“Anything is possible with gender mainstreaming”

The study visit to Nansana, Uganda provided a perspective on gender mainstreaming, profiling the progress, as well as the efforts being made to address the challenges.
 The participants were taken through the background of Nansana Municipality, its unique features being a dormitory town accommodating many people who work in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda.
 “The training workshop was very well organised and gave an opportunity to urban managers and key stakeholders to share experiences and learn from each other,” says Daniel Kawesi.

Daniel Kawesi, town clerk in Nansana Municipality during a study visit to Nansana to discuss gender mainstreaming.

The ICLD-team was shown the gender aspects of the municipality and a presentation was made on key facts and figures, issues affecting vulnerable groups including women and children and possible interventions.
 What are the most important issues for you to work with in gender mainstreaming?
 “The key stakeholders to work with include the political leaders, the community, technical personnel and civil society organisations,” says Daniel Kawesi.

Anita Philemon Lyoka, local government staff from Kibaha Town Council, Tanzania, participated for the first time in a workshop outside her own country. She says she “now realizes that anything is possible if we can work with gender mainstreaming.”
 “Nansana Municipal has made great progress in different poverty eradication initiatives because they have started to work with gender mainstreaming. Development is possible if we can place emphasis on gender mainstreaming in local government’s programmes.”

 Do you see similarities between Kibaha and Nansana?
 “We both collaborate with politicians in gender mainstreaming. Nansana empowers women economically, same as Kibaha where five percent of income is set for women economic empowerment. Both Kibaha Town Council and Nansana Municipal place an emphasis on education, maternal health and child health as one way of gender mainstreaming initiatives.”
Has there been any change in how Nansana addresses gender mainstreaming since Regina Bakitte Nakazzi became mayor?
 “Yes, increased awareness, identification of those affected and number of interventions that have been done,” says Daniel Kawesi.

Since Regina Bakitte Nakazzi came into office she has met many people who say they come to her because they were sure she would handle their case.
 “Many women have complained about male workers who do not listen or take them seriously. Nansana faces problems of women getting killed and child sacrifice. I encourage the female minister to be as active as the male. We need to change the mindset of women and encourage them not to fear taking on roles and responsibilities.”
Daniel Kawesi, mention some successful areas where Nansana works with gender mainstreaming?
 “Affirmative action for access to education for the young girls, increase in the number of women in decision-making positions. Also, implementation of Adult Literacy-programs and a number of projects have been carried out in schools to promote the education of young girls. Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP), Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP), Functional Adult Literacy (FAL) have all improved the livelihood of women.”

 According to Regina Bakitte Nakazzi there has been success in some areas:

 “On procurement for cleaning of the municipality three out of the five groups are dominated by women and in one of the groups the director is a woman. The municipality is faced with a lot of land disputes and mostly women were affected, I have tried to give the women a platform and reached arbitration.”
Anita, what ideas can you take home from Nansana to Kibaha?
“Women can achieve great change in our society if they are given a chance to prove their ability and are supported by the government. We, local government staff, have a huge responsibility towards making sure that women in the community attain their goals by empowering them economically, socially and politically.”

Regina Bakitte Nakazzi, will you meet your vision “A transformed Municipality from the unplanned state to a prosperous and well-planned society” by 2040?
“With the approved five-year strategic plan and physical development, in support of existing bylaws approved by council as well as a dynamic council and greater Kampala strategy, I think so. With the support of ICLD I am hopeful we can meet the vision by 2040.”

Nansana Municipality in Wakiso District in Uganda has over 370 000 inhabitants.