Women Human Rights Defenders Uganda express concern over increased violence against journalists

Statement from WHRDN-U on brutality of journalists by Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda on Scribd

International Women Human Rights Defenders Day 2020

International Women Human Rights Defenders Day 2020 Commemoration in Uganda

On the 27th November 2020, a group of Women Human Rights Defenders convened at the Alliance Of Women Advocating for Change offices to commemorate the International Day of Women Human Rights Defenders that is celebrated on 29th November every year. The theme for this years commemoration was “In the uncertain times of COVID-19: WHRDN-U calls for the recognition of the essential work of Women Human Rights Defenders.”

Brenda Kugonza speaks at the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day 2020
Brenda Kugonza speaks at the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day 2020

Message From Harriet Lamunu from UWOPA

Mary Lamunu, the coordinator of Uganda Women Parliamentary Association spoke about the importance of adding a gender lens to the Human Rights Defenders Bill 2020.

 

Key Messages from Women Human Rights Defenders

Some of the key messages shared by Women Human Rights Defenders as they commemorated the International Women Human Rights Day

 

Remarks from Eve Acan, Programs Manager AWAC Uganda


 

Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda group photo

Wellness And Self Care Healing For Women Human Rights Defenders In Uganda

The Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda, with support from Urgent Action Fund For Africa organised a  4 (four) day Self Care, Wellbeing and Collective Healing Capacity building Workshop for two groups of Women Human Rights Defenders Thematic Action groups. The first workshop comprising of representatives of the thematic working groups run from August 11th-12th 2020, and the second group comprised of regional focal persons, run from 13th-14th August 2020 at Eureka Place Hotel Ntinda.

Self Care and Collective Healing

The workshop was aimed at creating a relaxed and soothing environment where Women Human Rights Defenders would focus on their well being and come together to collectively heal from all the trauma and stress that comes along with their work.

Women HRDs read Self Healing and Wellness messages
Women HRDs read Self Healing and Wellness messages

 

Messages of encouragement, self belief and self love were re-echoed by the Women Human Rights Defenders to collectively heal together as they talked about dealing with trauma. It is important to heal one self before helping others, is what they unanimously agreed to while listening to each others stories.

 

 

 

Reproductive Health

Dr Linda Birungi, a gynecologist from Reproductive Health Uganda led sessions discussing sexual reproduction, family planning and best health practices. Health risks and dangers like cervical and breast cancer were discussed at length to ensure Women Human Rights defenders seek treatment and help before developing complications while working.

Wellness and Healing

Mildred Apenyo, a woman’s rights activist and C.E.O of Flitclique Africa , an organization empowering and creating safe spaces for women, conducted therapy and relaxation sessions with Women HRDs to release fatigue from their bodies. Candles, ornaments, yoga and exercises were some of the tools and routines they were taken through as part of their healing.

Massage

A masseuse was also invited to massage and sooth body muscles to release any kind of stress and fatigue on the body. A healthy body is a healthy mind, so it is important for Women Human Rights Defenders to have healthy bodies to continue with their work without difficulty.

Practical Self Care & Mutual Support

The workshop was concluded by officially launching a new culture of activism that is rooted in Practical Self-Care and mutual support as a necessary condition of Women’s movement in Uganda.

Launch of a new culture of activism that is rooted in Practical Self-Care and mutual support as a necessary condition of Women's movement in Uganda.
Launch of a new culture of activism that is rooted in Practical Self-Care and mutual support as a necessary condition of Women’s movement in Uganda.

 

Ensuring a Gender Responsive Human Rights Defenders Protection Bill

On July 30th 2020, Brenda Kugonza the Executive Director of Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda, together with the Assistant Protection and Rapid Response Manager, Jane Sssenyange met with Hon Lucy Akello, Hon Jovah Kamatek and Mary Harriet Lamunu, program coordinator from Uganda Women Parliament Association to discuss the proposed Human Rights Defenders protection bill and how it can be gender responsive.

Discussing a Gender Responsive Human Rights Defenders Protection Bill

It is important to WHRDN-U that Women Human Rights Defenders are well represented in this bill, and this was central to the discussions held. Hon Lucy Akello, who sits on the Human Rights Parliamentary committee welcomed the idea of ensuring women’s voices and rights are well respected in drafting the bill.

Mary Lamunu, welcomed the timely intervention and discussion and emphasized the need for WHRDs issues to be well laid out in the bill. The discussion held resulted in the members agreeing to champion this cause going forward in Parliament.