We are incredibly excited to be working with the Greater North Women’s Voices for Peace Network (GNWVPN) as part of our new partnership with the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice. In December, my colleagues Bukeni Waruzi, Ryan Kautz and I traveled to Kampala, Uganda to train 7 women from the GNWVPN. Read more about that training here.
The GNWVPN is a network of women activists and organizations from various communities across the North and North Eastern region of Uganda (referred to as the Greater North) that originally came together to voice their concerns that women’s voices and needs were not being included nor adequately represented during the 2006-2008 Juba Peace Talks. Now, the GNWVPN is incorporating video into its campaign focused on how the insufficient implementation of Uganda’s recovery plan for the Greater North affects women on the ground.
This video introduces the campaign, and some of the women activists from the GNWVPN.
Background on the Greater North recovery plan
The Peace, Recovery and Development Plan for Northern Uganda (PRDP) is a plan of action created by the Government of Uganda to rehabilitate the Greater North region from the lasting effects of the 20+ years of internal conflict that the region has faced. The conflict resulted in mass internal displacement and subsequent extreme poverty; widespread human rights violations including sexual violence; and the forced abductions of men, women, and children by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The PRDP aims to address these lingering effects of the conflict through 14 program areas that range in focus from police enhancement to the return and resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Find more on the PRDP on the Government of Uganda’s website here.
Improving implementation of the recovery plan
In their work evaluating the effectiveness of the PRDP on the ground, the GNWVPN found two specific gaps in how the plan is currently being implemented at the local level in communities in the Greater North. The first identified gap is the lack of livelihood support programs (part of the plan’s Community Empowerment and Development Programme) and the second being psycho-social support for those affected by the conflict (part of the Public Information and Counseling Programme). These two programs are not being implemented primarily because no funding from the annual PRDP budget is being allocated to them. This means that these programs are not reaching those on the ground that need them most, and that women in these communities in the Greater North are not receiving all of the benefits that the PRDP is meant to provide.
GNWVPN members are now in their communities conducting pre-production (securing interviewees, getting required permissions, and scouting filming locations). The testimonies they collect will be used in videos directed at the President of Uganda and other officials to push for budgeting for the livelihood and psycho-social support programs of the PRDP. Stay tuned for more updates as the campaign and video production progress.