Advancing Gender-Responsive Governance and Women’s Effective Participation in Public Life
THEMATIC AREA 2: Advancing Gender-Responsive Governance and Women’s Effective Participation in Public Life
The objective under this thematic area is to promote social accountability and gender responsive governance at local, national and regional levels.
While Uganda’s international, regional and national commitments to gender equality, women’s rights and good governance are clearly articulated in law and policy, the extent to which the systems and processes, as well as the individuals in key institutions apply these commitments is far from ideal. Women occupy key positions in public institutions in both the public and private sectors at local and national level, however, their influence in these positions is often hampered by the structures and systems in these institutions, as well as negative attitudes towards gender equality and women’s rights. It is therefore pertinent that women are supported to have greater influence, particularly in decision and policy-making. FIDA Uganda is in a unique and strong position to provide such support to women because a number of its members occupy key positions in the Judiciary, Parliament, the Executive as other public bodies like the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), Equal Opportunities Commission (EoC), JLOS agencies and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). There is also a significant pool of women lawyers in civic organizations and the legal profession. In addition to promoting and supporting women’s leadership and influence, FIDA Uganda seeks to influence change in the policies, systems, structures and processes of these institutions, in order to ensure that they are pro-poor, gender responsive and recognise the importance of women’s rights.
FIDA Uganda supports women to influence decision-making by providing them with the necessary research, legal analysis and organizational ability to effectively lobby for increased accountability for women’s rights and gender equality. Under JLOS, FIDA Uganda utilizes its membership on key JLOS Working groups such as family, criminal justice and transitional justice, to advocate for gender justice in policies and implementation frameworks. FIDA Uganda also works with women and communities to build their capacity to influence social accountability and gender responsiveness in legislation, policy and practice of key governance and public institutions at all levels. By ensuring that women are better informed about their rights, FIDA contributes to women’s participation in various democratic and governance processes, and in so doing influences the decisions that affect their lives.
As part of the wider movement by civil society for good governance and respect for human rights, FIDA Uganda emphasizes specific concerns regarding women’s rights and aim to rally others, including female legislators, to advocate for greater accountability by Government for its international and national commitments to gender equality and women’s rights. FIDA Uganda works with other CSOs to support women leaders in various sectors through training in a number of areas including policy development and analysis, leadership skills, effective networking and advocacy. In our capacity as a membership association, we facilitate networking and learning events for women lawyers and support influential women in public life to champion gender equality and women’s rights. FIDA Uganda also monitors the effectiveness of policies, legislation and institutions that should promote gender equality and women’s rights and advocates for women’s representation on public bodies. FIDA Uganda also engages in joint advocacy and provides leadership in national coalitions for good governance and accountability in Uganda.