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Women in Uganda have confronted manifold violations of their human rights and when they cannot participate in the decisions that affect their lives or claim fair political representation, when they face discrimination in employment, when they are denied entitlement to land and property, or when they suffer violence within their own home.

In rural communities, widowed women incur gross violation of matrimonial property and inheritance rights, often associated with stigma, discrimination and shame and also given humiliating names. In practice, widows are often dispossessed of their farmland and other assets. Eventually, many are forced to return to the homes of their parents or brothers. Some become subordinate wives of their deceased husband’s brothers. Inheritance of property especially land is by men. Land is passed on from one male to another and so women are denied the opportunity to inherit land. There is need for implementation for laws that protect women during and after dissolution of marriages. The low status of widows leaves them vulnerable to violence, including Sexual and Gender Based Violence, abuse and murder.

Around the world, governments have undertaken legal human rights obligations to combat gender inequalities. The key international agreement on women’s human rights is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) 1979, also described as the international bill of women’s rights. Ratified by 185 UN Member States, CEDAW encompasses a global consensus on the changes that need to take place in order to realize women’s human rights.

Under CEDAW, States are required to eliminate the many different forms of gender-based discrimination women confront, not only by making sure that there are no existing laws that directly discriminate women, but also by ensuring that all necessary arrangements are put in place that will allow women to actually experience equality in their lives.

GWEFODE is committed to the advancement of women’s human rights and places their realization at the centre of its work in all its program areas. One of the primary ways GWEFODE works to advance women’s human rights is by raising awareness about human rights and implementing CEDAW putting special emphasis on the empowerment of vulnerable and marginalized groups, such as poor or indigenous women, so that national frameworks become more inclusive of and responsive to the full range of women’s rights concerns.