UGANDA: Gender Imbalance Cited in Slow Northern Recovery Programme

Sunday, November 14, 2010
The New Vision
Eastern Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Reconstruction and Peacebuilding

WOMEN's organisations working for peace in the Greater North are concerned that the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) lacks gender sensitivity.

The PRDP is a Government plan dealing with the reconstruction of the region.

The women say they were not involved in the definition of PRDP, and that the framework does not recognise their leadership role and falls short of addressing their needs and rights.

The matter was raised during the 2010 United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 Peace Expo held at Soroti Sports Grounds in Soroti town in Soroti district recently. The theme of the peace expo was: “Women making UNSCR 1325 a Reality.”

The purpose of the function was to sensitise communities about the role women who were violated during the conflict have played to bring peace in the region.

The 21 women's organisations, forming the Women's Task Force, is headed by Isis-Women's International Cross Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE).

Ruth Ojiambo Ochieng, the Isis-WICCE boss, said women and women organisations must play an active role in the PRDP implementation, monitoring and evaluation as contributors of ideas and as beneficiaries.

“Decision-making, planning, resource allocation and implementation must be grounded in women's realities.

“The capacity of PRDP implementers for gender mainstreaming and women's empowerment must be strengthened,” she said.

Ochieng urged the Government to commit sufficient human and financial resources to address women's needs and gender equality.

She said some of the requirements needed to access the PRDP funds under NUSARF2, like the construction of pit-latrine, racks and plating trees, were favourable to women.

“Women are running away from decision making because they have not been given an opportunity to participate as they are still being marginalised,” said Ochieng.

Soroti MP Alice Alaso called on the Government to review PRDP.

“We want our concerns to form the real nerve centre of the framework,” she said.

The Northern Uganda state minister, David Wakikona, said PRDP was intended to lift the people affected by the Lords' Resistance Army conflict from poverty.