Localization Workshops in Kitgum and Amuria, Uganda September 29 – October 2, 2015

Localization Workshops in Kitgum and Amuria, Uganda September 29 – October 2, 2015

October 9, 2015

Last week, the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) concluded its Localization Workshops on United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) 1325 and 1820 in Uganda in Kitgum District on 29 and 30 September, and in Amuria District 1 and 2 October 2015.

The Workshops took place in collaboration with the Ugandan Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development, The Coalition for Action on 1325 (CoACT) and with the support of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP).

Members of the civil society organizations, Kitgum Women Peace Initiative (KIWEPI) in Kitgum and Teso Women Peace Activists (TEWPA) in Amuria, members of CoACT, and members of GNWP among others attended the events.  There were numerous representatives from the government of Uganda who participated in the workshops including: the Principal Women-in-Development Officer for the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development (Magara K. Cornelius Atenyi), the Kitgum District Local Council V Chairperson (Nyeko Luka), the Kitgum District Gender Officer (Labol Sarah), the Deputy – Chief Administrative Officer Kitgum (Oroma Rhoda), The Kitgum District Youth Councilor and Deputy Speaker (Lapyem Emmanuel), The Amuria Resident District Commissioner (Osotto Opio Joseph), The Amuria Resident District Commissioner (Onoria Ambrose), Amuria Assisstant Chief Administrative Officer (Edotu Paul) among others.

In both districts, after welcoming remarks were made, the National Coordinator of CoACT, Robinah Rubimbwa set the stage for the workshops by introducing the programs and objectives followed by an interactive discussion on gender concepts in which participants enumerated the unequal roles and responsibilities of women in the community.  Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, the International Coordinator of GNWP then took the floor to divide participants by their sub-counties and asked them to identify root causes of the past conflict, who the key actors were in the conflict, how did the conflict affect women and girls specifically, and what are the ways that the resulting problems can be solved.  After each sub-county’s representative presented the group’s findings, Ms. Cabrera-Balleza shared information about UNSCR 1325 and 1820, the supporting WPS resolutions, and the role of Government, Local Authorities and Civil Society in the implementation of these resolutions and declarations to introduce participants to international mechanisms they can look to when addressing the conflict resolution. Moving from the international to the national level, Ms. Rubimbwa presented participants with information on national legal and policy framework that the country already has in place to promote women’s rights to introduce the national mechanisms participants can look to, reference and hold the government accountable.  The Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development (MGLSD), Cornelius Magara expanded on Ms. Rubimbwa’s presentation by providing participants of the workshops with an overview of the Uganda Action Plan (NAP) on UNSCR 1325 &1820 and the Goma Declaration, outlining the strategies and challenges of implementation.

Following Mr. Magara’s presentation, Senior Program Officer for CoACT, Gorett Komurembe shared with participants of the workshop an overview of Uganda’s Women, Peace and Security (WPS) situation based on the findings from GNWP’s 2014 Monitoring Report,Women Count (https://gnwp.org/sites/default/files/resource-field_media/ICR_2014_Uganda%20%207.27.15_0.pdf).  Ms. Cabrera-Balleza followed and described to the participants how localization can be used as a strategy in NAP implementation by sharing localization experiences from Burundi, Colombia, DRC, Liberia, Nepal, the Philippines, Serbia, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan. With the knowledge of the international and national policies and framework that are already in place, along with the overview of that state of the WPS situation in the country overall and a method that has worked elsewhere, participants then returned to their sub-country groups to postulate and enumerate key issues that undermine peace and human security for women & girls in their sub-counties and what strategies can be used to address the issues affecting women & girls in their sub-counties.

After each sub-county’s representative presented its findings, Ms. Cabrera-Balleza next described an analysis of the linkage between peace and security, development and good governance, which segued into the formation of the Local Action Plan (LAP) Taskforces.  Participants voted for members of the LAP Taskforce observing gender equity and inclusion of active participants from various sectors who would be able to best represent the views of the other participants.  A timeline and strategy for the LAP was laid out followed by individual and collective commitments for how participants where going to implement content of UNSCR 1325 in their personal and professional lives.

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This blog does not necessarily represent the views of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders. Please contact the writer for questions and comments: lauren.gnwp@gmail.com.

By Lauren von Eckartsberg, Project Staff, Global Network of Women Peacebuilders