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Gender Relations, Livelihood Security And Reproductive Health Among Women Refugees In Uganda: The Case Of Sudanese Women In Rhino Camp And Kiryandongo Refugee Settlements


Mulumba, Deborah. 2005. Gender Relations, Livelihood Security and Reproductive Health Among Women Refugees in Uganda: The Case of Sudanese Women in Rhino Camp and Kiryandongo Refugee Settlements. PhD thesis, Wageningen University.

Author: Deborah Mulumba


Armed conflict and civil wars are the main cause of refugees in the Great Lakes Region of Eastern Africa. Forced migration into alien refugee settings exacerbates gender inequalities and increases the vulnerability of women and girls. The main objective of the study was to gain a deeper understanding of gender relations, livelihood security and reproductive health among refugees in Uganda with a particular focus on women. The research design was descriptive and exploratory in nature and the methodology was primarily qualitative. The main findings were that refugee policies and gender relations have an immense influence on human reproduction, reproductive health and livelihood security. Although UNHCR has formulated gender sensitive policies, their implementation in rural settlements remains gender neutral. In addition, the strategic needs of women refugees are not catered for. The study concludes that there is a discrepancy between the international and national policies and what is on the ground. (ResearchGate)


Table of Contents:

1. Background and Rationale for the Study
2. Theoretical and Conceptual Perspectives
3. Research Questions and Methodology
4. The History and Management of Refugees and Displacement in Uganda
5. The International and National Health Policies
6. Ministries, Organizations and Programmes Dealing in Reproductive Health Issues
7. The Study Area and ‘Host Environment’
8. Gender Relations, Livelihood Security and Reproductive Health: Discussion of Findings and Experiences from Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement 
9. Gender Relations, Livelihood Security and Reproductive Health: Discussion of Findings and Experiences from Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement
10. Conclusions

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Girls, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Reproductive Health, International Organizations, Livelihoods, Security Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Sudan, Uganda

Year: 2005

Intimate Partner Violence as seen in Post-Conflict Eastern Uganda: Prevalence, Risk Factors and Mental Health Consequences


Kinyanda, Eugene, Helen Weiss, Margaret Mungherera, Patrick Onyango-Mangen, Emmanuel Ngabirano, Rehema Kajungu, Johnson Kagugube, Wilson Muhwezi, Julius Muron, and Vikram Patel. 2016. "Intimate Partner Violence as seen in Post-Conflict Eastern Uganda: Prevalence, Risk Factors and Mental Health Consequences." BMC International Health & Human Rights 16 (5): 1-11.

Authors: Eugene Kinyanda, Helen Weiss, Margaret Mungherera, Patrick Onyango-Mangen, Emmanuel Ngabirano, Rehema Kajungu, Johnson Kagugube, Wilson Muhwezi, Julius Muron, Vikram Patel


Background: Conflict and post-conflict communities in sub-Saharan Africa have a high under recognized problem of intimate partner violence (IPV). Part of the reason for this has been the limited data on IPV from conflict affected sub-Saharan Africa. This paper reports on the prevalence, risk factors and mental health consequences of IPV victimization in both genders as seen in post-conflict eastern Uganda.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out in two districts of eastern Uganda. The primary outcome of IPV victimization was assessed using a modified Intimate Partner Violence assessment questionnaire of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Results: The prevalence of any form of IPV victimization (physical and/or sexual and/or psychological IPV) in this study was 43.7 % [95 % CI, 40.1-47.4 %], with no statistically significant difference between the two genders. The factors significantly associated with IPV victimization were: sub-county (representing ecological factors), poverty, use of alcohol, and physical and sexual war torture experiences. The mental health problems associated with IPV victimization were probable problem alcohol drinking, attempted suicide and probable major depressive disorder.

Conclusion: In post-conflict eastern Uganda, in both genders, war torture was a risk factor for IPV victimization and IPV victimization was associated with mental health problems.

Keywords: Intimate partner violence, post-conflict, africa, risk factors, Mental health consequences

Topics: Armed Conflict, Domestic Violence, Economies, Poverty, Health, Mental Health, Trauma, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Torture, Sexual Torture Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2016

Relations Between Gender-Focused NGOs, Advocacy Work, and Government: A Ugandan Case Study


Nabacwa, Mary Sonko. 2010. “Relations Between Gender-Focused NGOs, Advocacy Work, and Government: A Ugandan Case Study.” Development in Practice 20 (3): 395–406. doi:10.1080/09614521003710039.

