Hi Charles Zulanas, I thank you very much for your marvelous recommendations of partnering with men organisations and providing education to men as well. As it has always been our question, I found your recommendations very necessary if we are to lay a great foundation for our organisation's success. So I have integrated your recommendations in my idea in this improve fase.
Thank you for reading through my idea and raise the necessary questions, so let me try to answer your questions in brief.
1. Is it solely the government's fault for not providing these services? It is not solely the fault of government for not providing these services. In Uganda, women’s challenges in agriculture are deeply rooted in African traditions that give men power to dominate in the society affairs. These traditions have continued to be reflected in government policies because policy making bodies are dominated by men. For example, the policies concerning agriculture and land use are gender blind/neutral despite women’s larger share of employment in agriculture. These policies focus on households rather than individuals; for example, the national agriculture policy (MAAIF 2013), and the agriculture sector paper (MAAIF 2014) refer to those employed in agriculture collectively as “farmers”. This masks the different experiences of women and men, and fails to take into consideration the gender specific needs of women.
2. How are you lobbying in order to gain attention for these issues? We are using different methods of lobbying depending on the target institutions or individuals. These include; exerting considerable influence on policy makers by delivering policy issues and engaging in policy advisory forums; taking the lead on government policy consultations by submitting women’s opinion documents, scheduling appointment of Face to Face Meetings with policy makers and donors, making presentations on the issue to influence various policy audiences and donors, organizing conferences, seminars, public meetings and demonstrating women’s problems and possible solutions.
3. What are ways that women farmers can begin a reformation with women farming in Uganda other than whatsapp and mobile services, and ultimately the app to connect them with experts? We are well aware that not all women can access internet or mobile devices (ICT tools) that we use to deliver our agricultural services. That’s why these ICT tools are secondary in our strategies to reach out to women with the necessary help. Our primary strategy is grassroot women farmers associations. These grassroot women farmers associations are inclusive in nature and enables grassroot female farmers to elect their own leadership, analyze their own problems and decide on the priority actions and design the activities they want to carry out. These grassroot associations also enable the outside technical advice to respond and support the local decisions. In short, these grassroot women farmers associations are administrative channel of the resources from the outside (credit, technical inputs, marketing procedures, etc and also helps to solve language problems since grassroot women communicate in language they understand better.
Thank you very much for appreciating our work. Women's rights have been ignored for long under the umbrella of "Tradition" and now is the time for our voices to be heard. I wish and hope that someday this will inspire women in Indonesia and many other countries in the world to raise their voices and bridge this gap