This International Women’s Day we’d like to share with you the work Hub Cymru Africa have been doing to empower women in Uganda and Lesotho. As a globally responsible nation, we’re proud to support this gender empowerment programme and share our vision for gender equality with the world.
Here’s more from Beth Kidd, Senior Development Support Manager at Hub Cymru Africa, who explains why it’s important…
Hub Cymru Africa is a partnership formed in 2015 that works across civil society, bringing together charities, individuals and organisations to support a globally responsible Wales that acts in solidarity with the people of Africa.Over the last two years we have run a Gender Empowerment programme that focuses on expanding partnerships between Wales and Africa. We have supported a small number of projects in Uganda and Lesotho through a grant programme.
In Uganda, Size of Wales have been working with three partner organisations — Mount Elgon Tree Growing Enterprise, Masaka and District Landcare Chapter, and International Transformation Foundation Kenya — to increase gender equality in Mbale and Masaka districts in relation to climate change and natural resource management. This project has supported rural women with tailor-made training, networking and access to resources to promote participation and strengthen livelihoods. By integrating gender into agriculture-related activities, it has enabled women to become important agents of change.
Bees for Development and their partner organisation, The Uganda National Apiculture Development Organisation, have also been working in Uganda to enhance women’s economic empowerment through beekeeping. The project is building the capacity of 100 women beekeepers and their families in Adjumani District, which is challenging gender norms in beekeeping in the target communities, contributing to the reduction of poverty, and promoting gender equality. The project is also mobilising, training, and certifying 10 women Apiary Masters and increasing the number and visibility of women in technical and policy leadership within the sector, who will act as role models for other women.
Teams4U and their partner organisation, Teams4U Uganda, are supporting vulnerable girls to get back into education by rebuilding strong peer- and community support networks to tackle reproductive health, taboos and associated harmful norms and practices made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic. The project is training teachers across 20 schools in the districts of Bukedea, Kumi and Katakwi to implement peer-to-peer support in clubs for adolescents. It has also held focus discussion groups with parents to encourage more supportive attitudes and behaviours towards adolescent girls. Locally manufactured reusable sanitary pads are being provided to pupils of menstrual age.
In Lesotho, Dolen Cymru and Nairasha Legal Support have worked to strengthen the capacity of law enforcement to respond to gender-based violence (GBV) in four districts, and to improve the delivery of services to victims and survivors. By formulating basic manuals and delivering a series of training sessions, this project has equipped the police to better respond to cases of GBV and has enabled community leaders to hold the police to account.
This grant programme has been crucial in growing awareness about women’s rights and equality by both male and female community members in Uganda and Lesotho. Through increasing respect by their male counterparts, women have been able to access support and services they were not previously able to. This is particularly important in relation to land rights, as many of the projects are working in patriarchal communities where women have no access to land that is essential for accessing resources and establishing income-generating activities.
The Gender Empowerment programme has also been central to demonstrating how Wales acts as a globally responsible nation and is fulfilling its commitments under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act.
Senior Development Support Manager at Hub Cymru Africa