Fellows 2016

Abel NuwamanyaAbel Nuwamanya (Uganda)

Gender and the Law: a New Perspective to Equality in Uganda

The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda (chapter 4) guarantees both men and women equality before the law (Constitution of Uganda: 1995). The National Gender Policy (2007) and Gender Action Plan (2007-8) for eliminating gender inequalities for stance poverty eradication programmes. The aim of the policy was to provide a gender outlook and mainstreaming at all levels of planning, gender responsive budgeting and implementation of development programs. The National Development Plan notes that gender inequality has led to uneven distribution of resources, opportunities and violations of human rights and stipulates measures for redress, National Development Plan (2015-2021). However, a key challenge Uganda faces is that while policies and plans are clearly enunciated on paper, implementation lacks coordination or is non-existent. 

Issues of gender inequality have persisted due to negative customs and cultural constructs in our society; a paradigm shift in the approach should focus on religious and cultural institutions as important change agents to fully achieve gender equality and safeguard the girl-child‘s rights and fulfilment of their potential, right from childhood (UNICEF Uganda, Child Poverty Report: 2015).

The current situation in Uganda with regard to gender equality is reflected in these aspects which affect both men and women differently; gender and law, legal and policy, Land law & property ownership, Gender based violence and literacy level.


Amélia Olga André ZawangoniAmélia Olga André Zawangoni (Mozambique)

Monitoring and Evaluation System within Mozambican Gender Machinery: Diagnosis for Improvement

The main objective of this project is to analyse the Monitoring and Evaluation system for gender mainstreaming within the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Action. Covering the period 2010 to 2014, the evaluation was based on five criteria, namely: relevance; efficiency 1: installed capacity; efficiency 2: use; and sustainability, chosen according to the criteria from United Nations Evaluation Group and the Development Assistance Committee from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The data were collected through interviews and document review.

The findings lead to the conclusion that, while the M&E system for gender mainstreaming is relevant within MGCAS, several challenges related to weak planning and implementation for M&E and alignment amongst the main guiding documents, lack and quality of disaggregated data, gender focal points underrepresentation, lack of technical capacities, and underfunding, still persist.


Daniel AmponsahDaniel Amponsah (Ghana)

Sexuality in transition: Examining the changing sexual orientation and behavior among Ghanaians. Case study: Content analysis of media discourse on non-heterosexual orientations and behaviours in Ghana

The main purpose of this study is to explore how  sexual orientation and behaviour are discussed in Ghana in this global era of sexual transition. Research on sexuality in Ghana has been scanty due to the nature of Ghanaian society, where sensitive issues like sexuality are not openly discussed and researched.The discourse is fuelled, to a great extent, by moral panic, which invariably impinges on an  unbiased discussion of the issue.

Existing discourses  mainly emphasize the preservation of heterosexuality as the only form of African sexuality, while amplifying the implications of same-sex affairs for the conventional family and marriage system, generational continuity, and religious values.

The data for this research study were gathered through contents and editorials of major online news portals in Ghana as well as other literature on the topic. This study’s findings revealed that religion, culture, and traditions play a central role in shaping views about sexuality among Ghanaians . The findings also highlighted the impact of cultural contact in shaping several aspects of sexuality, including same-sex and other non-heterosexual relationships. The theoretical implications of this study’s results are discussed in terms of how they can help to clarify culturally informed models focusing on the role played by society, religion, family, and laws, in the development of people‘s perspectives about sexuality. In other words, intersectionality has  become an  important concept within gender research, emphasizing that social inequalities should be seen in the light of other identities than gender alone. This theoretical perspective suggests that identities interact and shape people’s experiences and power positions. The practical and educational implications of this study’s results are also discussed.


Diana Younis Mahmoud Al-AzzehDiana Al-Azzeh (Palestine)

Gender and Environment - Incorporating Women in Recycling/Sorting Plastic Solid Waste in Refugee Camps in the South of Palestine: Indoor Sustainable Solid Waste Management System

Sustainable waste management is a pathway to a green economy; minimizing waste and pollution, creating sustainable job opportunities, increasing income, protecting vulnerable livelihoods, and alleviating poverty. 

