On Tuesday 7 November 2017, CCFU launched two practical handbooks on using Acholi culture to promote women’s rights and empowerment. Written in the English and Acholi languages, the handbooks are entitled, “My Rights as a Woman or Girl – What does Acholi culture say?” and “Promoting Women’s Rights as Defined by Acholi Culture – A cultural leaders’ handbook” . These provide practical ways in which individuals, families and communities can utilise culture to strengthen the realisation of women’s and girls’ rights. The themes captured include access to land as a cultural and economic resource, marriage and related rights, food security, informal education and respect, an environment free from violence, participation in decision making at family and community levels, and access to the traditional leadership of the cultural and other leaders. These views were advanced during reflective meetings convened in communities and with culture resource persons from Kitgum, Gulu and Lamwo districts.
The launch at Hotel Pearl Afrique in Gulu was followed by a radio talk show on Radio Rupiny (95.7 FM) on women’s rights and responsibilities regarding property inheritance and participation in making decisions. Two other radio talk shows on marriage and related rights, and informal education, respect and food security aired after the launch event on Radio Rupiny and Radio Tembo (103.5 FM) respectively.
In June 2017, CCFU launched a research report entitled “Women, Culture and Rights in Acholi” documenting Acholi cultural practices and principles from which women’s rights are derived. This report was the basis of the reflective meetings that focused on practical ways of rejuvenating, strengthening or reviving these practices to ensure that women and girls as well as other members of family and society in Acholi enjoy their rights.