The Peace Centre, with the support of Womankind Worldwide and Gender
Action for Peace and Security (GAPS), undertook research in Uganda to provide in-depth gender-sensitive conflict analysis to help the international community and governments develop short- and long-term programmes and response frameworks that address the impact of COVID-19 and future pandemics, crises and shocks.
The research methodology involved a desk literature review on the COVID-19 gender, peace and security impact in Uganda across different sectors. This included the impact of COVID-19 on refugees, women’s and girls’ participation in decision-making, Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), access to healthcare, livelihoods, and women’s economic rights. The research aimed to understand any changes in the COVID-19, peace, security, and gender equality situation.
The findings of both phases indicate the ongoing gendered effects of COVID-19 on marginalised groups in the urban, rural and refugee settlement contexts. They highlight the impact of the pandemic on the community, especially on women’s and girls’ roles, responsibilities, needs and livelihoods, as well as how these different groups of women and
girls are coping with the crisis.
Read more about the noted changes in the COVID-19, peace, security, and gender equality situation, the summary of findings, proposed recommendations and partners here.
The Peace Centre in partnership with the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Conflict Early Warning and Early Response Unit (CEWERU) convened a two day feedback meeting from 10th- 11th March with the National Steering Committee to share early warning reports from the Peace Committees in Kotido, Yumbe and Adjumani and discuss effective and early response to prevent and mitigate conflicts in Uganda. The feedback meeting will be used in laying of strategies and actions for reduction of conflict and violence in Uganda.
The Peace Centre and CEWERU presented the early warning reports and response progress for feedback by national level stakeholders. To support linkages and cross-learning, state and non-state actors working on conflict prevention, peace and security also shared early warning signals, mitigation measures, key learnings and best practices.
The meeting targeted thirty participants from CEWERU, Office of the President, Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Local Government (MLG), Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), National Women Council (NWC), NGOs including; Centre for Conflict Resolution (CECORE), Centre for Basic Research (CBR), Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC),Participants from Arua, Kassanda, Kapelebyong, Yumbe, Kotido and Adjumani and development partners including UN Women, UNDP and DGF.
The discussion focused on progress made by CEWERU and peace mediators. The participants shared the issues that still affect the existence of peace as the need for complete disarmament, incorporation of livelihood training to provide a chance for youth to access other sources of income, a need policy makers to be part of the national steering committee, and sustainability structures to be incorporated into the district levels for a longer project life.
The meeting also discussed how important and urgent it is to work on the peace policy so as to give a context of avoiding, handling and dealing with crisis and post life. The feedback meeting was then closed by Florence Kirabira from CEWERU who expressed her gratitude to the participants and the Peace Centre and promised that the issues discussed would be looked at by CEWERU.
The Peace Centre is excited to be a part of Just Future, an Alliance that will over the next 5years, work towards fair, equitable & inclusive justice, security and peace in Afghanistan, Burundi, DRC, Mali, Niger and South Sudan. Just Future was formed in response to the challenges of a fragile world. Consisting of 6 established CSOs and networks, from the Global North and South, our work will strengthen the capacity of CSOs and enable their collective action to bring about more inclusive and peaceful societies.
Just Future’s vision is of a world in which all people in fragile states benefit from more accessible, responsive and accountable security and justice institutions, and more inclusive arrangements for political governance and peace-making. Just Future will work in solidarity with CSOs in each country—especially those representing women, young people, displaced people, and identity-based groups—enabling them to represent the voices of the most excluded at the local, national, regional, and global levels.
Just- future is seeking to change the current state of life because conflict and violence are the most significant obstacles to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The alliance hopes to change the situation through; Lobbying and advocacy toward state security and justice institutions (police, judiciaries, customary authorities), elected officials at local and national levels, and regional and international organizations like the African Union, EU and UN, based on research and evidence
Civil society Capacity strengthening, based on a shared learning agenda, enabling all Alliance members and country-level CSO partners to benefit from knowledge-sharing, peer mentoring, and tailored training—especially through fragile-fragile linkages. Just Future will be implemented by an Alliance of partner organizations.
The Just Future Consortium consists of:
Women’s International Peace Centre (WIPC):
Women’s International Peace Centre (The Centre), formerly Isis-Women’s International Cross-Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE), is a feminist organization with a mission to ignite women’s leadership, amplify their voices and deepen their activism in re-creating peace.