The project focuses on creating job opportunities for both women and men through creating an indoor, sustainable, solid waste management system in five Palestinian refugee camps in the South of Palestine. Thus, this project improves living conditions of Palestinians residing in refugee camps.

The project puts great emphasis on women as the major success points to gear the project towards enhancing and improving their socio-economic status at the household level, and of the overall community.  In addition, the management of household waste is, to a large extent, more the responsibility of women than of men; therefore, training and awareness-raising campaigns, and activities regarding domestic waste management will be used in this project. Furthermore, it will address the problem of increased environmental pollution in refugee camps created by the accumulation of mainly plastic solid waste, and play a major role in protecting the environment, by reducing the harmful, plastic substances in the camps.

The overall goal is to contribute towards improving the quality of life, standard of living, and empowerment of Palestinians, living in refugee camps in the Hebron and Bethlehem areas. The purpose of the project is also to increase incomes for Palestinian refugees, empower women by creating job opportunities, and support sustainable livelihoods in refugee camps. United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) will play a major role in funding the project, with the integration and cooperation of its department and programs, for the purpose of ensuring the achievement of UNRWA’s Human Development Goals: long and healthy lives, a healthy living environment for Palestine refugees, and a decent standard of living (UNRWA 2014e).


Harriet AtimHarriet Atim Obong (Uganda)

Contribution to the End of Child Marriages and Teenage Pregnancies in Uganda

Child marriage and early teenage pregnancies are gradually growing in the world today. According to UNICEF reports, over 720 million women who are alive today, were married off as children, compared with 156 million men. The number keeps on growing every year. The United Nations Population Fund estimates that by 2021 there will be over fifteen million newly married girls at 14 years. Analysts have detected groups of countries with a rise in child marriages; they are: Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Senegal.

Uganda has a total population of 39,032,383, of which 19,525,205 are women, with a high population growth rate of 3.2%. The country also has a high Fertility Rate of 5.87 children for women within the childbearing age bracket. Due to its high fertility rate, Uganda is among the countries in the world with the highest number of teenage girls experiencing early marriages.

Statistics show that over 15% of married women between the ages of 20-49, were married off by the age of 15 years and that 18% were married off by the age of 18. (UBOS 2011, UDHS 2011). The prevalence is seen to be highest in Northern Uganda, with an estimated 59%, followed by Western region (58%), Eastern region (52%), East central (52%), West Nile (50%), Central (41%), South west (37%), and lowest in Kampala (21%) (UNFPA, 2013).

There are many factors that can lead to child marriages and teenage pregnancies, ranging from individual and social, to customary and cultural beliefs. These factors impact negatively on young girls. This project is designed to address the negative impact on girls as well as to strive to minimize the problem of child marriages and early pregnancies.

The objectives of this project are: to raise awareness and commitment among parents, teachers, girls and boys; to stop child marriages and early teenage pregnancies; provide psychological support, legal support, and health care to girls who are victims of teenage pregnancies and early marriages; and to support and empower girls with economic skills that will enable them to take care of themselves and their families.

The key project activities are: provision of psycho-social, legal, and health support; facilitation of access to vocational training opportunities for girls, both in and out of school; capacity building of teachers and school staff, and community leaders, in the creation of protective and safe environments for the girls; provision of sexual and reproductive health information for girls in and out of school; access to, and knowledge of, birth control; and to build the capacity of the girls in life skills. The beneficiaries of this project are girls aged between 12 to 15 years, both in and out of school. The project will not work in isolation but will work in collaboration with various stakeholders as well as with existing frameworks.


Harriet PamaraHarriet Pamara (Uganda)

Enhancing Women’s Economic Livelihoods and Biodiversity Conservation within the Protected Areas of Kidepo Critical Landscape (Kcl) For Sustainable Development in Karamoja Region, Uganda

Climate change has become a fundamental threat to food security, sustainable development, and poverty eradication globally (FAO, 2010). The African continent is already faced with the challenges of the negative effects of climate change (Lukamba, 2010). East African countries are already grappling with these problems and Uganda is already experiencing an increase in temperatures, and extreme climatic events, that have significant implications on water resources, food security, natural resource management, human health, settlements, and infrastructures. Particularly, semi-arid and arid areas like the Karamoja region, have been hit with droughts that have left the area without food for the population, or grazing pastures for the nomadic population.

