School of Social Science

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    Policies and Practices Towards Women's Empowerment: Policy advocacy by Gender focused NGOs and the realities of grassroots women in Uganda
    (University of Cape Town, South Africa, 2001-08) Nabacwa, Mary Ssonko
    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.
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    Revisiting impediments to women’s land decision-making Processes in Uganda
    (2012) Busingye, Godard; Busingye, Godard
    Decision-making for women is a necessary condition for them to participate in various aspects of their social lives as individuals. Demand for women to participate in land decision-making processes is justifiable considering that for a long time, they have been denied that human right by the social forces which permeate their daily lives. The international human rights legal regime recognizes decision-making for women as a cornerstone for all the developmental aspects of humanity. This article identifies and revisits the main impediments to women’s land decision-making processes in Uganda with a view to creating awareness about their evils in respect to the denial of women’s rights. The impediments identified and discussed include custom, colonial rule, colonial education and religion all of which are informed by the ideology of patriarchy. The ideology of patriarchy, whether embedded in African custom or western social fabric and legal systems has a negative impact on women’s right to decision-making.
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    Collateral damage during armed conflict: inevitable or a rule of the game?
    (2011) Busingye, Godard
    This article discusses the concept of collateral damage. Under international humanitarian law, collateral damage is generally understood to mean the unintentional or incidental damage affecting facilities, equipment, or personnel, occurring as a result of military actions directed against targeted opposing military forces or facilities. The basic ethical value of principles of international humanitarian law is utilitarianism or ethical value of consequence. Utilitarianism defines the morally right action as that action that maximizes some non-moral good such as pleasure or happiness and minimizes some non-moral evil such as pain or misery, in situations of armed conflict, the destruction of the opposing forces or their property. Since armed conflicts cannot be stopped by law, the dilemma of legal scholars, politicians and the military remains how to minimize collateral damage once armed conflicts break out. A general conclusion drawn from the discussion is that collateral damage is an inevitable aspect of armed conflicts.
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    No Peace, No War: Protection of Civilians in the Great Lakes Region of Africa
    (2017) Busingye, Godard; Nkrumah, Bright
    Africa’s Great Lakes Region (GLR) has experienced protracted armed conflicts with severe humanitarian consequences. The dynamics of armed conflicts are often complex and their epicentre shifts from one locus to another, as they expand geographically. The brutality upon innocent civilians caused either by their government’s forces or rebels include sexual violence, forced population displacement and extrajudicial, and summary or arbitrary executions. In a majority of cases, incumbent governments fail in their constitutional mandates and international obligations to protect civilians from such atrocities. While the principle of responsibility to protect (R2P) has been invoked by the United Nations Security Council to protect civilians from atrocities in Libya, it remains unclear as to the criteria used to invoke this process. That inevitably poses constraints on the operationalization of protection of civilian mandates. The Chapter adopts a functionalist approach to probe the effectiveness of the responsibility to protect, by examining its role in the protection of civilians in the Great Lakes Region. Apart from identifying gaps between lack of clarity in conceptualization and operationalization; the discussion notes that there is need for clear normative standards on when and how responsibility to protect can be invoked for future protection missions. Introduction The Great Lakes Region (GLR)1 in Africa consists of countries that essentially coalesce around Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and other smaller lakes in East and Central Africa. These countries are organised under a regional body, the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). Within the region, there are also other organisations with more or less similar objectives as the ICGLR, such as the East African Community (EAC), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern. For purposes of this paper, Great Lakes Region (GLR) refers to the member states of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).
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    Assessment of Somali refugees’ wellbeing: the centrality of human needs.
    (2015-09) Balyejjusa, Moses Senkosi
    There is a substantial body of literature on psychological wellbeing of refugees in psychology, especially in relation to refugee acculturation. However, very little research has been carried out on refugee wellbeing by assessing refugees’ objective conditions of living. This paper seeks to bridge this gap by evaluating the satisfaction of the human needs of Somali refugees in Kampala, Uganda. Drawing on data from thirty six individual in-depth interviews and seven focus group discussions with seventy Somali refugee and twenty two Ugandan study participants living in Kisenyi slum, the paper shows that the study participants assessed the satisfaction of seven objective elements. They include peace and security, housing, education, health care, financial security, food and employment. These objective elements can be seen to represent human needs when analysed in relation to Len Doyal and Ian Gough’s (1991) theory of human need formulation. Specifically the objective elements are similar in some respect to Doyal and Gough’s identified intermediate needs of physical security, nutritional food and safe water, economic security, protective housing, appropriate education, appropriate health care and a non-hazardous work environment. Doyal and Gough (1991) maintain that their identified needs equate to functionings such as being nourished, healthy, literate and numerate (educated), sheltered, clothed, etc under the capability approach. The study participants assessed some Somali refugees as having adequate satisfaction of these objective elements while others as having inadequate satisfaction. Further, the Ugandan study participants evaluated the satisfaction of the elements more positively while the Somali refugee participants evaluated the satisfaction more negatively. In this paper I argue that this is the case because of the differences in Somali refugees’ financial resources and social support, a comparison of Somali refugees’ life situation in Kampala vis-à-vis their previous life situation in Somalia, a comparison of Ugandans’ life situation with Somali refugees’ life situation, and the non-discriminatory and accepting host environment. Refugees with more financial resources and stronger social support have their human needs such as housing, food, health care, education, employment and financial security adequately satisfied while refugees with fewer financial resources and weak social support have their needs inadequately satisfied. The financial resources are mainly from the small and medium scale business enterprises owned by Somali refugees in Kisenyi while the social support is mainly in form of financial remittances from relatives and friends from industrialised or developed countries. In addition to financial resources and mutual social support, the non-discriminatory and accepting attitudes and behaviours of Ugandans resulted in the satisfaction of the human needs of housing, education, peace and security, and employment of this category of Somali refugees. The positive evaluation of the satisfaction of Somali refugees’ needs of housing, education, food and financial security by Ugandans is because most Ugandans living in Kisenyi are in a poorer financial position than Somali refugees. On the other hand, Somali refugees’ negative evaluation of the satisfaction of their needs is due to Somali refugees comparing their better conditions of living in Somalia before the outbreak of the civil war with their conditions of living in Kisenyi. The findings of the study suggest that financial resources and a non-discriminatory and accepting host environment are instrumentally important in promoting Somali refugees’ wellbeing since they guarantee adequate satisfaction of the human needs of Somali refugees. I therefore conclude by noting that having means to financial resources and a non-discriminatory and accepting host environment are fundamental in promoting and guaranteeing refugees’ wellbeing in general and Somali refugees in particular.