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Access to justice; a great challenge for rural Women in Southwestern Uganda

Access to Justice for rural Women experiencing Gender Based Violence remains a great challenge characterized by a number of factors including inadequate awareness about major women-related laws and court procedure.

In the Kabale district of South western Uganda, majority of women now, and more so rural women, are not aware of legal instruments that protect their rights. In addition, there is no legal representation at community level which has created a big gap between the referral of cases from informal to formal justice services.

During a Press Conference held in Kabale District, Donantus Orikiriza, the Program Manager of GWEFODE said that Economic disempowerment of rural women denies them a right to demand fair justice whenever they face violence for instance women victims of violence and other abuses have to travel long distances to the district in order to seek redress and such Women are unstable economically thus find difficulties in attending repeated court sessions. The rule of law is meaningless for rural women living in poverty and experiencing Gender Based Violence without effective access to justice, which is a human right in itself, and essential for tackling poverty.

The Government of Uganda is therefore called upon to ensure that poverty is never a barrier to enjoying the benefits of the rule of law, by making forward-looking, specific pledges to improve access to justice by the poorest and most marginalized members of society. Concrete actions must be taken to ensure that all individuals are empowered to claim their rights, demand effective remedies and accountability, she highlighted. Without this, we are left with a two-tier rule of law: a reality for the privileged, but only rhetorical for the poor and excluded. There is need to empower women and girls to know and claim their rights in the face of violation of these rights and to know how to protect themselves from such violations.

Our Programs

Participatory Governance & Gender Equity Advocacy

GWEFODE’s work is to Promote Participatory Governance using Rights Based Approach to programming and gender equity in development as well as participation in decision making.
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Gender Based Violence Prevention & Response

GWEFODE mobilizes resources to support survivors of sexual and domestic violence access free medical treatment and psychosocial support.
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Conflict Resolution & Peace Building

GWEFODE seeks to improve the capacity of community based mediators and local leaders to resolve conflicts and enhance effective and efficient justice delivery in the informal justice system.
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Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security

GWEFODE undertakes research on best agricultural practices that are sustainable and environmentally friendly and sharing these with farmers in Uganda.
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Sustainable Energy Efficient Technologies

Over 95% of households in Kabale district use biomass fuels (firewood and charcoal) to cook on traditional stoves. This reliance on firewood presents mothers with impossible choices.
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Vocational Education & Training

GWEFODE supports entrepreneurial development through equipping marginalized women and youth with skills such as tailoring, candle making and making charcoal briquettes aimed at income generation.
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Water Sanitation & Hygiene

GWEFODE improves the management of water sources through refresher trainings and sensitization of community members especially women and children on better use.
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HIV/AIDS & Malaria Prevention

GWEFODE disseminates Information, Education and Communication IEC/ Behavior Change Communication (BCC) campaigns and materials focused on orphans and vulnerable children.
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Maternal and Child Health

GWEFODE creates awareness on maternal and child health and advocates for improved health services to reduce on maternal and child morbidity and mortality.
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Featured Documents

A joint Statement on The Right of Indigenous Batwa People to Land and Natural Resources in Uganda Submitted by GWEFODE and France Libertes to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

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