Karamoja region has been faced with many challenges besides the effects of climate change. For decades, the area has been in armed conflicts, both within, between the different ethnic tribes, and outside, with neighboring pastoralists from Kenya and Sudan, who raid their cattle. All these have left the region with food security threats, so that, for decades, they have depended on food aid from World Food Programme (WFP) (Burns, Bekele, & Akabwai, 2013; Onyango, 2010; SAFERWORLD, 2010).

This project proposal will aim at enhancing the livelihoods of women living within the Kidepo Critical Landscape, through sustainable use of biodiversity and alternative livelihoods options. The project will focus on awareness creation among the community, and capacity building of local government officials on gender and climate change; reinforce the interface between the communities and government bodies like Uganda Wildlife authority (UWA) and National Forest Authority (NFA) and women’s economic empowerment.

The main activities will be awareness campaigns in the community through community dialogues, and radio talk shows. Local government officials will be trained to spearhead these campaigns. In order to reinforce the interface between community and UWA/NFA, there will be constant dialogues on how to use the forest and park resources by the community while conserving the biodiversity for sustainable development. There will be training in entrepreneurship skills, and different projects will be implemented like beekeeping, mushroom growing, small scale businesses, home gardening and growing of improved drought resistant food crops and handicrafts.



Kholofelo ThobejaneKholofelo Thobejane (South Africa)

Transforming Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Female Entrepreneur Awards competition into a Women Empowerment Programme

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has been running the Female Entrepreneur Awards (DAFF FEA) competition since 1999 to empower and increase participation of women in the sector. This competition is viewed in isolation from the programmes of the Department and as an event for celebrating women´s month in August. Whilst the sector continues to face women empowerment challenges, transformation still remains the biggest challenge for the sector. The uncoordinated planning and implementation by government, with each programme designing its own implementation plan, has lead to a fragmented scattering of projects across the sector’s landscape. Without an integrated approach and effective management of actions, roles and responsibilities, most women empowerment strategies and programmes devised by DAFF, results in ineffective implementation due to uncoordinated and disjointed gendered approach, applied to implement programmes and policies for the sector

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries does not have a gender policy. Partly for that reason, it continues to use `first come first serve‘ as a criteria to allocate resources in the sector.

Gender mainstreaming which aims to integrate the gender dimensions into relevant policies and activities rather than addressing gender in isolation, is recommended as a tool to implement transformation in the sector.

The study concludes by recommending that strengthening the institutional mechanisms to coordinate and enhance support for women in the sectors of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, will help to achieve women‘s empowerment. The study also seeks to contribute to an enabling environment for transformation. This requires an application of gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) for all producer support programmes of the department. Furthermore, the study recommends that DAFF develops a gender policy to mandate the sector to integrate the gender dimension into relevant policies and activities, rather than address gender through a separate and isolated process.


Madalitso MakondiMadalitso Makondi (Malawi)

Addressing gendered aspects of food insecurity in Kalintulo Tea Plantation Community, Malawi 

The project aims at addressing the gendered aspects of food insecurity in Kalintulo tea plantation community in Thyolo district in Malawi. In tea estates communities, the determining factors of food insecurity include low wages among tea pickers (who are mainly women), shortage of land, and existing household gender imbalances.

The project considers food security to be a human rights issue, and the problem of food insecurity will be addressed through empowerment of men and women farming in the area and working at the tea plantations. It will involve the assessment of food insecurity at the community and household level, analyzing causes of food insecurity, and actions to reduce food insecurity will be implemented.

The project will be implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, and the Malawi Centre for Advice, Research, and Education on Rights (Malawi CARER). It is expected that imbalances of gender in the division of labor will be reduced, giving women more opportunity to be involved in activities that promote household food security in the project area. It is expected that income for women, who are the majority in the low wage labor of tea plucking, and are farmers, primarily involved in growing food for family consumption, will increase, resulting in increased purchasing power to buy food and agriculture production inputs.

