The development of this five year strategy (2014–2018) coincides with 20 years of Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET’s) existence, having been formed in 1993 by Ugandan Women to steer women’s rights, gender transformation and equality agenda. The strategy presents the strategic direction that UWONET will take in the five years.
Over the years, UWONET positioned itself to provide conceptual leadership on women’s rights and gender equality through sustained advocacy and action which has influenced gender responsive policies, laws, programmes, structures, processes and change of attitudes that address the needs and priorities of women and men, boys and girls. UWONET has facilitated actions around critical issues of concern to women by knowledge and information management and strategic alliances
and engagements at international, regional, national and grassroots level to challenge the status quo of gender inequalities and social norms that perpetrate vulnerabilities and human rights abuses of women and girls in Uganda.
This contribution is widely acknowledged by government, citizenry, media, and development partners and more critically by the women and girls of Uganda, who are still the most oppressed and whose human rights are still denied, position in society remains poor and has left millions of women suffering in silence. UWONET’s contribution over the last 20 years has yielded the passing of some legislation that aim to protect women and promote gender equality. The laws inacted include among others; the Domestic Violence Act, the Prohibition of the Female Genital Mutilation Act, the gender responsive clauses in the Ugandan Constitution, land Act 1998, the local Government Act 1997, involvement and participation of women in government programmes and processes, increased awareness on rights of women and increased activism to women’s rights at community level. All these laws challenge discrimination between women and men, boys and girls at all levels.
This strategy was developed out of a collective desire to respond more strategically, effectively and efficiently to the emerging and changing dynamics and patterns around women’s rights with renewed commitment, synergy, and strategies to transform gender relations, overcome gender related challenges and lay strategies for the challenging environment. This strategy therefore draws lessons and best practices from the previous strategy and presents UWONET with a mandate to
nurture women’s organizations, institutions and structures and the women’s movement in general to create an independent space to women for voice on women’s rights to transform gender inequality, equity through women’s leadership and democratic governance and socio–economic development.