When i was married to this region from a different region women ,s security was no where by then the warriors had guns AK 47 the men and boys gotentrenched a deep gun culture inKaramoja among the pastroal tribes, constantly competing among themselves in gun power. This was at the expence of peace and security which impacted greavely on women. I COULD NOT DEAR TO SEE MY FELLOW WOMEN SUFFER LIKE this, then i founded AWARE-UG 35 years ago with five devoted rural ladies because of the GenderBased Violence in our community of Karamojong .Women/girls were battered, beaten, toutured,inherited,kidnapped, raped,defiled,female circumcision, health hazards hence infecting with HIV/AIDs,STD, forced marriges and made to produced as many children as their system can go in thier lives with no regard for family planning. when they grow past reproductive age then abandoned them to marry younger girls to continue to produce more children, tradition does not allow wives to oppose their husbands marrying other women,they would be accused of jealousy-a serious ground for devorce.the low status of women mke them vulunerable to violence and sexual harrassment. The women and Girls suffer untold harrassment and violence in such multiple marriges. The Karamojong women are among the world,s most overworked.They are charged with preparing land ,cultivating,weeding and harvesting , processing and preparing food, looking for fuel wood,water, constructing dwelling huts,wood fence around the homestead.They care for the sick,invalid and the young they must raise family cash income to provide the basic necessities. The men on the other hand, are mainly concerned with looking after and aquring more lifestock.
Generally illiteracy rate is so high among the women and girls .
Girls are not allowed to go to school for high bride price force into early marriges which made many commiting socide,traditionally girls who go to school bring back home HIV/AIDs, they can not inherit any property on the death of their parents a male heir must be foundin the liniage , no matter how distant.
AWARE-UG became a voice to these voiceless women and girls. thourgh our advocacy , we made a lot of partenships with other women,s organizations , groups and forming more groups in our localities.promoting awareness and understanding among the elders,traditional leaders, community group leaders of the rights of women and girls and decision making roles as a way to fight the low status Karamojong culture ascribes women.AWARE-UG conducted series of trainning workshops in form of intensive sensitisation campaign of women,s rights,their decision making roles and the need to assert themselves in socities.
We idenified people ,men and women in the community and trained them as community paralegals their rolls is to popularise human rights especially women, rights, this specifically basic human rights and their violations especially for the women and girls to be assertive of their rights.
We formed STOP gender based violence commitee in villages and Elders commitees and male actions groups.
We disiminated gender based violence Act policy to the police,health workers,judiciary,local chiefs and community development officials, this in paticular on GBV , reporting pathways,
Through my initatives on GBV i am so proud to say that we have reduced GBV to 50% for our indeginous girls and women and through enlighting them they have become critical drivers of community development and change. They have promoted the growth of a strong women,s movement in Karamoja that advocates for the right of women and girls and enhances their social,cultural,economic and political status.Then our vision on the program of STOP GBV is " A society where women are collectively and individually self reliant and free from injustice"
.Girls have been enrolled and retained in schools
Women have own land and property,
Women have utilised family planning methods
Social protection for women
Gererally women and girls know their rights and the impacts of GBV