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Oxfam Designs New Methods To Address Gender Based Economic Empowerment

Oxfam Uganda has designed new programmes to address gender based economic imbalances.

While commemorating the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence at the National Stakeholders event at Royal Suites Bugoloobi on Monday,  Margret Peace Chandini (in featured photo above), the Coordinator of the Gender Action Learning System (GALS) at Oxfam, said that this methodology attracts both genders to work together to achieve constructive goals.

“The aim is to demonstrate how GALS is used to mainstream gender in development interventions,” Chandini said.

According to Chandini, the GALS methodology has worked well in the Eastern and Western districts of Uganda, as well as other countries like Rwanda, Kenya and Nigeria where over 200,000 women and men have been reached since 2007.

Chandini explained that GALS is a community-led methodology that seeks to transform power relations between women and men through joint visioning. 

The methodology uses visual diagrams to address gender, economic and power issues within households, communities and various institutions.  

GALS comprises a series of tools that enables the users to negotiate their needs and interests and find innovative, gender-equitable solutions across different sectors. 

The Oxfam Acting Country Director, Jane Ochaya said that they are using the 16 days of activism campaign season to reflect on such commitments and efforts towards gender advancements. 

“We recognize that addressing gender inequality requires concerted efforts and approaches, so we are here sharing GALS with a hope that it will be taken up by different stakeholders and integrated within their programs,” Ochaya said.

Oxfam Acting Country Director, Jane Ochaya

The four-year Multi-country project implemented in 3 countries (Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria) has the ultimate objective of scaling up the use of GALS through establishing a network of self-sustaining Empowerment Learning Centers (ELCs). ELCs are service centers for Gender Action Learning System (GALS) to different clients including Local government, Private Sector, CSOs, development actors, humanitarian actors, rural households, research / knowledge and academic institutions.

 ELCs provide an opportunity for people to learn about GALS and the different models of how GALS can / has been integrated in different development programmes. 

Omito Roberts Steve, the Packwach LC 5 Chairman said that many government projects like Operation Wealth Creation, NUSAF among others have hit a snag because of unaddressed issue of Gender Based Violence.

“All the projects by government have hit a snag; the money government brings makes women vulnerable to men. When they get money, they ride around with boda bodas and defile young girls,” he observed.

Omito further explained that government has the money but the ground is not leveled for all genders. 

“The economic activities are imbalanced, women participate in crop production but discouraged to carry out any transaction,” he added.

By Aloysious Kasoma

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