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Urgent Call – Response to Uganda’s Second Lockdown

Irise / Urgent Call – Response to Uganda’s Second Lockdown

An urgent call to action to protect the futures of marginalised girls, in Uganda and beyond

“I am asking the government, and even those who are hearing my voice, to come and help us realise our future dreams and become future leaders just like our Members of Parliament and Speaker of Uganda.” – 17-year-old Ugandan school girl

The Period Equality Network, a consortium of 70+ grassroots and national level organisations working to improve menstrual, sexual and reproductive health and the economic empowerment of women and girls across East Africa and beyond, is calling for urgent action to protect the futures of girls during Uganda’s second lockdown as stories of sexual exploitation and harassment, forced marriage and teenage pregnancy grow daily. During the pandemic, organisations working with girls and their communities have documented the extent of the impact on their livelihoods and wellbeing. Research from one partner found that 20% of girls in the schools where they work did not return to school after Uganda’s first lockdown and Irise’s 10 Million Futures report has documented the growing sense of despair and hopelessness girls are experiencing- “I sit there and feel pain deeply in my heart, I feel hopeless. I thought of becoming a nurse and now I do not have hopes of going back to school.”

Around the world, government policies guiding the pandemic response continue to lack gender sensitivity, missing opportunities to support girls and instead further compounding their disadvantage. Lack of gender sensitive analysis also perpetuates neglect of “silent” gender equality issues like period poverty and shame that limit progress towards to the Sustainable Development Goals, recovery from the pandemic and would represent cost effective, upstream areas of intervention to catalyse broader progress.

We welcome the G7 Summit’s Girls’ Education Declaration, the increased momentum and commitment to realise gender equality that the Generation Equality Forum has provoked and the global campaign to end period poverty and shame by 2030 but without more immediate, urgent action to protect girls during lockdowns and investment in the overlooked barriers that hold them back, the goal of gender equality becomes increasingly unattainable.

If urgent action is not taken now, we will lose the potential of this generation of girls to the catastrophic social and economic effects of the pandemic. Their futures represent a decade of investment and progress and the promise of a rapid and resilient recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

We are calling on the global community, UN bodies, international funders, and other stakeholders in the fight for gender equality to:

1. Make more urgent funding available for action to safeguard and support vulnerable girls during lockdowns immediately and until the global pandemic is over.
2. Increase pressure on governments to undertake gender sensitive analysis on their pandemic policies and response and to invest in overlooked barriers to gender equality such as the campaign to end period poverty and shame by 2030.
3. Increase pressure on G7 governments to take immediate, tangible action to realise their plans to boost girls’ education and women’s employment, including rapid release of funding to support girls.

Signed by:

Dr Emily Wilson
CEO Irise International

Lillian Bagala
Regional Director Irise Institute East Africa

Nalwadda Phiona Masiko
Chief Executive Officer Freda Were Foundation

Taremwa Albert
President & CEO Local Sustainable Communities Organisation

Fiona Komugisha Esther
Associate Team Leader Imagine Her (Ih)

Maurine Tukahirwa
Team Leader Girls Must Uganda

Nankunda Hope
Executive Director Raising Teenagers Uganda

Kaligirwa Bridget Kigambo
Founder/Executive Director Girl Power Connect

Nkinzi Suzan
Research, Monitoring And Evaluation Coordinator Women’s International Peace Centre (The Peace Centre)

Dumba Nasser
Project Coordinator Believe In The Future Community Organization

Angus Nasasira
Executive Director Kugonza Youth Impact Uganda

Musoke Twahah
Executive Director Eagles Youth Development Initiative (Eydi)

Juliet Were
Deputy Executive Director Women’s International Peace Centre (The Peace Centre)

Okwir Walter
Team Leader Youth Inclusion And Empowerment Network- Yien

Julius Ssebuwufu
Character First Initiative Uganda

Muhumuza Clyde
Programme Manager Health For Youth With Parents Involved

Elliot Orizaarwa
Executive Director Women And Girl Child Development Association

Nduhuura Elicana
Translating Education Into Action For Development

Resty Nabaggala
Here For Her Foundation

Kaligirwa Bridget Kigambo
Founder/Executive Director Girl Power Connect

Rev. Kalyebara Stephen
Executive Director Development Foundation For Rural Areas (Defora)

Kenny Kaburu
Executive Director Straight Talk Foundation Kenya

Wabwire Emmanuel
Executive Director Faraja Africa Foundation

Stephen Otim
Managing Director Agoro Comunity Development Association

Nakaibale Lynda Eunice
Program Associate Raising Teenagers Uganda

Jones Brair
Executive Director Inspire Youth For Development (Iyfd)

Tuhirirwe Faith
Member Heypi Nansana

Annet Birungi
Team Lead Imarisha Dada Uganda

Patricia Kajumba
Team Leader Twekonyere Foundation Uganda

Kamasika Proscovia
Consellor Heypi

Taaka Loyce Odwori
Director Hand In Hand Uganda-Mukono

Josephine Nakakande
Executive Director Environmental Conservation And Agricultural Enhancement Uganda (Eco-Agric Uganda)

Elaine Miller
Executive Director African Revival – Investing In Education

Muhumuza Michael Clyde
Executive Director Health For Youth With Parents Involved

Bukirwa Rahom Maria
Communications Officer Women Probono Initiative

Kene Angel
Public Relations Officer Pan Foundation Uganda

Emmanuel Kayanja
Co-Founder Sanity Hub Uganda

Endorse the call

We welcome individuals and organisations to endorse TPENs call.

Suggested Social Media Post:

“We’ve endorsed The Period Equality Network’s call to protect the futures of girls during Uganda’s second lockdown as stories of sexual exploitation and harassment, forced marriage and teenage pregnancy grow daily.

Read the full letter here:


Thanks to everyone who has endorsed the call: