must have a supportive feminist approach to this work!

This workshop deliberately established a safe space where women’s organizations can share their experiences and rethink movement building. The overall objective of the workshop was to ensure a collective understanding and the way forward to achieve the common goal of achieving gender equality in Uganda. The workshop deepened participants’ knowledge of feminism, feminist leadership and agency. This led to a deeper appreciation of feminist schools of thought and programming implications for Spotlight Pillar 6 partners, from an intersectional perspective. Participants took part in sessions on “Understanding Power, Privilege and Change”. This exercise was important because for the women’s movement to succeed, women must feel empowered.

The workshop provided a safe space for open and honest sharing, allowing the technical team to share their experiences, which they are proud of. [in the women’s movement] and what they are ashamed of. Members of the women’s movement present at the workshop left no one behind with representation from sex workers, young women, market women, women living with disabilities, women living with HIV and other groups of marginalized women. The workshop highlighted the need for deliberate generational transition and management as well as expanding feminist space.

Over the five days, the workshop focused on building fellowship, this involved bonding exercises as well as inspirational speeches from Moderator Solome Nakaweesi-Kimbugwe and UN Women Uganda Program Specialist to End to violence against women, Evelyn Letiyo.

“The work we do [as a women’s movement] is personal, but collectively our pain can be made lighter through the fellowship and support networks we form here today. Said Solome Nakaweesi-Kimbugwe, closing the second day of the workshop.

One of the participants shared, anonymously: “It is important to recognize that we live in a patriarchal society, in the past the push was for women’s human rights, now the movement is about the consolidation of power.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN Women – Africa.

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