Our entry point is the grassroots women, girls, youth and marginalised communities. We seek to amplify their voices, move with them up in clear linkages to influencing national, regional and international policy processes.
Registered land is owned by women in Uganda today. 70% of the women are engaged in agriculture and surprisingly less than 20% control outputs of their efforts (UNHS 2012/13).
Like in most parts of Africa, Land in Uganda is a primary source and crucial asset for households, especially women who primarily depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Women have special needs and problems to do with land, inheritance and property. Most of the people that do not have land and property are women. Women and men do not access land and property on equal basis yet women have to care for children and other family members, find and prepare food for their families, try to get money and so on. At CESCRA, we focus on the increasing global urgency and concerns about the women’s land, and property rights. We believe, that in most societies, women have historically managed and fulfilled the responsibilities of domestic labor, family care, and nutritional security. As the definition of these gender roles and contexts surrounding them become more tenuous (generating both positive and negative impacts on women), the need for women to be able to secure land and property has become even more critical.
We seeks to address the cross-cutting nature of women’s human rights issues. Women’s land and property rights intersect with other problems such as discriminatory inheritance patterns, development issues, gender-based violence, the appropriation and privatization of communal and indigenous lands as well as gendered control over economic resources and the right to work. The interdependence of women’s human rights highlights the importance of women being able to claim their right to land and property, in order to lessen the threat of discrimination, different forms of violence, denial of political participation, and other violations of their human rights.
In 2013, Uganda was ranked 16th among 25 countries with the highest rate of early marriages with 46% of girls married before 18 years and 12% of girls before they are 15 years (world vision). Realization of sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) of youth and adolescent especially girls remains a challenge to East African countries which constitute of young populations.
Girls are vulnerable to harmful practices such as forced, child and early marriages and teenage pregnancies, unsafe abortion, female genital mutilation (FGM), beading among the Samburu, sexual violence, malnutrition and reproductive tract infections including sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well as HIV and AIDS and those caused by poor menstrual hygiene.
Though East African countries have been signatory and made commitments to several international and regional human rights treaties and declarations such as ministerial Commitment on Comprehensive Sexuality Education and SRH Services for Adolescents and Young People in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA, 2013, Uganda & Kenya), and national policies and Acts such as Sexual Offences Act (Kenya &Uganda in Bill form), Children’s Act, Counter Trafficking in Persons Act and Prohibition of FGM Act (Kenya & Uganda). These remain largely unenforced.
The 2014 National Population Census indicates that, Buliisa District has a total population of 113,161 people and the percentage of children not in school includes 21.4% Ngwedo, 21.2% Kigwera, 22.7% Butyaaba 17.6% Buliisa TC, 26.6% the whole county. Again in Buliisa, the percentage of girls ever married between 10-19 years age includes Ngwedo 19.4%, Kigwera 15.1%, Butyaaba 33.3%, Buliisa county 18.9% and Buliisa trading center 15.7%. In Kikuube District, based in Kyangwaali children not in school between 6-12 years are 10.1%, in Kabwooya 8.4% and those ever married at 10-19 years in Kyangwaali are 21% and Kabwooya 25.2%. These statistics are evidenced by the reality CESCRA found in the 6 schools and 6 communities where it is implementing the campaign. Barely are girls reaching or completing primary seven and therefore explains their low numbers in secondary schools.
WE EMPOWER GRASSROOT ACTORS & PARTNERS, MAKE LINKANGES WITH NATIONAL, REGIONAL & INTERNATIONAL PROCESSES TO REDUCE SOCIAL & ECONOMIC INJUSTICES AGAINST WOMEN, GIRLS, YOUTH & MARGINALISED COMMUNITIES THROUGH A HUMAN RIGHTS LENS
Our Strategic Interventions
Awareness and Capacity development: CESCRA uses both human rights education dialogues, information and media publicity to create awareness on economic social cultural rights and gender equality at the grassroots, amongst the public, relevant institutions and targeted populations.
Capacity development; CESCRA uses workshops, intensive training, learning exchange and where applicable small grants to grassroots partners as a way of building various capacities to engage in policy influencing, monitoring and awareness.
Policy Advocacy and Research: CESCRA uses policy engagement, lobbying and influencing approaches with policy makers, government technical persons and regional institutions as well as internal multilateral and human rights institutions.
Policy Research and information generation: CESCRA engages in policy research mainly qualitative research on areas of economic social cultural rights and gender equality for the purposes of providing information, generating policy recommendation and opening of grey area issues for policy formulation, advocacy and monitoring. CESCRA undertakes facts-finding missions to provide information for action. CESCRA uses testimonies and stories from the ground to amplify the voices of the grassroots communities, women, girls and the marginalised others into policy processes.
Networking, Partnership building and Media engagement: CESCRA harnesses existing energies and synergies of grassroots groups, civil society organisations on economic social cultural rights and gender equality areas and other relevant actors to mobilise around policy engagement, advocacy, awareness and best practice sharing.
Monitoring Government (s) compliance to treaties: CESCRA in its work, analyses the various laws and policies and how they affect the lives of women and girls and ordinary marginalised communities and populations. It also monitors violations and governments’ implementation of their commitments at national, regional and international levels in a way that enhances government reporting and engagement.
Media engagement; CESCRA draw from the available media technologies and institutions to share information, raise awareness, mobilise for action and raise the voices of the public to increase promotion of and respect for economic social cultural rights of women and girls and gender equality.
CESCRA works within four pillars to achieve Results
Building blocks for sustainability through grassroots partnerships engagement at community levels. CESCRA identifies existing local grass root organisations (CBOs) and builds up mutual collaboration and capacity empowerment to ensure community participation and voices. Building blocks means these groups are assisted to network, identify common issues built into a formidable women and girls grassroots movement.
Linking the grassroots to the national advocacy processes for policy change. CESCRA directly engages with national partners and development institutions to engage government on policy issues and contribute to movement of civil society organisation demanding for and influencing reforms.
Regional engagement through use of Africa human rights mechanisms to contribute to shaping reforms and enhancement of women and girls’ economic social cultural rights issues at the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights and other related regional forums. Regional engagement is a pillar that seek to expose grassroots actors with regional NGOs and other actors which amplifies their voices and increases their representation at this level.
International collaboration, partnerships, solidarity and influencing processes. CESCRA maintains strong commitment to engage in international advocacy processes so as cause international human rights law to be understood and increasingly applied into the national contexts and economic social cultural rights situation in countries improved. This is also a platform we consider very important for amplifying voices and actual representation of grassroots women