Global Resources

Sisterhood? The Casual Link between Gender-Focused NGOs and the Grassroots Women of Uganda

Author: M. Ssonko Nabacwa
Publication Date: Sep 2002
Do advocacy efforts on the part of NGOs actually lead to benefits for women? This study in Uganda looked at why there are gaps between advocacy around policies for women's empowerment and the impact of this advocacy on women's lives. The research report begins by outlining the situation of women in Uganda and their needs according to a number of representatives from women's civil society organisations. It then describes the national and international policy environment with regard to gender equality which includes the Uganda National Gender Policy and National Action Plan for the Advancement of Women established by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. The research looked at what policy advocacy activities and programmes women's NGOs were undertaking and the factors which influenced their reach and impact. The study concluded that though there were links with the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development, inputs into broader development planning such as Sector Wide Approaches and the Poverty Eradication Action Plan were limited. The report concludes that there is a need for coherent policy advocacy strategies; institutional capacity; and for flexibility to adapt programmes to changing situations on the ground. Moreover, a limited understanding of the experiences of poor women had also led to unsuitable ways of approaching their problems. This indicated the need for more negotiation between the grassroots, women's organisations and other actors such as national development NGOs.