It is also anticipated that land will be available for crop production through negotiation skills, and also increased crop yield through agro-forestry practices, and access to firewood through agro-forestry, thereby reducing the burden on women‘s work load, and giving them more time for food production activities, resulting in sustainable food security in Kalintulo tea plantation community.


Marilú JoaoMarilú João (Mozambique)

Collective suicide:  The social construction of beauty relating to black women´s hair in Maputo – Mozambique

This essay discusses the prevalent oppressive moments of black hair through the ages, and questions the predominant, discriminatory, practice within the classification of femininity and beauty, related to the struggle of “looking white”. The first part questions the colonial legacy for black womanhood, crossing fashion, self-esteem, and identity implications for black women.

The discussion then turns to exposing the metamorphosis of beauty, focusing on different kinds of artificial hair, their applications, and health implications. Finally, it presents the blueprint for an artistic awareness intervention in the capital city of Mozambique, where new emancipatory trends are proposed, based on Freire´s pedagogy of the oppressed. 



Miriam AkotMiriam Akot (Uganda)

Promotion of Menstrual Hygiene among Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Vocational Rehabilitation Centres in Uganda: A Participatory Action Research Project

This project focuses on the promotion of menstrual hygiene among women with disabilities within five vocational training and rehabilitation centres for persons with disabilities (PWDs), namely: Kireka and Lweza rehabilitation centers in the central region of Uganda, Mpumudde rehabilitation centre in Jinja district in Eastern Uganda, Ruti rehabilitation center in Mbarara district in Western Uganda, and Ocoko rehabilitation centre in Arua district in the northern region of Uganda.

This project has identified the underlying causes of poor menstrual hygiene among women with disabilities, to include; (1) Lack of information on menstruation; (2) Use of unhygienic material such as cuts from mattresses, and pieces of rag clothing, due to a financial inability to purchase disposable sanitary pads, as a result of high poverty levels among PWDs; (3) Negative cultures and perceptions on menstruation guided by myths and taboos, which also contribute to poor menstruation hygiene among PWDs.

The project has also recognised that because these problems exist, women with disabilities cannot manage menstruation effectively, and so, may suffer other effects such as bacterial and vaginal infection as a result of using unhygienic sanitary material, low self-esteem, and stigma due to bad body smell, (as they may not be able to afford detergents for cleaning-up), school dropout, and discrimination due to negative cultures and perception.


Noura Salah AldeenNoura Salah Aldeen (Palestine)

Gender and Migration: The Case of Beit Hanina

 The aim of the research project is to explore gender relations in the Palestinian village of Beit Hanina, north of Jerusalem, by focusing on the changes that have taken place in the experiences of the three different social groups living there: the native emigrants-returnees, the native stayers, and the internal immigrants.  The first group, the emigrants-returnees, are those who emigrated to the United States, and return as visitors or return immigrants; they usually have some property ownership in the village and are often related to the native stayers. The second group, the native stayers, is the native population of the village that has not emigrated to the United States, and is a minority, both within the permanent resident population (natives and internal migrants), and within the general native village population (native stayers and native emigrants). They, like the native emigrants, have property ownership in the village. The third group, the internal immigrants, are people who have moved into the village for different reasons; they are a diverse group, and have often bought or rented their property from the natives, and now make up the majority of the population. The purpose is to study the social interactions—such as exchange, competition, conflict, cooperation, and accommodation—between these different groups as well as within each group; as well as how they have changed the communities’ perceptions of gender and gender relations.


Nthamyo Thandie MbeyeNthamyo Thandie Mbeye (Malawi)

Gendered value chain analysis of mangoes in Malawi

Malawi has a favourable climate for fruit production and yet, the fruit sub-sector receives little support from both the government and the private sectors. The production of mangoes has been increasing through the years; however, of all harvested mangoes, 60% are lost due to poor harvest and post-harvest handling techniques. These high levels of post-harvest losses and spoilage represent wasted income generating opportunities for mango farmers that could be improved with the introduction of enhanced processing techniques for increased storage capacity, and control of the product within the value chain.

