Last week we launched a new report, Governance and livelihoods in Uganda’s oil-rich Albertine Graben.
In northern Uganda, the Acholi communities are settling back into their villages after years of insecurity and internal displacement as a result of the conflict between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan government. The conflict, displacement and return process had different impacts on men, women, boys and girls. The consequences of this require gender-relational approaches to peacebuilding.
In the last five years of International Alert's presence in Uganda, we have undertaken different interventions aimed at understanding conflict and building peace. In this report, we provide an overview of this work and highlights of our work in 2011 specifically.
The case of northern Uganda illustrates the difficulties of socio-economic reintegration faced not only by ex-combatants, but also by IDPs and war-affected youth in the post-conflict environment. It discusses the marginalisation of former abductees in particular, with a focus on the specific challenges that the reintegration process posed for girls and women. The study underscores the importance of adopting a holistic approach, and of extending support to receiving communities so as to facilitate the return of former combatants and war-affected youth more generally. It furthermore highlights the potential of private sector actors to contribute to the design of socio-economic reintegration processes which are linked to realistic livelihood opportunities, and the need for donor interventions to provide long-term, sustainable support to beneficiaries.
This report is part of the case study series, Enhancing socio-economic opportunities for ex-combatants in post-conflict environments.
This report summarises the findings of a series of case studies which explore the socio-economic aspects of reintegration programmes for ex-combatants in a number of conflict-affected countries where International Alert works: Nepal, Liberia and Uganda. The aim of the series is to stimulate discussions at the local, national and international level about the role that private sector actors can play in the effective reintegration of ex-combatants, and to strengthen practice by developing recommendations for future socio-economic reintegration programmes.
L’un des résultats positifs des processus de paix et des transitions politiques dans la région des Grands Lacs en Afrique ces dix à quinze dernières années, a été la représentation et la participation accrues des femmes dans l’arène politique et dans la sphère publique. Cette avancée majeure pour les femmes a été obtenue essentiellement par l’adoption de systèmes de quotas et par la cooptation. Les femmes sont parvenues, au moins dans une certaine mesure, à influer sur les processus de paix officiels et à s’assurer que les questions relatives à l’égalité des sexes soient prises en considération. Les femmes ont également joué un rôle actif dans les processus politiques en tant qu’électrices et candidates, même si peu d’entre elles ont été élues à des positions de responsabilité. Les périodes de reconstruction post-conflit ont également offert des opportunités pour la promotion économique des femmes, mais les avancées faites par ces dernières dans le domaine économique n’ont pas nécessairement conduit à leur plus grande participation dans la prise de décision politique. La nature masculine des systèmes politiques, les normes et stéréotypes sexo-spécifiques ainsi que le manque d’expertise technique en matière de programmation genre, restent des obstacles majeurs à une représentation égalitaire des femmes dans la sphère politique et la vie publique. Ce rapport fait des recommandations aux gouvernements, à la communauté internationale et aux organisations de la société civile, pour soutenir la partition politique des femmes et renforcer leur pouvoir économique dans les pays qui sortent d’un conflit. (English)
This report sets out to examine and understand the position of women in the peace economy and politics, and the interaction between their increased economic power and their participation in political and public life in northern Uganda. Women have played a key role in the region’s economic recovery after the war, enabling them to increase their income significantly; however, not at a level which would allow them to achieve economic security, and break free from the cycle of economic survival and merely meeting practical needs. Development and reconstruction policies in northern Uganda have not taken into account the important contribution made by women in the building of a peace economy. Furthermore, very little attention has been paid by development planners to the high levels of sexual violence against women and the way in which unequal gender relations continue to affect the economic recovery. All this explains, to a large extent, women’s poor participation in politics in northern Uganda, even though their increased income has allowed many of them to play a more central role in decision making within the household and to acquire greater mobility and influence in decision-making bodies in communities.
The Great Lakes region has in the last ten to fifteen years seen an increase in women’s representation and involvement in politics and the public sphere, a positive outcome of the region’s peace processes and political transitions.
One of the positive outcomes of recent peace processes in Africa’s Great Lakes region has been the increased involvement of women in the public sphere, primarily thanks to the adoption of quota systems for female representation. Women have had some success in influencing official peace processes in the region, ensuring provisions for women’s rights were made. They have been actively engaged as both voters and candidates in elections, but few are elected. Masculine political systems, lack of gender expertise and gender norms and stereotypes remain obstacles to equal representation of women in political and public life. Post-conflict reconstruction has provided economic opportunities for women, but these advances have not necessarily led to more prominent roles in political decision making. This report makes recommendations for civil society, governments and the international community to strengthen women’s political participation and economic empowerment in these post-conflict countries. (Français)
International Alert started working with local organisations in Uganda’s oil regions in 2008, to promote greater awareness and understanding about the oil sector.
Improved information flow between local communities, the government and oil companies is crucial in promoting transparency in the sector, minimising the harmful potential for escalating rumours and fears.
In support of its wider objective to harness the potential of oil to contribute to peace and development in Uganda, Alert has therefore jointly signed the following statement:
International Alert is proud to present its new annual report, “Peace Talks”, which looks back at Alert’s work and impact in 2011 – when Alert celebrated its 25th year – using dialogue as a theme.
Dialogue is a vital tool we use in our peacebuilding work, and we hope that by showing you in this annual report some of the practical ways in which we use dialogue to bring people together or to improve face-to-face communication in situations where communication has broken down, you will get a good sense of how we work as well as our objectives. The regions we focus on in this report to illustrate our theme are Uganda, South Caucasus, Lebanon and Sri Lanka.