Communities urged to discard cultural beliefs that disparage women

Government has asked communities to always come up with favorable methodologies to help dismantle the negative cultural beliefs and focus on reshaping structural issues that affect women and enhance women's economic empowerment.

The remarks were made by the minister of state for Gender, Grace Hellen Asamo as Oxfam in Uganda showcased its impacts realised from integration of Gender Action Learning System (GALS) methodology into development and humanitarian interventions which is one of its projects to end inequality.

GALS methodology is a structured community-led empowerment methodology which aims at creating self-led economic, social and political transformation starting at the community level.

It uses tools that enable individuals and households to plan their lives, identify and negotiate their needs and interests for gender-equitable livelihoods, thus changing the gender and power relations that would otherwise constrain them from achieving their visions.

Speaking to the Nile Post, Asamo said communities should come up with initiatives that can incorporate women and men to develop their visions for change, appreciate their strengths, achievements and work collectively to address gender inequalities within the family and community.

"I particularly appreciate that the methodology is community-led, as this fosters ownership and sustainability. I am pleased to know that GALS methodology has since been rolled out across the country and transformed the lives of many communities, the successes shared here are inspiring," she said.

She asked communities to refrain from all negative thoughts and practices that can affect the economic growth of women in the society.

Asamo said as the government, they see potential in using this initiative to roll out the parish development model and other development programmes.

Francis Shanty Odokrach, country director Oxfam in Uganda told the Nile Post that the governments and executing partners have affordable and prompt access to local and regional technical expertise needed for the implementation of this programme.

"There is reduction in domestic violence as a result of improved relations at household level, an increase in productivity for agricultural value chains resulting from joint planning and decision making starting from the household level," said Odokrach.

He noted that there are observable changes in attitudes and behaviour at different levels through individual and collective activities.

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