It is important to take note that the mango value chain in Malawi is not gender neutral; i.e., women and men are affected by, and benefit differently from, the value chain. Regrettably, research on gender and mango value chains in Malawi have been insignificant, and remain unpublished. Thus, this paper sets a foundation for future investment and interventions in the mango sub-sector. The purpose of this paper is to provide a gendered analysis of the mango value chain in Malawi. The paper identifies a variety of gender related issues at each stage of the mango value chain, and strategies that need to be taken into consideration when improving and upgrading a mango value chain. The paper emphasizes the importance of understanding gender roles and relations for a dynamic mango value chain that benefits both men and women in Malawian society. It tackles issues of household division of labour, and the triple roles of women (reproductive, productive and community roles), and how these affect the mango value chain. The paper reveals that although women take part in all stages of the mango value chain, they are mainly concentrated in the production and processing stages, while men are concentrated in the stages where money is involved, such as the business and marketing stages. Furthermore, the paper reveals that women face many challenges that affect men less. These challenges include access to, and control over, resources, as well as access to financial and agricultural extension services.

Lastly, the paper provides a number of recommendations that needs to be taken into consideration when developing a gender responsive mango value chain in Malawi. The most critical recommendations, among others, are: the formulation of a gender responsive horticultural policy; formation of women mango farmer groups (associations and cooperatives); implementation of household approach methodologies to tackle issues of gender inequality that affect the operations of the mango value chain at household level; and provision of gender and horticultural (e.g. mango value chain) trainings to agriculture staff and farmers.


Roselyn MakhamberaRoselyn Dalitso Makhambera (Malawi)

Reducing Police Violence against Sex Workers in Malawi

This project focuses on the reduction of police violence against female sex workers in Malawi. In Malawi, laws relating to issues of sex work are not very clear and this development results in police unlawfully arresting sex workers. These unlawful arrests put female sex workers in danger of suffering different forms of violence committed by the police. However, the constitution of Malawi guarantees respect, protection, and fulfillment of all human rights for its citizens. On the other hand, some laws are unjust and hostile towards vulnerable groups such as sex workers, who often survive at the mercy of the police. Rogue and vagabond, and idle and disorderly laws found in Sections 180 to 184 of the Penal Code are the kinds of laws which are used improperly to prosecute sex workers. Law enforcement intentionally uses these law to harass, threaten, arrest, beat, and sexually coerce female sex workers who are underprivileged and unable to access any legal representation. There are concerns over the police’s unprofessional conduct toward sex workers. In the worst scenarios, police officers sexually abuse sex workers in exchange for release. This unethical behaviour by police officers is likely to continue if there is no proper action to halt or curtail the malpractice. Lack of knowledge on gender, human rights and legal issues puts sex workers in Malawi at high risk of having their rights violated. Therefore, the project aims to bring together police officers, sex workers, and other concerned stakeholders to reduce police violence against sex workers. The project plans to extensively use the radio to raise community awareness about sex-worker abuse and respecting their rights. The project’s main goal is to reduce violence perpetrated by the police against sex workers.

The project will use a human rights based approach, and the following strategies: training police officers on best practices regarding sex workers, training health care personnel on creating a positive environment for sex workers when they seek medical assistance, and training sex workers on how best to conduct themselves when they are arrested. In addition, the project will mobilize Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in combating human rights violations; strengthening already existing sex workers support programs and developing mass media awareness. The project will also  complement the Malawi Institute of Journalism – MIJ FM radio programs that talk about human rights and gender equality issues.


Stella TerekaStella Tereka (Uganda)

Enhancing Women Farmers’ Adaptive Capacity to Cope with Climate Change in Kamuli District

Kamuli district is located within Busoga region in Eastern Uganda, which lies in the lake basin climatic area with highly varied climatic conditions, ranging from severe droughts and flooding, to erratic rainfall, affecting the socio-economic development in the sub-region. Despite the endowment of natural resources, Busoga is one of the poorest sub-regions, coupled with the highest levels of Gender Based Violence (GBV) (The New Vision Paper 2015). With increasing effects of climate change, the levels of food insecurity and malnutrition are high (The New Vision Newspaper 2009).

