We seek to promote equality between women and men irrespective of gender, religion, cultural beliefs, age and race. We recognize that in Uganda, social exclusion of the most vulnerable groups, particularly women and the girl child, is evident and continues unabated. Women and girls in Uganda continue to be denied opportunities especially in areas of property/land rights, education, employment, political rights, reproductive health rights and access to justice.
How TERREWODE approaches the problem:
Though faced with challenges like wide spread ignorance and limited commitment by Government and other stakeholders, TERREWODE is fighting tirelessly to ensure that women and girls have similar opportunities when it comes to property and land rights. We have laid a strategy of building community capacity and creating awareness to advocate for land rights, especially of rural women and girls. This strategy provides for training, information sharing, psycho-social support services, partnership and research to allow females to inherit property, especially land.
Education is key to any developmental process and has implications for different aspects of a woman’s life such as participation in decision making and access to employment. Despite the benefits of education, parents and care takers in rural communities prefer taking boys through school rather than girls-educating girls is seen as a waste of time and they are only looked at as a source of wealth (through bride price). It is as a result of this that TERREWODE has embarked on promoting girl child education through advocating for not only increased enrollment, but also completion of women and girls' in schooling. We have successfully engaged in a series of consultative and advocacy meetings on the rights of women and girl’s education with District, Political and Civil Leadership, Teachers and Parents, Clan leaders and Religious authorities including women and community groups. TERREWODE is associated with the formulation of the District ordinances aimed at promoting girls education in most constituencies where we operate. Our school intervention programs and annual Girl Child Conference have played a tremendous role in informing girls about their right to education and encouraging them to stay in school. Staying in school will empower them through better opportunities in life, which will allow them to become promoters of the struggle for equality.
Poverty is linked to lack of access to equal opportunities, inequitable distribution of resources and marginalization of vulnerable groups. As a result, TERREWODE aims at creating equal opportunities for women in the employment field in order to economically empower them and fight poverty in the process. We are involved in promoting vocational training for girls and women so as to increase their involvement in income generating activities which will improve family welfare and also raise their status in society.
TERREWODE, in order to uphold equal opportunities in politics especially concerning democracy and good governance, has embarked on strategies aimed at strengthening women councils from the LC 1 up to the district level. This is an area dominated by men and in need of more women to effectively influence pro women policies, establish women leaders forums, and establish women anti-corruption pressure groups. We are also advocating for effective mechanisms for women to influence policy and participate in decision making, increase awareness of rights and obligations to monitor and demand for accountability from leaders, reduce gaps in the sharing of information by the elite women policy makers and also lobby for equitable allocation of national resources to issues of gender equality and women empowerment.
We believe that sexual reproductive rights are necessary for gender equality in society. Therefore, we are promoting these rights through advocating for increased resource allocation, policy formulation and implementation to protect women and girl children from abuse and violations of their rights. We are also building capacity for vulnerable women and girl children community structures, groups, organs and institutions in our districts of operation to demand for equal opportunities in functional health care systems that respond to female reproductive health issues.
TERREWODE has been recognized by the Uganda Women’s Network as one of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) at the forefront of championing the move of women emancipation and empowerment. This has been achieved through supporting and caring for vulnerable and needy women, especially those suffering from obstetric fistula. Most of the victims of this deadly maternal health complication (fistula) are rejected, ridiculed and denied socio economic, political and cultural opportunities in their communities. By identifying, treating, empowering and reintegrating these women and girls in society, TERREWODE plays a significant role in helping them receive similar treatment and chances.
TERREWODE is contributing to national and international policy and program development aimed at upholding equality. In addition, we are encouraging collaborations among District managers to mobilize resources to address the plight of vulnerable women. We are looking forward to increasing and strengthening collaborations in order to support participation of women and girls in all spheres of life, which will be a milestone in promoting equality and equity.