The women said most decisions that impact the lives of vulnerable groups such as women, are made by male-dominated panels at the expense of the women. (Credit: Wilfred Sanya)
Henry Sekanjako
Journalist @New Vision

WOMEN | DECISION | MAKING

KAMPALA - Women in humanitarian leadership have implored the Government to ensure increased female representation in key decision-making positions. 

According to the women, most decisions that impact the lives of vulnerable groups such as women, are made by male-dominated panels at the expense of the women. 

“Women are caretakers of families, advocates of peace, negotiators, mediators, humanitarian workers, peacebuilders, peacekeepers, but many factors limit our participation in these processes,” Donna Juliet, the Charter for Change (C4C) global advisor, said. 

Women attend the Women Humanitarian summit in leadership in Kampala. (Credit: All Photos by Wilfred Sanya)

Women attend the Women Humanitarian summit in leadership in Kampala. (Credit: All Photos by Wilfred Sanya)

She made the remarks over the weekend, during the Women in Humanitarian Leadership summit in Kampala. 

The three-day summit, attended by various stakeholders from Uganda and abroad, was to build a strong annual co-ordination and mentorship mechanism for women’s rights organisations (WROs) and women lead organisations (WLOs). 

According to rights activists, women must be engaged in the decisions that impact their lives, and their participation in peacebuilding processes and can contribute to more lasting peace. 

“In the face of crises, women and girls get disproportionately affected because of their unique nature and needs yet less involved in decisions that affect them,” Donna Juliet said. 

 (L-R) Sauda Ropani, Executive Director Partners in community Transformation, Signe Winding Aljeberg Danish Ambassador to Uganda and Anne Oxlund Counsellor Danish Embassy chat during the Women in Leadership Summit in Kampala.

(L-R) Sauda Ropani, Executive Director Partners in community Transformation, Signe Winding Aljeberg Danish Ambassador to Uganda and Anne Oxlund Counsellor Danish Embassy chat during the Women in Leadership Summit in Kampala.

Addressing the summit, Danish ambassador to Uganda Signe Wilding Albjerg said no positive change can be made without the involvement of women.  

“We cannot create any positive change in this world when women are not involved, women should be put on front tables and their decisions should be taken seriously," she said.

Signe, however, challenged women leaders to ensure that they build elevators to enable women that will come after them, to have their way to the leadership hierarchies. 

“We must all be feminists, help, encourage each other and support women. We ensure these discussions do not end here,” Signe added. 

Attendees served breakfast.

Attendees served breakfast.

The women noted that there is need to focus on participation of women in decision-making and women leadership, as a way of building a strong foundation for the generation of women leaders to come. 

According to the women, the current humanitarian system continues to enjoy power imbalances in funding and decision-making, which is still characterised by male dominance and gender blindness. 

“Women should carry their stools to decision-making tables if space isn’t given to amplify their voices in humanitarian response. They should take the seats by fire by thunder,” Juliet Eyokia said. 

The three-day summit, attended by various stakeholders from Uganda and abroad, was to build a strong annual co-ordination and mentorship mechanism for women’s rights organisations (WROs) and women lead organisations (WLOs).

The three-day summit, attended by various stakeholders from Uganda and abroad, was to build a strong annual co-ordination and mentorship mechanism for women’s rights organisations (WROs) and women lead organisations (WLOs).

Naomi Ayot, the chairperson C4C Uganda, implored the international community to strengthen principled partnerships through multi-year funding, covering overhead costs and investing in capacity strengthening for the localisation agenda. 

She also called for enhanced local actors’ visibility through participation in every available opportunity to represent the voices of local actors at local and global levels. 

“Let us build synergies because donors want to see us working together as a coalition. That is why we are having this,” Ayot said. 

The summit was supported by DanChurchAid Uganda, to take stock of the achievements of the C4C Working Group over the past year and to evaluate how far the C4C working group has come towards achieving its objectives.  

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