African Security Sector Network (ASSN):
The African Security Sector Network (ASSN) is a pan-African network of experts and organizations working in the area of Security Sector Reform (SSR). Founded in 2003, the network is headquartered in Accra, Ghana, with regional hubs in Addis Ababa, Johannesburg and Nairobi.
West Africa Network for Peacebuilding:
The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) is a leading Regional Peacebuilding organization founded in 1998 in response to civil wars that plagued West Africa in the 1990s. Over the years, WANEP has succeeded in establishing strong national networks in every Member State of ECOWAS with over 500 member organizations across West Africa.
The Liaison Office Afghanistan (TLO):
Founded in 2003, The Liaison Office (TLO) is an Afghan non-governmental organization (NGO) that emerged from a Swiss peace pilot project on good governance after the organization was approached by South Eastern province community elders requesting assistance for participation in the peace and reconstruction process. TLO has since evolved into an independent Afghan NGO conducting research and analysis across Afghanistan.
Search for Common Ground:
Founded in 1982, Search for Common Ground works to transform the way the world deals with conflict – away from adversarial approaches and towards collaborative problem solving.
Search works with local partners to find culturally appropriate means to strengthen societies’ capacity to deal with conflicts constructively: to understand the differences and act on the commonalities. Search’s mission is to transform the way the world deals with conflict: away from adversarial approaches, toward cooperative solutions.
Cordaid is an internationally operating emergency relief and development organisation. Cordaid believes in a world where people can break through barriers of poverty and exclusion, influence decisions that affect them, and participate in equitable and resilient societies. Cordaid operates in fragile settings, where citizens have no access to even basic services, because of poverty, armed conflict or power imbalances. Cordaid supports local communities and their endeavors to improve healthcare, food security, education, security and justice. Where disasters strike, Cordaid offers humanitarian assistance.
Next to the Consortium, the Alliance consists of 3 research partners:
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI):
SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public. Based in Stockholm, SIPRI is regularly ranked among the most respected think tanks worldwide.
Rift Valley Institute (RVI):
The Rift Valley Institute (RVI) is an independent, non-profit organization, founded in Sudan in 2001, currently working in eastern and central Africa. The aim of the Institute is to advance useful knowledge of the region and its diverse communities, bringing a better understanding of local realities to bear on social and political action. The RVI works with institutions in the region to develop and implement long-term programmes that combine action-oriented research with education and public information.
Van Vollenhoven Institute of Leiden University (VVI):
The Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society (VVI) is part of the Leiden Law School. The VVI seeks to develop and disseminate socio-legal knowledge and theory regarding the interaction between law, governance and society. More specifically, the Institute studies the emergence, functioning, and evolution of legal institutions. The VVI combines a top-down with a bottom-up approach; it considers perspectives of both state agents, citizens and other non-state actors.
Finally, the Alliance also comprises our network partner:
Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS):
The Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS) is a member-led international network composed of civil society actors, practitioners, experts and academics from the Global South and Global North who work together on conflict and crisis prevention, peacebuilding and statebuilding in over 27 fragile and conflict-affected countries (FCAS).
Together with partners and local communities, we will implement Just Future across 6 countries, as well as at the regional and global levels.
The Peace Centre in partnership with Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAP) and the Women Peace and Security Centre of the London School of Economics (LSE) studied the intersection between environmental conflict, peace and gender. This was to provide recommendations for the international community for how it can better ensure that women and girls’ human rights can be delivered despite the challenges of environmental degradation and climate change.
The research; conducted in Yumbe and Adjumani(Uganda), targeted refugee women and women in host communities. It was carried out to enable the International Community to better understand the context-specific and global gender, peace, and security impacts of COVID-19 and develop policy and programming responses was launched in a virtual event hosted by The London School of economics.
Hannah Bond, Director of Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS), and Bineta Diop the Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on Women, Peace, and Security, joined Our executive director Kezie Helen Nwoha in the launch to introduce the report on- Defending the Future:Gender, Conflict and Environmental Peace.
The research which is by the Women’s International Peace Centre in partnership with GAPS, and the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security focuses on the gendered impact of climate change and how this intersects with women and girls’ right to peace. This research report highlights that there is a growing recognition of the need for the Women, Peace, and Security agenda to take into account how the climate crisis poses risks to women and girls’ peace and security, particularly in conflict and post-conflict contexts.
The research also shares expert insight on the need to account for the risks posed by climate change to women, girls and peace and security and can be reached here.
