The Centre for Women in Governance (CEWIGO) in partnership with UNHCR and Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) are pleased to share with you the joy of celebrating the 2019 International Women’s day (IWD) with refugees. The celebrations were hosted by Jesuit Refugee Services and presided over Ms. Noreen Nampewo from CEWIGO as the chief guest. The country Director of JRS, Fr. Frido Pfluger, welcomed all guests at JRS gardens who included; UNHCR officials, a team from CEWIGO, the refugee community and other organizations under SGDV working group.
The celebrations provided a platform for all stakeholders to share and discuss issues affecting refuges, their host communities and CSOs which work with refugees in Uganda.
The voices and stories of the refugee women were heard through their performances in form of Poems, fashion show, Music, dance and drama. Other activities in regard to capacity development included cookery, tailoring, hair dressing, Art and craft, English classes, computer classes among other humanitarian services.
A colorful exhibition was well laid with art pieces and works from the refugees as well as publications from partners. A team from CEWIGO exhibited a variety materials, books and posters with valuable information on Women Leadership and women Peace and Security. Below is the exhibition desk for CEWIGO
The Chief Guest Noreen Nampewo from CEWIGO asked one the refugees female representative Ms. Mapenzi Magamago about what this day means to her she had this to say, “By celebrating this day, we women refugees want to have our voices heard and let the people know that we matter”. Their stories of struggle for survival and inequality send a strong message to societies in Uganda and beyond to recognize refugee place in society and give them meaningful cause for celebration.
After listening in from refugees and other participants, the JRS Country Director in his remarks emphasized of promoting peace and security and then invited the Chief Guest to give her remarks.
In her remarks, Noreen appreciated JRS for honoring CEWIGO and inviting to be the chief guest and she noted the following:
- That such International woman celebrations are days celebrated in recognition of the roles and contribution of women to the development process in the country and the world over.
- With such platforms an opportunity is created to enhance advocacy for inclusion of women’s concerns in the development agenda at all levels.
- She urged development partners like United Nations Member States to design and implement interventions aimed as attaining gender equality and the empowerment of women.
- That women and girls make up the biggest numbers of those currently displaced who experience both discrimination and violence, hence the need to amplify women’s voices, knowledge and leadership to the heart of humanitarian action.
- Placing women in decision-making spaces and including their needs and realities in policies makes them more sustainable and responsive.
- She concluded with a strong statement “Equality is our Goal, Access is our Right”
Happy Women’s day
Written by : Noreen Nampewo, Program officer, CEWIGO