Improving access to natural resources for indigenous communitiesMinority Rights Group Africa (MRGA)
Key Support Priorities in Uganda
The socio-economic and political context of Uganda presents an interesting paradox for policy makers and development practitioners. There is marked improvement on the economic growth as well as poverty reduction rates. However, this progressive trend is punctuated by extreme levels of economic and spatial inequality. At the heart of these inequalities lies marginalisation and exclusion of many groups of people who are not sharing the growth or participating effectively in the development process.
Therefore, a Uganda specific contextual analysis of the overall global target groups for Voice was done to highlight key issues related to exclusion. This gives the Voice project a useful insight regarding opportunities to support these groups to meaningfully participate in development interventions as well as share its benefits. Valuable interventions have been suggested for improving social, economic, spatial and political inclusion and supporting groups to amplify their concerns.
While all groups face some degree of marginalisation and discrimination in Uganda, it is very clear that women across all the groups are more vulnerable, face higher rates of poverty, lower economic opportunity and higher rates of violence, and other vulnerabilities compared to their male counterparts. Furthermore, young women face more economic hardship and health problems than young men; girls have less access to education than boys. Similarly, women who are ethnic minorities are less likely to hold leadership positions or having decision making power than men of ethnic minorities.
These factors reflect gender inequality as a cross cutting issue among all the target groups. A gender impact was present in all exclusion analysis for each group.
Women who face exploitation, abuse and violence is the group identified as the most marginalised and a common intersection identified between all groups. Ethnic minorities face acute economic and spatial exclusion factors due to land alienation and disposition.
There exists low levels of employment, health and wellbeing of youth. Youth unemployment is particularly worse among vulnerable groups like youth with disabilities. Young mothers are not considered part of the demographic and are often not a focus of development programming catered to youth empowerment.
Based on the above, Voice will therefore prioritise applications focusing upon Women facing exploitation, abuse and violence, ethnic minorities and youth. Voice is implemented through Oxfam in Uganda (and in collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of foreign Affairs and Hivos) is especially interested in receiving applications that consider cross-marginalisation – that is interventions that acknowledges the different levels of marginalisation among a target group and develop strategies to reach the most marginalised and discriminated people of a particular target group
Projects funded by Voice will need to address one or more of the impact themes:
- improving access to (productive) resources (finance, land and water) and employment
- improving access to social services, health and education in particular
- fostering space for political participation
On December 8, in the midst of International Human Rights Day and the International Day for People living with Disabilities, Oxfam Uganda launched Voice nationally. While Voice in Uganda is coordinated by Oxfam, at a global level Voice is executed in consortium with Hivos and funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
No person – regardless of ethnicity, gender, geography, disability, sexual orientation, race or other status - should be denied universal human rights and basic economic opportunities. Voice will give the people being left behind the opportunity to have a say in the policies that should make this ambition a reality.