The Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda has received support from UN Women (UN women, Spotlight global and the Embassy of Sweden) to implement the Culture for Her project (2019-2021). The project aims at harnessing the power of cultural resources (cultural institutions, norms, values, practices and structures) to transform negative cultural practices that perpetuate gender stereotypes, inequality and discrimination to end violence against women and girls (VAWG) and harmful practices, and to promote Sexual Reproductive Health Rights in Uganda.
This project will build on CCFU’s current culture and gender work in Gulu, Kitgum, Lamwo, Pader and Lira that has revealed the existence of culturally defined rights that support the rights of women and girls to land, marital rights, inheritance rights, the right to protection from gender-based violence, the rights to information and education, the right to participation as well as the right to access to justice. Through this project, cultural leaders have identified and reaffirmed these rights, and committed to increasing the use of cultural values, norms, and practices in decision making and conflict resolution to defend the rights of women in their areas of jurisdiction.
Key project activities
The project has a number of activities including research to profile cultural resources in the 5 cultural institutions; reviewing the implementation of the cultural leaders’ strategic guidelines focusing on ending GBV; facilitating cultural institutions to hold radio talk shows in their respective institutions; hold consultative meetings with cultural leaders, engage young people in cultural heritage clubs and the media
It is expected that by the end of the project, communities in the above 5 institutions will be empowered to appreciate the contribution of the cultural resources in combating VAWG, Harmful Practices and SRHR. It also expected that the role of cultural resources in combating GBV will be recognized as relevant in the policy and legislative frameworks of Uganda.
Project areas and partnership
The project will be implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Gender Labor and Social Development and five cultural institutions of Alur, Buganda, Busoga, Karamoja and Tooro. The selection of these institutions coincides with existing areas of operation for UN Women in Uganda. Other cultural institutions shall be engaged through the current cultural leaders’ national forum.
Key implementation strategies
To implement the above activities and achieve the outcomes stated above CCFU, intends to deploy several strategies including; research, movement-building, capacity-building and advocacy. Both desk and field research will be carried out in the 5 institutions; capacity of the cultural and local government leaders and young people in school cultural heritage clubs will be built through training to promote and improve access to justice by women and finally, national policy advocacy activities and media activities will be conducted.
In Uganda, working with cultural resources and structures to address patriarchy and its impact on the values and beliefs system, is still a missing link in the promotion of women and girls’ rights and in the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV). Yet the existence of values, principles, beliefs and norms that promote male supremacy and undervalue women and girls underscore the important role that addressing culture, customs and traditions can play in the reduction of GBV and increase access to justice by women and girls.