WHRDNU commemorates International Day for Women Human Rights Defenders 2022

29th November of every year is a momentous commemoration of the diligent work of Women Human Rights Defenders. This year’s commemoration was no exception to the previous years with Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda (WHRDNU) appreciating the diligent and selfless contribution of WHRDs to ensure rights of all are respected.

Inclusivity and protection of rights of all persons is a core mandate for Women Human Rights Defenders. We strive for protection of rights of all marginalized persons in our communities

WHRDNU Executive Director, Brenda Kugonza shares message in commemoration of International Women Human Rights Defenders Day 2022.

In an interview with Civil Rights Defenders, Brenda Kugonza shares the discrimination, harassment, and gender-based violence WHRDs in Uganda still face.

We pride in creating bonds and solidarity among Women Human Rights Defenders networks to build sisterhood and a strong support system
We pride in creating bonds and solidarity among Women Human Rights Defenders networks to build sisterhood and a strong support system

In a sit down with International Service For Human Rights, Brenda Kugonza speaks on how International advocacy is a tool to advance our human rights work, but it is also a tool that will support us in consolidating our protection as women human rights defenders.

Watch full video below.

Happy International Women Human Rights Defenders Day 2022!

 

Group photo at RELLA foundation

WHRDN-U pays solidarity visit to Rella Foundation

Following a report and request from Rella Foundation, on 5th/May 2022, a delegation of WHRDN-U  participated in the solidarity visit   to RELLA foundation

The delegation consisted of 7 WHRDs, 3WHRDs working on Sex workers rights from Arua, Kabarole and Kampala, 1 on GBV from Jinja and 3 on LBQT Rights from Kampala.

RELLA Foundation offers response to LBQTs at risk by providing different services like shelter where they receive psychology needs and expressed challenges they face.

  • security threats with the local council since the law does not protect them thus leading to criminalizing them all the time in the community.
  • Burnout and exhaustion leading to stress from work they do
  • issues of confidentiality is a big challenge to the people at the shelter
Solidarity visit at RELLA Foundation
Solidarity visit at RELLA Foundation

WHRDN-U pledged to provide support inform of protection, grant to buy the bedsheets, mattresses, blankets, towels and buckets

Acholi WHRDNU Network members present MP Betty Aol a position paper

Acholi Women Human Rights Defenders Regional Network meet with Gulu City Woman MP

On 2nd May 2022, 22 Women Human Rights Defenders from the Acholi Women Human Rights Defenders Regional Network met with Gulu City Woman MP, Hon Aol Betty Achan at her community office in Gulu City. The WHRDs who came from Gulu, Kitgum, Omoro, Pader, Nwoya, Lamwo and Amuru districts.

Adubo Diana, one of the WHRDs in the region took lead in this session outlined the various Gender based threats and intimidation they face that in their work of of GBV, land rights, promotion of rights for persons with disabilities, journalists, children, LBQT, sex work. She outlined these Gender specific attacks that include;

  • Instead of producing children, you are busy loitering, stop messing up your life as a woman
  • Gender discrimination. People don’t want to associate with you in the community.
  • No wonder you are single, which man can stay with a loud woman like you. Women are supposed to soft spoken always.
  • I cannot marry a woman like you. You are like a fellow man. Women like you are not marriage material.
  • Baby hater(If advocating for family planning and safe abortion)
  • Exclusion from clan land ownership committees.

The meeting offered a great opportunity in establishing a working relationship with the MP and the Acholi WHRDs requested the MP to create a platform to engage the Human Rights Parliamentary Committee and her office act as a referral point to WHRDS to report violations they encounter.

In her speech, MP Aol Betty appreciated the WHRDs for their activism and support they offer in upholding human rights especially of all people regardless of  gender, age and occupation. She also committed to create a platform to discuss their issues with the Human Rights Parliamentary Committee, the Gender Parliamentary Committee and the Speaker of Parliament.
The Acholi WHRDs also handed over a position paper and Human Rights Defenders Protection Bill to the MP.
Acholi WHRDNU Network members present MP Betty Aol a position paper
Acholi WHRDNU Network members present MP Betty Aol a position paper