3838% of people live below the poverty line of less than $1.25 per day.
4040% of girls are married before their 18th birthday.
20Only 20% of girls go to secondary school.
While women hold a third of senior positions in parliament, unpaid care work remains a challenge for women in Uganda, who work an average of 15 hours a day, while men work between 8 and 10 hours a day.1
Violence against women is common, with over half of women experiencing physical violence in their lifetime.2 Some women don’t know that there are laws to protect them from abuse.
When their husband or relative dies, many women in Uganda face a fierce battle to inherit the land which is rightfully theirs. According to government data, 97% of women in Uganda have access to land; however, in practice, only 8% of women own land and 7% have property rights.3
- 1. “From Periphery to Center: A Strategic Country Gender Assessment” (PDF). World Bank. Retrieved 10 February 2012. ↩
- 2. http://africa.unwomen.org/en/where-we-are/eastern-and-southern-africa/uganda ↩
- 3. FAO. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 2000. http://www.fao.org/gender-landrights-database/country-profiles/countries-list/ general-introduction/en/?country_iso3=UGA ↩
What we do in Uganda
Fighting for women’s rights
Through women’s groups, ActionAid trains women in their rights. With this support and knowledge, women are able to protect their land rights, and challenge violence against women which is punishable by law.
ActionAid supports women’s economic empowerment through training women how to farm sustainably, adapting to changing weather and using better varieties of crops to increase yields.
Supporting quality education
The dilapidated school buildings and huge class sizes at Soroti Demonstration school meant that children’s education was suffering. So when community monitors – trained by ActionAid to lobby local government for better quality education – secured money for the renovation of classrooms, the community rejoiced. Now students can learn in purpose-built classrooms with enough desks for everyone.
Deputy Head Teacher Okiria Michael has seen for himself the impact of ActionAid’s assistance. “It is not ActionAid that told us to petition. ActionAid told us about our rights. Then our people rose up in big numbers because we realised that we needed collective action to attain that which is rightfully ours. Now school enrolment has gone up – and so has our academic performance.”
Tax justice for Uganda
Every year, multinational companies and rich nations dodge billions of pounds of tax in developing countries. This lost revenue could pay for much needed essential services like schools and hospitals. That’s why, in June 2016, ActionAid and our partners in the global Tax Justice Network collected over three million signatures in a move to stop MPs from dodging income tax.
Harriet Gimbo, Country Director of ActionAid Uganda says that the campaign has registered overwhelming support by citizens in her country. “In just one week, 2,821,909 Ugandan citizens from 88 districts signed the petition,” she said.
Supporting women’s groups
The Kween Survivors Forum Group meets once a week to discuss and fight against issues that affect their community.
This ranges from female genital mutilation (FGM), alcoholism, child neglect and education, lack of accessible clean water and children who are forced to drop out of school.
It is chaired by 43-year-old Beatrice Chebet. She is an FGM survivor and mother to 10 children.
Women’s land rights
Rose Nyangoma lost her husband in 2013. They had been married for 38 years. But because she was his second wife, her stepson tried to take the piece of land that her late husband had left to her.
“He threatened me,” said Rose. “Faced with this challenge, I consulted my friends. I was told that ActionAid would help me.
“ActionAid started on reconciliation and negotiation process between me and my stepson. Initially, he had refused to attend the mediation meetings. But after several invitations he accepted to meet ActionAid and its partners with me. ActionAid talked to him about women’s right to property. He accepted the advice and left my land.
“I can now cultivate my land without fear. Now I’m able to feed my children. We have peace of mind and I am grateful to ActionAid for their help in this matter.”
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