Monday, October 11, 2010

Women's Agenda, Pillar No.9: Peace, Human Security and Dignity

9.1 Background to the Thematic Pillar: Peace, Security and Human Dignity

Conflict is endemic in Uganda and is manifested through the various land conflicts, gender, tribal /ethnic conflicts, resource conflicts and political violence fanned by the existing cycle of violence at the border/Great Lakes region. Peace, human security and dignity are critical determinants of sustainable development. Where there is conflict, the people that tend to suffer most are women.

The Government of Uganda has adopted and began the implementation of UN Resolution 1325 and UN Resolution 1820, which address the needs of women in all peace keeping operations, as well as the broader issues of women’s roles in building and maintaining peace. The Goma Declaration recognises violence as a threat to national and regional security and development and that it propagates the spread of HIV/AIDS, which in turn affects productivity and retards development.

The insecurity we experience as a country, is manifested through the violence experienced in the home and the community.

9.2 Key Issues Within the Thematic Pillar: Peace, Security and Human Dignity

Holistic Nature of Conflict

Conflict should be addressed from a holistic perspective because peace does not mean the absence of war. The PRDP clearly states that the manifestation of conflict goes beyond the presence of war.

The way women and men experience conflict is different. In Uganda, women bear the greater brunt of conflict both in the private and public spheres and are therefore in a permanent state of insecurity even when there is no war in the country. Permanent insecurity is manifested through the high magnitude of; domestic violence; personal insecurity and failure to have control over personal resources; food insecurity; sexual violence; mental torture and limited power of decision making, which affects their ability to lead. Conflict therefore prevents women from participating in leadership because it affects their personal and bodily integrity.

The Change We Want to See

1. Adequate resourcing and implementation of the UN 1820 and Goma Declarations and integration of the UN Res 1325, with government policies and plans such as PRDP, NDP, etc

2. Development of a policy and regulations to guide the creation of districts and administrative units, to limit sources of national tension and unrest

3. Establishment of a Reparations Fund for women with a special focus on mental health

4. Resourcing, implementation and monitoring of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement 2006

5. Review of the PRDP and its implementation, to ensure that it is well resourced and that it prioritises women’s concerns

6. Support to the provision of legal aid services to women in the Greater North

7. Assessment of the land question in the context of the war, taking cognizance among others of gender, poverty, culture, patriarchy and the communal land tenure system of ownership, prevalent in the Greater North

8. Development of an affirmative action policy to promote the education of the girl child from the Greater North, at all levels, including tertiary institutions.

9. Promotion of non-violent forms of conflict resolution and integration of gender perspectives in the resolution of armed or other conflicts. Women being peacemakers and preservers of the social order must be included in peace keeping, conflict resolution, and management at all levels.

10. Promotion and establishment of national reconstruction and reconciliation initiatives among people from all regions and of all political persuasions.

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