The Women of Northern Uganda

After two decades of war, northern Uganda is rebuilding itself. During the conflict, most of the population was displaced due to violence or moved to settlement camps created by the government to protect them from the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). As men were conscripted to fight with or against the LRA, women became the breadwinners and family providers for a large number of households.

Panos Eastern Africa, a grantee of the Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa, has partnered with rural radio stations to give a voice to remote communities—including those now led by women—that have for years been cut off from the rest of the country and isolated from most forms of media. Panos trained local journalists and provided them with audio recorders and a motorcycle to travel to the villages. 

In this video, radio presenters go out to the communities to debate issues of concern with local people, including land use, domestic violence, defilement, and access to water and land. They encourage women to participate in the debates fully, and to raise issues. Previously, women were left out of the debates; now they have found their voice, and radio has finally broken out of the studio into rural areas. The audiences are now demanding that these programs continue because they are such a useful resource.