In preparation for the 2021 presidential election, the Peace Centre conducted fourteen (14) election observer workshops across Uganda which were concluded with a final training held from 9th– 13th January 2021 in Kampala. The Peace Centre trained a total of 540 election observers selected from sub-counties in Arua, Kassanda and Kapelebyong in addition to other districts of Soroti, Lira, Amuria, Kampala, Sembabule, Luwero, Ntugamo, Rukungiri, Yumbe, Kotido and Adjumani.
The training was successful in ensuring that each district had 40 trained election observers with election observation materials deployed to observe elections from 14th to January to 22nd January 2021.
Election observation is a valuable tool for improving the quality of elections and creates confidence in elections that can help promote sound democratic practices. This is vital as Uganda has not experienced peaceful, violent free democratic electoral processes since the introduction of multi-party politics in 1988. The political environment in the build-up to, during, and after elections has over the years become increasingly charged with reports of harassment, intimidation, acts of corruption, human rights abuses perpetrated by different political opponents.
It was successful in training election observers on Electoral Commission election observation guidelines, laws related to election observation, do’s and don’ts of an election observer, and provided tools for data collection to ensure a difference this year. This enabled them to monitor elections and document electoral violence incidences in the eleven districts.
The Peace Centre with the support of Womankind Worldwide and Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) undertook a research in Uganda to better understand the context-specific and global gender, peace and security impacts of COVID-19 and develop policy and programming responses which account for the impact of COVID-19.
The findings indicate the gendered effects of COVID-19 on vulnerable and marginalised groups in the urban, rural and refugee settlement contexts. The findings highlight the impact of the pandemic on the community, especially on women’s and girls’ roles, responsibilities, needs and livelihoods. They also highlight gender-based violence (GBV), as well as how these different groups of women and girls are coping with the crisis.
From 25th to 26th February 2020, The Peace Centre with support from FOKUS and UN Women convened a dialogue under the theme “The
South Sudan Peace Process; The Role and Prospects
for Refugee Women” to provide a platform for refugee women to understand and receive updates on the peacebuilding processes, link the refugee women with other women involved in advocacy towards engendering the peace processes in South Sudan and ignite women’s ability to participate in the formal and informal peacebuilding processes right from the refugee settlement for sustainable peace in South Sudan.
This report shares details of the proceedings of the conference.
The Peace Centre trained 78 refugee women in December 2019 and they have participated in the formal and informal decision making forums for peace. To further strengthen their skills, The Peace enhanced the capacity of 90 peace mediators; 40 in Yumbe from 7th to 9th September 2020 and 35 in Adjumani from 10th to 12th September 2020 and 15 in Kotido from 19th to 21st August 2020.
During the training the 75 women peace mediators discussed what they did with the skills they obtained during the mediation training in December 2019, with demonstrations on how they handled the conflict cases and they were guided. The training also focused more on advocacy for conflict prevention and peace building, OPM community based service department took participants through the referral pathway, new action plans were developed and participants went out to implement. The 15 participants in Kotido included community development officers whose involvement in peace building has been low since they had never been targeted with peace building initiatives yet are key if peace is to be realised.
From 19th to 25th June 2020, The Peace Centre facilitated the meeting of District Peace Committee meetings that had a total of 142 (42 females and 100 males) participants. The meetings provided platforms where Women Peace Mediators presented women peace and security concerns including; the impact of COVID 19 on women, increasing conflicts in the project districts that called for the safety of women and girls, spaces for women’s participation in peacebuilding, peace meetings and complete disarmament, protection of the unprotected kraals, tracking and recovery of stolen animals, need to resume peace initiatives since the Warriors took advantage of the lockdown and conflicts escalated.
The meetings discussed and agreed on strategies of ensuring conflict early warning and early response systems are functional at the District level. As a result, increased realisation and collective action by District Peace Committees on Women Peace and Security concerns were registered, for example Yumbe District offered radio talk show time for the Women Peace Mediators to profile Women Peace and Security concerns as well as hold duty bearers accountable. The disarmament process was initiated in Kotido.
The Women Mediators Networks also met monthly during this period in Panyangara, Nakapelemoro, Rengen and Kotido Municipal within Kotido district and in Yumbe and Adjumani Districts. They have been engaged in documenting and reporting violations associated with COVID-19 containment measures including sexual and physical violence.