CESCRA succeeded in getting a funding from American Jewish World Service to implement its project on Women land and Property Rights in Bunyoro Region in Mid- Western Uganda. This funding is significant because it will support a unique project looking at women’s land and property rights in the context of oil and gas.
Women in Uganda disproportionately constitute majority of the population leaving in poverty due to the social economic factors that perpetuate gender inequalities including unequal access to land and other means of production. At grass root level, the promotion of gender equality in land ownership and access, economic benefits of the oil and gas exploration, drilling and refinery, equal compensation and access to justice where women are unjustly treated, will increase women benefits from the oil and gas sector. At multilateral company level, targeted focus on gender aspects of social corporate responsibility can encourage companies to support gender equality programmes or gender related services. At national macro-economic and policy implementation level, mainstreaming gender equality issues in oil and gas revenue investment, equal and meaningful employment in the oil and gas sector and ensuring an effective and gender equality friendly policy and action frameworks in place and implemented can indeed uplift women and men’s condition out of poverty.
The presence of oil in Bunyoro region provides new economic opportunities for women to improve their socio- economic status. However, the realisation of this and addressing negative impact of oil and gas on women socio-economic status is apparently hampered by lack of adequate implementation of gender equality policies and laws. Women continue to face discriminatory practices at family and society level which deny women equal access to opportunities and resources such as land and other property and access to redress where women are abused. Many times women are left out of consultative processes requiring participation of communities and this affects the ability to have women specific concerns addressed and their views incorporated into planning documents.
Centre for Economic Social Cultural Rights in Africa (CESCRA) envisions that a project specifically seeking to increase women’s awareness and knowledge of their land rights, compensation processes and improved participation in debates and decisions regarding oil and gas will greatly advance the protection of women land and property rights and realisation of socio-economic benefits from oil and gas. CESCRA is out to strengthen the capacity of women from the grassroots and amply their voices.
CESCRA is currently embarking on advocacy on Oil and Gas and gender linking oil, gas and gender with the economic social cultural rights of women in the area of property rights; inheritance and Land rights, equal compensation, social economic benefits from Oil and Gas opportunities, equal employment opportunity and demand for gender accountability in services that might come to the Albterine Graben as a result of the presence of Oil and Gas companies in exploration and subsequent drilling.
The initiative will also focus on the social injustices and problems that women in the region might face such as domestic violence, sexual exploitation, unequal employment, exclusion from compensation processes, and family abandonment by husbands confused by compensation money boom, loss of arable land for agriculture, food insecurity, polluted water sources and other problems.
CESCRA recently signed in Early March signed an MOU with International Alert in a joint “Safer City Campaign” The Campaign aims atstrengthening collaboration and partnerships between civil society organisations, the Private sector, Kampala City Council Authority, the police and communities in the city on issues of governance and policies on urban safety and security and conflict prevention.
It also aims to enhance capacities of Kampala city stakeholders to dialogue on sustainable means of promoting urban security and resolve challenges threatening urban peace and security and to increase awareness among stakeholders and partners through monitoring and strategic communication on the governance of urban safety and security.
Values and Commitments
- Equality of all persons including gender equality and social inclusion
- Transparency and accountability in all levels of engagements
- Participation of all levels of society
- Engagement through mutual dialogue
- Respect for all voices of society and actors
- Models of excellence in all CESCRA undertakings