As we embark on a transformational journey in our new Strategic Plan 2019-2022, The Centre seeks to ensure that women not only powerfully contribute to peace building processes and results, but also transform these spaces to be more gender inclusive and gender responsive.
This edition focuses on the women, peace and security issues discussed during the institute, as informed by the UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) 1325 and 2250, Sustainable Development Goals (5, 16) and related national frameworks (including national action plans). It takes a closer look at the state of conflict and post-conflict in the 5 countries, progress in implementing UNSCR 1325 which centres women’s concerns as well as women’s responses to peace and security gaps and challenges.
The University of Wisconsin – Madison in partnership with African researchers, Isis Women’s International Cross Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE) and Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) conducted a research project that looks at the cost of women’s exclusion and the possibilities for their inclusion in peace processes, peacebuilding, and politics in countries affected by war in Africa. The research project also examined the struggle for women’s rights, legal reform and political representation as one important arena for stemming the tide of extremism related to violence in Africa.
In 2017, Isis-WICCE partnered with National Union of Women with Disabilities Uganda (NUWODU) and Gulu Women with Disabilities Union (GUWODU) to implement a 1yr project on “Increasing Access to Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights for Women with Disabilities” with funding from Amplify Change. The project sought to strengthen the capacity of Women with Disabilities (WwDs) to advocate for improved SRH services and improve competencies of service providers to ensure quality services for WwDs in Gulu district.
At the beginning of the year, we set out to strengthen our existing partnerships and make new connections to ensure women live in peace and recreate peace across Africa and in Asia. We affirmed our desire to make meaningful progress on behalf of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict settings in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1325, the sustainable development agenda and African Union’s agenda 2063. This year’s annual report offers an the opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months including the strides made, challenges faced and our collective impact on women and girls in conflict and post-conflict settings.
The report presents highlights of Isis-WICCE’s Seventh annual Peace Exposition held in Amuria district, Eastern Uganda under the theme “Families United Against Gender Based Violence and HIV/AIDS”. The 7th peace exposition brought community members, local government and civil society the opportunity to discuss HIV/AIDS and its links to gender-based violence while proposing solutions and committing to action for a peaceful Amuria.
This documentation provides an opportunity to illuminate covert and overt voices and actions of women political actors that most times get silenced in patriarchal political settings. Two cases of women political leaders are selected from Uganda and Zimbabwe respectively, with a specific intent of learning from their historical experiences particularly of those who participated in liberation struggles of the two countries as well as a new breed of women leaders that emerged in post-conflict political leadership thereof.
This was a remarkable year, Isis-WICCE adapted to a changing landscape, including new trends in conflict, militarism and fundamentalism that call for a new type of leadership by women. The organisation has faced new challenges and worked to overcome them, closing the year stronger and better prepared for the future. In 2016 we continued to strengthen existing partnerships and make new connections to ensure women live in peace and recreate peace across Africa and in Asia.
In 2015 Isis-WICCE partnered with Tilburg University, Mbarara University and Makerere University to conduct research with the aim of identifying the impact of social protection schemes, such as cash transfers on economic resilience in order to influence policy. The research is focused on populations with high levels of income fragility and trauma, seeking to understand the impact of trauma on their use of cash transfers. Women are a specific focus of this study due to their particular economic and mental health vulnerabilities. This study targeted districts affected by the 20-year war between the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Ugandan government in Northern Uganda including Kitgum, Lira, Soroti and Katakwi.
2015 was a significant year as the world adopted the 2015 development agenda and reviewed 15 years of implementing UNSCR 1325. Isis-WICCE played a significant role in the review process as our Executive Director was appointed to the 17-member advisory group on the global study on UNSCR1325. 2015 was also a year of internal transition as Isis-WICCE’s Executive Director of 20 years made the decision to move on. This was very significant as it preceded Isis-WICCE’s celebration of 20 years in Africa. Ruth Ojiambo Ochieng’s leadership was celebrated not only by Isis-WICCE but also with the Ford Foundation honouring her work and contribution to the global women’s peace movement. After 20 years and in preparation for new leadership it was instructive to review IsisWICCE’s systems and structures to ensure that the organization adapts easily to changes in leadership.2015 saw shifts in responsibilities within the organization and the rethinking of Isis-WICCE’s direction. The strategic plan was reviewed considering the changing world order and new global trends in conflict and militarization.
2015 was a significant year as the world adopted the 2015 development agenda and reviewed 15 years of implementing UNSCR 1325. Isis-WICCE played a significant role in the review process as our Executive Director was appointed to the 17-member advisory group on the global study on UNSCR1325. 2015 was also a year of internal transition as Isis-WICCE’s Executive Director of 20 years made the decision to move on. This was very significant as it preceded Isis-WICCE’s celebration of 20 years in Africa.
