Diakonia - People change the world
After being involved in a EU project with Diakonia and our partner organization FOWODE, the women of Gulwotoro in Uganda have become an important part of the decision making processes in the village. Mariana Aworo is one of them. Photo: FOWODE

The women of Gulwotoro take back their power

In the Ugandan village of Gulwotoro, Mariana Aworo and many other women have now gained the confidence to become an active part in economical duties and decision making. This is thanks to a project jointly run by Diakonia and our partner organization FOWODE.

12/3/2013 Publisher: Annabel Ogwang Okot

A changing village

The women from the village of Gulwotoro, like other women in the developing world, are mostly poor, with their voices unheard, and their rights and opportunities to social and economic development minimal. But strong women make a difference, as put by the sub county chairperson Gwang: “These women are different, their approach is unique”. And viewing the changes that has happened in Gulwotoro, it is not difficult to understand why.

"We thought we were unimportant"

Mariana Aworo, a member of the Gulwotoro Village Budget Club (VBC) explains that the EU project led by Diakonia and FOWODE has had a tremendous impact in her life. “Before this, we thought we were unimportant people and never saw ourselves talking to district leaders like Education Officers. But now we do, and are proud to represent our people”.

About the project: Between 2011 and 2013, Diakonia has together with our partner organization FOWODE run a project regarding good governance and social accountability through empowering the citizens of the Karamoja and Acholi sub-regions in Uganda. The project has received support from the European Union under the DemocraticGovernance and Accountability Programme (DGAP).

The women of Gulwotoro VBC now have a high self esteem, confidence and advocacy skills. Akecha, one of the group members of the budget club, admits she was very timid before joining the group. Today she confidently states: “I am brave, I answer for myself”.

Have taken back the power at home

The women are particularly quick to mention that their most meaningful achievement is taking back their power at home. Like Akecha, Mariana's household has been positively influenced, as she is now in charge of budgets and maintains a shared decision making with her husband. "We share responsibilities, we are not just confident, we are free. At home we make decisions together", says Mariana.

The Village Budget Clubs make a difference

For communities to demand good governance and hold decision makers accountable, they must be well prepared for the task. The Village Budget Clubs build the capacity of regular citizens to understand their rights under the law and effective ways in which to get their leaders to pay attention and act accordingly.

More results from the project