Despite Uganda´s progress in providing policies and frameworks that are supportive of gender equality, gender imbalances have remained, especially in decision-making, access, and control of resources. Increasingly, studies show that there will be no climate justice without gender equity (Terry, 2009). In Uganda, women are still marginalised especially during the implementation of the policy priority areas; yet, they form the majority of the labour force. It is, therefore, important to build on women´s strength, priorities, and relationship to the environment, as put forward by eco-feminists, to increase their ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster resilience in their agriculture livelihoods.

The proposed project will, therefore, contribute towards strengthening adaptive capacity and improving the livelihoods of the rural population, in order to enhance the resilience of women in Kamuli district with the specific objectives of: increasing capacity development of  farmers and extension district staff to implement and adopt good practices for increased resilience and climate change adaptation; strengthening of district and lower local government´s knowledge and capacities for gender-sensitive climate change programming; challenging gender stereotypes through household gender equality advocacy and household mentoring, and promotion of local monitoring, farmer exposure, and documentation of good practices for replication in households.

The project will be implemented using the Farmer Field Schools (FFS) methodology which capitalises on participatory capacity building, and the main target beneficiaries will be women as well as men, through constructive ways of promoting  intra-household power relations and dynamics in terms of decision making, ownership, and control of livelihoods assets. The project will also promote “He for She”, to create alliances between men and women to enhance ecological sustainability through household mentoring methodologies, and Gender Action Learning Systems (GALS).

The project has five output areas, namely: the promotion of participatory capacity development, climate-smart technologies, and practices in agriculture adaptation; strengthening household gender equality advocacy through household mentoring; promoting exposure, local monitoring, and documentation of good practices; stimulating alternative livelihood system strengthening and adaptation, and; strengthening the capacity of district and lower local governments’ officials to integrate gender in climate change interventions.


Wamundu MuzamilWamundu Muzamil (Uganda)

Empowering Rural Women Small Scale Farmers with Mobile Phone Skills to Access Market Information

The skyrocketing of mobile phone ownership in low and middle-income countries as reported by Global System for Mobile Association (GSMA), provides an opportunity for farmers to access information and practical advice on the farming and livestock strategies when and where they need it (GSMA, 2010). Empowering women famers in rural areas with mobile phone skills represents an enormous social and commercial opportunity in improving the standard of living for members of society (GSMA, 2010).
Uganda´s current population is at 34.9 million people, with the proportion of female and male populations at 17.9 female and 16.9 male million respectively (NPHC, 2014). Mobile phone access has also reached a record 52.3 percent, as reported by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC, 2014); as with many other African countries, such developments present unique challenges that continue to stress government structures and agencies (Brandie Lee, 2011).

The bulk of Uganda´s population (87%) still resides in rural arears, 85% of whom are involved in subsistence agriculture (FAO, 2010). Nationwide, 90% of all rural women work in agriculture (as against 53% of rural men) with mixed farming systems as the main source of livelihood (FOWODE, 2012). In Uganda, socio-cultural stereotypes are still the main constraints to the full participation of women in political and economic empowerment (FAO, 2009). The government‘s policies on agriculture, aiming at promoting priority areas of the National Development Plan (NDP, 2010/11–2014/15) and bridging the equity gap in the agricultural sector, is undermined by the persistent of poverty in rural communities. This negative trend is likely to continue if key constraints to agricultural information and extension services to small-scale rural farmers are not addressed appropriately.
The project intends to pilot the use of agricultural mobile phone apps for rural small-scale farmers as an alternative means to access agricultural information and extension services and to link them to potential traders to buy their produce. The main goal is to improve the livelihoods of twenty thousand rural small-scale farmers, both men and women, selected from three districts of Mbale, Manafwa, and Bududa, with sustainable incomes to benefit their families and the communities, and reduce the equity gap by at least 15% within a period of five years. It is expected that the success of the pilot mobile phone project will lay the ground to expand similar services to other districts country wide.
The project will use the gender participatory approach with the aim of better benefit sharing for both men and women. The expected outcome is reduced household income gaps in rural smallscale farming communities in Mbale, Manafwa, and Bududa districts in Bugisu sub-region in Eastern Uganda.