Ruth Ojiambo Ochieng’s leadership was celebrated not only by Isis-WICCE but also with the Ford Foundation honouring her work and contribution to the global women’s peace movement. After 20 years and in preparation for new leadership it was instructive to review Isis-WICCE’s systems and structures to ensure that the organization adapts easily to changes in leadership. 2015 saw shifts in responsibilities within the organization and the rethinking of Isis-WICCE’s direction. The strategic plan was reviewed considering the changing world order and new global trends in conflict and militarization.
Since 1996, Isis-WICCE had demonstrated an impressive alternative to the world’s limited responses to situations of armed conflict particularly in addressing women’s dire needs. We have had extensive experience and expertise working with women organizations, strategic partners and survivors of armed and post conflict, globally.
This paper therefore, summarizes Isis-WICCE’s contribution to the achievement of the key aspects of the Beijing Platform for Action. Working in post conflict settings has been a challenging and fulfilling experience too. It also provides recommendations that will contribute to the post 2015 sustainable development goals
This report provides a snapshot Think Tank that was held in Harare as a follow up to the previous Think Tanks that were held in Kampala. It gives an overview of the next steps as far as women and leadership in post conflict settings in Africa.
The report presents the highlights
of Isis-WICCE’s annual peace exposition that was held in 2010 to celebrate 10
years of the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution. The exposition
provided time and an effective platform for grassroots women’s organizations
working in the area of peace and security in Uganda to share successful
strategies and to review the extent to which government has implemented the
resolution and to call upon it to implement the National Action Plan for the
implementation of UNSCR 1325 and Goma Declaration.
It highlighted how various grassroots women’s activists and organizations have been able to interpret this international framework into one they are able to utilize in their communities. It also presented a valuable opportunity to share information, best practices, and successful strategies, and highlight the challenges and gaps that will inform the way forward in the implementation of the resolution as well as the National Action Plan.
The year 2014 marked 20 years of Isis-WICCE move from Geneva to Uganda and 40 years globally. We are very proud of our achievements over the years and we have geared up for the emerging challenges and realities in the world today.
Over the past twenty years, Isis-WICCE has emerged as a leader in the feminist discourse on peace and security. We have a wealth of data and knowledge collected over the long years of research and advocacy in Africa and Asia. We have managed to influence the mainstream discussion and understanding of conflict by ensuring that States and other stakeholders in peace and security understand human security beyond geographical dimensions of territorial integrity but rather the personal balance of body, mind and spirit, a perspective that has been ignored by mainstream actors. Since its birth, Isis-WICCE has grown rapidly and innovatively but for this growth to be maintained, and for us to optimize on the current opportunities and build on our achievements, there is need for more focus, optimization and scaling up our approaches to work. In order to maintain our feminist competitive edge and to keep striving for excellence, we need to continue renewing ourselves by stopping, reflecting and planning.
This edition of Women’s World presents an analysis of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Indicating that while significant progress has been made and milestones achieved, the gaps in the implementation of the Platform is obvious as no country in the world has achieved gender equality.
This report presents the voices and perspective of women refugees in two refugee centers of Bubukwanga Refugee Reception Center and Kyangwali Resettlement Center in western Uganda. The report draws attention to three types of women’s experiences; the attack that caused people to flee their homes in Kamago in Eastern DRC, the escape from the situation.
The report interrogates whether women in politics have made a difference or not and why? It acknowledges the value and contribution of women’s physical presence in political leadership especially their focus on gender sensitive policy and legislation. It questions efforts on ‘engendering’ democracy through numerical inclusion of women into existing democratic structures and formal political institutions without addressing the structural complexities that inhibit the performance of women.
This report provides highlights of the consultative meeting that was held with South Sudanese women after the outbreak of the fresh conflict in South Sudan. The purpose of the meeting was to analyze the underlying triggers of the on-going conflict from a gender and feminist perspective; propose an alternative approach and solutions to the problem at hand; and provide insights and information on the impact of the on-going conflict on women and girls in South Sudan as well as identifying a team of women who will influence the peace negotiations at the African Union.
The year 2013 meant a new journey for Isis-WICCE. We began implementing our new strategic plan after series of sessions involving reflections, critiques and strategizing for the future.
We developed our new strategic plan after series of sessions involving reflections, critiques and strategizing for the future. In line with the goals and objectives of the strategic plan, we have amplified voices, we ignited women’s agency to re(create) peace as defined by women. Oftentimes development approaches involve planning on behalf of communities. The implementation of those plans tends to perpetuate inequalities and disenfranchise women.
Our approach to work recognizes and respects the voices of women, girls, men, and boys in armed and post conflict countries. We challenged governments to deliver on policy promises and commitments made at national, regional and international levels through our documentations that reveal gaps in policy implementation particularly for countries where we worked. We provided healing to women; we believe that peace building cannot be sustained without healing the body, mind and spirit of women survivors. Over time, we observed that quantifying this type of work is very difficult, however we have used women’s stories to capture the changes in their lives, we have developed a monitoring framework to help us track the work we do and the difficulties that arise from the nature of our work. We are consoled that when we heal one woman, when we shift one woman’s life, it will impact on her wellbeing and also impact on the socio economic status of her family and the community at large.