Women’s Leadership Development

This is CEWIGO’s major program area. The program focuses is on mobilizing women including young women with leadership potential and building their capacities to understand better how governance and electoral systems work; how women leaders build their political and social base and clout, how they manage successful campaigns; how they make use of their social and political networks to mobilize resources; and most importantly, how and where to apply their negotiation, research, public speaking and writing skills to advocate for gender responsive policies, programs, work plans and budgets to improve the conditions of the of women in Uganda.

Strategic objective: To strengthen women’s leadership and capacity to influence positive change at national, local and grassroots levels.

Women’s Rights Advocacy

Under this program area, CEWIGO will continue to build and sustain women’s leadership to articulate and claim their right to peace and personal security and to advocate for the formulation and implementation of gender–responsive laws, policies and programs that secure peace and good governance in Uganda.  CEWIGO will also monitor the level of implementation of selected commitments Uganda has made at national, regional and global levels for women’s advancement and empowerment particularly in the area of peace and security. Through various interventions initiated under this program, CEWIGO will facilitate processes that strengthen institutional and community capacity to uphold, defend and fully respect women’s rights including the right to live free of any form of violence and discrimination. Respect of women’s right to peace and security is a fundamental human right that is absolutely essential for promoting and achieving good governance in Uganda.

Strategic objective: To advocate for conditions that sustain women’s peace and security for good governance.

Community and Citizens Empowerment

This program area aims to empower communities, women, men, boys and girls with knowledge and skills to influence public behavior and attitude change that support good governance, and women’s participation in leadership and decision making. When citizens know their rights and constitutional responsibilities they are in a better position to engage electively in their governance, elect leaders of good standing, and ensure that the leaders (elected and holding public office) remain accountable and committed to the delivery of quality social services.

Strategic objective: To take lead in influencing the integration and delivery of key aspects in national civic education programs that support women’s participation in governance.


Focus on Women’s Rights and Governance

CEWIGO’s work is centred on the rights of women and girls. Women suffer inequalities in access to and control of production resources and in political participation. They are vulnerable when in ill health, and when they are pregnant or due to have a baby. In conflict and post conflict situations, they are even more vulnerable. Women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health rights are violated due to power imbalances within households, communities and institutions. They are subjected to harassment and abuse during election campaigns, they are sexually violated as much by their partners and relatives as they are by strangers. Young girls are violated by their teachers, relatives, guardians, parents and family friends. Women also shoulder the burden for care and support at family and community level.

Deepening Partnerships

Aware of the difficulty in challenging unequal power and injustice and the limitations that might be encountered in fighting for justice across the board, we will focus on building and mobilizing a critical mass of women and men activists, supporters, partner organizations, and all other stakeholders through movements, coalitions, networks and alliances to magnify women’s voices and men’s participation working for gender equality. In choosing who to work with, we will be guided by our principles of mutual respect, honesty, transparency and accountability. Our partnership approach will be premised on the recognition of the need for mutual accountability, a commitment to promoting women’s participation in governance, and mobilizing and organizing women and men to challenge unequal power relations and injustice which keep women marginalized and in poverty. We will enhance the capacity of organizations of working to promote gender equality. While we hold duty bearers and government accountable for promoting gender equality, we will support them with needed information to enable them play their role effectively.

Working with grassroots women and men

Much as it is important to mobilise and sensitise women to fight for their own cause, CEWIGO recognises the importance of involving men in championing the cause for women’s advancement and empowerment. CEWIGO agrees with the belief that it is practically important to partner with men who have long-standing control of power, and sensitise them to understand gender equity, equality and mainstreaming. In this way, male champions can serve as agents for change for the inclusion and effective participation of women at all levels and across all sectors including the home.

Using participatory approaches

Respect and promotion of gender equality and women’s rights can only be achieved and sustained when those whose rights are denied are at the forefront of holding duty bearers accountable. We will use our experience to work with women continuously engage in advocacy for increased participation of women in governance and leadership. We will mobilize women leaders to understand and build solidarity networks and caucuses and take action to change the condition of women in their constituencies. We will deepen participatory review and reflection processes in ways that enhance mutual accountability, learning, knowledge building and critical reflection of our own systems and methods of work.

Working beyond the Local

Addressing gender inequality in governance and women’s advancement will require engagement with those who hold the power to decide wherever they are located. We will move beyond Uganda’s boarders to link our efforts with individuals, groups, movements and institutions in East Africa, the Africa region and beyond to amplify the voices of women and girls. We will work with other women’s organizations and coalitions to build evidence for more effective advocacy.

Current Projects

Strengthening the capacity of women leaders in eight districts to effectively participate in decision making processes. 

Project Funder: The Democratic Governance Facility (DGF)

Overall Funding: UGX 883,614,832
Project Duration: 1 Year (May 2018 to April 2019)
Partner Organisations: 
  1. Uganda Media Women’s Association (UMWA)
  2. Uganda Project Implementation and Management Centre (UPIMAC)
  3. Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA)

Project Synopsis

The Project seeks to create an enabling environment for increased representation of women in political leadership. In Uganda, women’s political participation continues to increase in terms of numbers but it has not been possible to achieve gender equality and equity. Women in political leadership continue to grapple with a number of challenges including patriarchy, skills gaps, managing their leadership roles with family/ gender roles, negative religious and cultural beliefs among others. 

The project is based on the notion that addressing the issues that affect women’s effective participation in leadership and governance requires going beyond the conventional approaches that largely focus on capacity building for women leaders.  CEWIGO under the project pursues interventions that contribute to greater local activism to change of societal mind-set and create a cultural shift to address beliefs and practices that form the basis of discrimination and marginalization of women in society. The project also intends to strategically engage men, technocrats, religious, cultural and opinion leaders as allies and influencers to promote women’s rights including political participation.

Project objectives:

  1. To advocate for recognition of women engagement in   politics at local levels
  2. To increase the number of women participating in decision making in the targeted communities.
  3. To promote the women’s agenda within their constituencies for proper decision making and accountability.

Target audience: District and sub county female and male councillors, political leaders, religious, civic and cultural leaders, district and sub county technocrats, community activists.

Districts of Focus:  Buhweju, Mbarara, Buliisa, Hoima, Masindi, Kween, Bukwo & Kapchorwa

Team Leader: Ms. Bonnie Kiconco Kashaija Mutungi

Project Manager: Ms. Atukwatse Prudence