GBV Programme

 

COACT’s programme enhances protection and response services to women and girls’ including refugees and host communities in Uganda. We build the capacity of women and girls to advocate for their rights, prevent and respond to GBV through providing safe spaces, community awareness, psychosocial support, case management and referral services.  Women and girls are confident and resilient to influence policies and decisions that advance GEWE.

Our Strategies

1.Capacity building

We strengthen the organizational capacity of grassroots women’s organizations by providing training and resources in areas such as project management, fundraising, advocacy, and monitoring and evaluation. This enables them to effectively plan, implement, and evaluate their GBV prevention and response initiatives. We empower the organizations to advocate for policies and legislation that address GBV, protect survivors’ rights, and hold perpetrators accountable. This involves presentation of position papers and policy briefs to District Councils and participating in public campaigns to influence change.

2. Training and Education

We facilitate formation of grassroot women’s organizations and provide comprehensive training programs on gender-based violence (GBV) prevention, survivor support, legal rights, and trauma-informed care. This includes empowering such organizations with knowledge about different forms of violence, such as domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, and harmful traditional partner with them, and organize them into vibrant women’s movements. We strengthen their knowledge and skills in advocacy, documentation of EVAWG issues within their communities, and present them to leaders for action and implementation.  We further strengthen their capacity to hold leaders accountable on the implementation of the actions and recommendations on EVAWG, organize advocacy campaigns in their communities to demand accountability and improved service delivery.

3. Community outreach and awareness

COACT conducts awareness campaigns and community outreach initiatives through community dialogues and barasas to challenge harmful social norms, promote gender equality, and raise awareness about GBV and its impacts. This is achieved in collaboration with district and local leaders and influencers.

4. VSLA Groups to reduce women’s vulnerability to VAWG.

Poverty is one of the leading factors that expose women to violence. COACT supports women and girls to form groups that transform into Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs). This enables them to save, access loans and start household enterprises. This makes it easy for women to benefit from the existing government programmes and specialized trainings in financial literacy, business, and enterprise development. This increases women’s resilience and capacity say no to abuse and escape violence.

5. Providing Friendly and Safe Spaces for Women and Girls

We establish and strengthen multipurpose safe spaces for women and girls to ensure survivors have access to immediate assistance, including case management and referrals for legal support and medical care. At the safe space, survivors receive dignity kits and an emergency multi-purpose cash to help  re-build their dignity and esteem.

6. Information sharing and awareness on VAWG prevention and response.

COACT utilizes multi-media to reach more women, men, boys, and girls with information on EVAWG prevention and response.  The use of IEC materials (audio visual messages); radio talk shows, toll-free Hotline, social media engagements and public campaigns, community barazas and dialogues have proven effective in changing beliefs and practices that normalize violence against women and girls.

7. Women’s Peace Tables

These are platforms for women to convene, share amongst themselves on issues that affect them, experiences on how they overcome some of the issues, receive peer to peer support, inspire each other to continue working hard and stand with each other. Women use this platform to document emerging and persistent issues, select leaders amongst themselves to take and present these issues to leaders and follow up for action. This creates healing, unity, and joint voice for women in the fight against violence.

8. Local Peace Committees

COACT works to increase the representation of women on the peace committees, making them more gender sensitive. In addition, COACT trains peace committees in conflict early warning and response, mediation, and advocacy. Women on the peace committees ensure that GBV cases are prioritized and followed up. This has increased recognition of the important role women play in EVAWG prevention and response.

9. Localization of policies and laws

Localization strengthens the capacity of district local governments to integrate EVAWG in their local action plans on women peace and security. This helps to institutionalize case management, referral pathways, protection, and response services.  The localization process involves all key stakeholders like local authorities/ leaders, security sector/police, women, men, boys, and girls, which increases ownership.  As a result, some districts have adopted and implemented by-laws and ordinances on drug and substance abuse, girl child education, resource distribution, child marriages among others which are big contributors in the prevention and response of violence against women and girls.

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