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Using the understanding of local context to improve women’s empowerment in Teso region, Uganda

Dr Winnie Bedigen 

School of Politics and International Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences 

Relevant ESRC Discipline:  Peacebuilding and Development 

International NGOs such as DfID and Teso Development Trust (TDT) have involved a few women in the decision-making when implementing development projects (e.g. the WaSH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) projects in rural communities in Teso, Uganda. However, most local women and contexts are excluded-thus negatively impacting ownership, management, social cohesion and project sustainability. 

This project will disseminate previous findings on contextualised women empowerment; through collaboration with the University of Leeds and partner NGOs in Teso, Uganda (i.e. Katawi Integrated Development Organisation (KIDO) and Body & Soul). By utilising local music and comedy (common means of education/dissemination), we will engage the public; in disseminating information that contributes to more relevant interpretation and adaptations of current women empowerment initiatives. Following, this project will engage actors through radio talk shows and workshops to promote discussions on knowledge, skills, experiences, identify newkey gender issues crucial for projects. This process will support and strengthen community-centeredness by forming a women’s cultural/local management resource, improve NGOs and local government understanding of contextualisation-leading to improved intervention policies and services. This period of collaboration will enable the University of Leeds and KIDO to co-produce a plan for long term collaboration and work with development partners (on SDG 5: Gender Equality) in Uganda and The Horn of Africa on financing this vision. 

Building local women institutional management capability for rural development projects is critical for social and economic gender equality, inclusivity and empowerment.