Editor’s Note: This post was originally published by Refugee Law Project, School of Law, Makerere University (shared via its international listserv) on March 12, 2020 at 08:51hrs. Photo Credit: Onen David Ongwech.
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On March 8, 2020 during the commemoration of the International Women’s Day at Ofua Primary School Playground in Adjumani district, RLP was recognized by UN Women, Adjumani District Local Government, and the Office of the Prime Minister for its “Outstanding contribution towards promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Adjumani District”. During this same event, Mercy Wanda Achiro, RLP’s Legal Assistant and the Leadership Empowerment Access Protection (LEAP) Focal Person, Adjumani Field Office was recognized as one of the committed and dedicated activists in the region (See Picture Attached).
This recognition follows her tireless service in supporting refugee and host women in Yumbe and Adjumani district. LEAP continues to have transformative impacts in the lives of refugee and host women and girls in the region.
As an institution that believes in realizing a context where all people enjoy their human rights irrespective of their legal status, and through our work with women and girls from community through to national level, we continue to register attitudinal shifts towards appreciation of women’s efforts in leadership, community participation, and ending violence against women and girls everywhere.
Upon receipt of this well-deserved recognition, this is Mercy’s reflection;
“This [recognition] is a nice thing and I truly appreciate it! It gives me the motivation to do more and better! I’m glad that I’m part of notable transformations – there has been a sharp increase in women’s participation in public spaces including a paradigm shift from 30:70 to 51:49 Female:Male representation in the Leadership structure among the refugee community. More than ever before, women demand for their rights and actively engaging in economic activities – all of which contributes to the welfare of their families and communities in a more enthusiastic, orderly and respectful way.”
“To me, this achievement is just a crystal! As women activists, we need to find creative ways of leaping over structural hurdles and working towards mountains of achievements to talk about! The majority challenge lies among the rural hard-to-reach population thus more attention is needed to realise sea-changes in the lives of women and girls therein. Equally, more keenness at creating awareness among the men and boys to appreciate women’s rights and embrace women’s empowerment.”
We appreciate the Royal Norwegian Embassy for all the funding support through UN Women, key stakeholders, partners for the guidance and synergies and support from all our clients for the progress thus far. We look forward to working together in 2020 and the years to come!