Policies and Practices Towards Women's Empowerment: Policy advocacy by Gender focused NGOs and the realities of grassroots women in Uganda
Nabacwa, Mary Ssonko
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This is an exploratory study that sought to analyze the causes of the gaps between the policy advocacy work of gender focussed NGOs at the national level and the realities of the grassroots women in Uganda. The study was designed to identify the factors that affect the effectiveness of policy advocacy work aimed at empowering grassroots women, its linkages with the issues of women at the grassroots level and make recommendations for improvement. The study was based on qualitative methods of data collection and analysis. Data was collected from six key informants from National Association of women organisations in Uganda (NAWOU), Uganda Women's Network (UWONET), OXFAM, Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE), Federation of Uganda Women Lawyers (FIDA) and ActionAid Uganda( AAU). It is also based on secondary data from past literature on the subject and from the above NGOs. Thirdly the study is based on the active participation of the writer in the advocacy by gender focused NGOs at the national level for the past three and half years and having worked in Rakai World Vision Uganda Project from 1994 to 1997. The findings are presented under the following themes: • Current situation of women in Uganda, • Policy advocacy by gender focussed NGOs and • Factors affecting policy advocacy with a deeper analysis of the linkages between policy advocacy and grassroots women. The major findings of the study are that while Uganda presents a very good opportunity to ensure that grassroots women actively participate and benefit from advocacy processes, this opportunity has not been fully utilised.