The Peace Centre between 22nd to 27th February conducted a training on Peacebuilding and Leadership for 50 women leaders and 50 youth leaders as peace advocates in Soroti district. The Women and youth leaders were from different political, religious, cultural and other different leadership positions. The Peacebuilding and Leadership training is timely based on the fact that women’s participation in decision making, in peace building and post conflict recovery in Uganda is markedly low, particularly at local level.
The training enhanced their conflict analysis, peacebuilding, governance, leadership and mediation skills. To build their effective and meaningful participation in the formal and informal peace building processes, participants were trained to apply a gender lens to conflict and peace issues. They also discussed the gendered impact of conflict to further understand the conceptual and practical tools and the different roles that men and women play in peacetime and wartime.
The women and youth leaders were trained in communication and conflict resolution to be able to address the issues of gender discrimination and problems of patriarchy in their society.
The training also included practical exercises and a conflict analysis session, where women leaders were taken through the types of conflict, tools for conflict analysis such as the human knot, that demonstrates teamwork, communication skills and conflict management which helped participants identify the root causes, consequences and interventions for peacebuilding and conflict resolution in their communities.
Practical exercises were also used at our Peace Advocates training focused on negotiation through a drama on the Itesot traditional wedding ceremony that introduced participants to negotiation and dispute resolution tools, techniques and strategies. During the negotiation process participants noted that negotiation begins by identifying the conflict, clarity about what is being offered and what is needed from the other party, effective communication between the parties & agreement to resolve the conflict.
As a result of the training, Soroti Women’s Mediation Networks were created by the women leaders in Gweri, Asuret, Arapai at sub county level in Soroti with the vision of a peaceful and prosperous community. The networks hope to influence women to dialogue with decision-makers for improved service delivery through radio talk shows and engaging local leaders. They look to address child neglect, land conflicts, SGBV, forced and early child marriages in the community.
The Networks will also prioritise sharing good practices, expertise and peer-to-peer learning, where women engaged in mediation in different contexts learn from each. This will contribute to strengthening efforts to enhance women’s meaningful participation and influence in peace processes at all levels.
Youth for Girls’ Peace Network (Teso) was also formed by the Youth Leaders in Peacebuilding and Conflict Analysis with a goal to fight for girls’ rights to education and advocate against early marriage in their community. Apalat Freda, Chairperson of the Youth for Girls’ Peace Network is looking forward to transforming the lives of girls in Teso. She envisions a world where girls live in peace, have a voice and their rights are respected.