OXFAM showcase visionary tool to address gender inequality
OXFAM in partnership with the Women’s Empowerment Mainstreaming and Networking (WEMAN) members have showcased the Gender Action Learning Systems (GALS) Methodology to a cross-section of stakeholders under the theme ‘Empowering Women to optimize resources for the benefit of all Ugandans.’ The tool was launched on women’s day.
GALS Methodology is a community led methodology that uses visual diagrams to empower women and men imagine the future they want and take action against any barriers that inhibit it including those societal norms that drive gender inequality and injustice.
Speaking at launch of the tool, Peter Kamalingin, Country Director OXFAM noted that the GALS Methodology, is a key approach used by OXFAM and its implementing partners aims to involve stakeholders to challenge and address gender inequalities at household and community levels in Uganda using simple drawings.’
He explained that the GALS methodology has had tremendous success over the years and addresses power issues between communities, religious and traditional authorities, private sector and Government actors through the use of a series of tools that enable household members to negotiate their needs and interests to find innovative, gender-equitable solutions in livelihoods planning and value-chain development.
Mr. Kamalingin revealed that GALS showcase is not only in line with this year’s International Women’s Day National theme: ‘Empowerment of Women and Girls is Progress for All: Three Decades of Gains for Ugandan Women and Girls’ but also relates with the African Union‘s summittheme: ‘Women’s Empowerment Year and Africa Development for the concretization of Agenda 2063.’ Both themes are focusing on the need for women and girls to get empowered in fully optimizing their potential both in Uganda and beyond for the benefit of all. “From the testimonies and documentary, you will soon confirm that this methodology is a powerful means by which one can empower individuals, families, communities, businesses and leaders to transform relations and lives in ways that are lasting. For those of you who believe in building citizen voices and citizen actions and deepening gender justice – you can’t be looking for a better tool.” He said. Five organisations participating in the implementation of the GALS Methodology include PELUM, Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers’ Forum Uganda (ESAFF), Volunteer Efforts for Development Concerns (VEDCO), Community Organisation for Rural Enterprise Activity Management (CREAM) and Community Empowerment For Rural Development (CEFORD). GALS methodology was first piloted by Oxfam and the WEMAN members in Western Uganda within the Rwenzori region of Kasese and later rolled out to other regions of Northern Uganda that included West Nile, Acholi and Karamoja. Oxfam country boss promised to continuously contribute to sustainable pro-poor wealth creation, and value chain upgrading in Uganda through empowerment of women and men from the poorest and most vulnerable households. “ ‘‘I call upon key actors from the Government, policy makers, donors, private sector and Civil society organizations to support the uptake of this methodology given that it has been tried and tested and the experiences and stories confirm that it works and can be used in any given situation including engendering national and local budgeting processes.’’ Said Mr. Kamalingin.