On the 11th of March 2022, Kween district commemorated the International Women’s day at Chemwania High School under the global theme “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”. The colorful ceremony filled with performances from several women’s groups, school choirs, music dance and drama clubs all highlighted the importance of gender equality and how its contributions towards the empowerment of women in the community.
The LC 1 Chairman Cherop Patrick officially opened the event by welcoming dignitaries like the chief guest of the ceremony RDC, Anne Kwesiga, CAO Awor Albina, LCV Chelogoi Goefrey, DISO Mr.Wamanga J.B, OC Child Family Protection Unit Madam Diana and representatives from different organizations running projects within the district to the celebrations.
NAWOU Project Officer Pauline Nabwire acknowledged Kween district’s commitments towards addressing issues of female genital mutilation (FGM) and early child marriage within the district during her presentation. Prior to the celebrations, a meeting was held with district leaders where they committed and requested for support during the process of drafting an ordinance against FGM for Kween.
“We would like to thank the education department that committed to meeting with school head teachers to ensure that messages on FGM are disseminated through FGM clubs that would soon be introduced in all the schools,”said Pauline. “When children are empowered, they are more likely to resist these harmful practices like FGM and child marriages as they grow.” NAWOU through the “Rise up: Mobilizing women and girls to combat FGM and Child Marriage” project funded by Womankind Worldwide supported 20 girls fleeing FGM and Child marriage with scholastic materials.
Chemutai (not real names) one of the beneficiaries had been forced into marriage where she was a second wife. She lived under pressure from the husband and insults from the co wife because she hadn’t undergone FGM however decided to leave the marriage. NAWOU mentor Betty Chemayek supported her to return to school and now in S.4 at Chemwania High school. She was part of the mentees that presented a poem on Gender equality during the celebrations.
As the RDC, Anne Kwesiga officially closed the function, she called upon the men to prioritize girl child education and collectively work together to combat FGM in Kween District. She emphasized the importance of male involvement in advocacy issues and encouraged them to start within their families.
“Rise up: Mobilizing women and girls to combat FGM and Child Marriage” project funded by WomanKind is implemented in Kween district, specifically in Kaptum Sub-county; a hot spot sub-county for FGM practice. The project objective is to empower girls and young women to develop their own campaigns and initiatives to challenge the harmful cultural practices of FGM and CEFM.