Author: Mary Sonko Nabacwa


Relations between the Ugandan government and NGOs engaged in gender-focused NGO advocacy tend to keep NGOs visibly engaged but do not necessarily alter the status of poor women. These relations manifest themselves in government advising NGO advocacy work; sympathising with the NGOs; co-opting NGOs and individuals; publicising gender issues; and de-legitimising gender-focused NGO activities. The article links these phenomena to the government's wish to appear receptive to the concerns of civil-society organisations, of which NGOs are a major component. This is important to its image in the international aid community, where it projects itself as generally democratic and supportive of good governance.

Keywords: Gender and Diversity, Governance and public policy, Sub-Saharan Africa

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Women, Governance, NGOs Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2010

Reconstructing Fragile Lives: Girls’ Social Reintegration in Northern Uganda and Sierra Leone


McKay, Susan. 2004. “Reconstructing Fragile Lives: Girls’ Social Reintegration in Northern Uganda and Sierra Leone.” Gender & Development 12 (3): 19–30.

Author: Susan McKay


In many contemporary African wars, girls and women participate in fighting forces. Their involvement is sometimes voluntary, but often they are coerced or abducted. In these forces, their roles range from porters, domestics, and 'wives' of male fighters, to spies and commanders. Few girls go through official UN processes of disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration (DDR). Their human rights severely violated, girls face enormous challenges to physical and psycho-social recovery. Typically, they return directly to their communities, or migrate to where friends or relatives live, or resettle in urban areas, where they are at increased risk of forced prostitution, sexual assault, and/or sexually transmitted diseases, including H IV/AIDS. This paper examines the experiences of girls who have returned from fighting forces in the recent conflict in Sierra Leone and the continuing conflict in northern Uganda. These experiences are compared with those of women who recalled their experiences when they were girl participants during the Mozambican war which ended in 1992.

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Post-Conflict, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone, Uganda

Year: 2004

Agricultural Cooperatives and Social Empowerment of Women: A Ugandan Case Study


Ferguson, Hilary, and Thembela Kepe. 2011. “Agricultural Cooperatives and Social Empowerment of Women: A Ugandan Case Study.” Development in Practice 21 (3): 421–9. 

Authors: Hilary Ferguson, Thembela Kepe



This article presents a case study of Manyakabi Area Cooperative Enterprise in south-western Uganda, which shows that benefits from agricultural cooperatives can extend beyond monetary tangibles. We discuss several social factors that women members claimed have improved since they became members of the cooperative, including their confidence, their negotiating skills, the ability to be of service to their communities through transferring skills to non-members, and the ability to take control of certain household decisions when dealing with men. We conclude that these social benefits could be enhanced if they were fully acknowledged as important by agents of change.


Cet article présente une étude de cas de la Manyakabi Area Cooperative Enterprise, dans le sud-ouest de l’Ouganda, qui montre que les avantages découlant des coopératives agricoles peuvent s’étendre au-delàdes aspects monétaires tangibles. Nous discutons de plusieurs facteurs sociaux qui, selon les femmes membres, se sont améliorés depuis qu’elles se sont jointes à la coopérative, y compris leur assurance, leurs compétences de négociation, l’aptitude à rendre service à leurs communautés en transférant des compétences aux non-membres, et l’aptitude à prendre le contrôle de certaines décisions concernant le ménage lorsqu’elles ont affaire à des hommes. Nous concluons que ces avantages sociaux pourraient être améliorés s’ils étaient pleinement reconnus comme importants par les agents de changement.


Este ensayo examina la Empresa Cooperativa del A ´ rea de Manyakabi del suroeste de Uganda, un caso que demuestra que los beneficios de las cooperativas agrı´colas no so´lo son monetarios. Los autores analizan varios factores sociales que segu´n las mujeres han mejorado desde que se afiliaron a la cooperativa, entre ellos su autoestima, su capacidad para negociar, su servicio a su comunidad capacitando a las no socias en distintos menesteres y, adema´ s, una creciente capacidad para tomar decisiones relacionadas con el hogar cuando de negociar con los hombres se trata. Los autores concluyen que estos beneficios sociales podrı´an fortalecerse si los agentes de cambio reconocieran la importancia que revisten.


Este artigo apresenta um estudo de caso da Manyakabi Area Cooperative Enterprise no sudoeste de Uganda, que mostra que os benefı´cios provenientes das cooperativas agrı´colas podem ir ale´m dos recursos moneta´rios. Discutimos va´rios fatores sociais que as mulheresmembro disseram que teˆm melhorado desde que elas se tornaram membros da cooperativa, inclusive sua confianc¸a, suas habilidades como negociadoras, a habilidade de ser prestativa a suas comunidades atrave´s da transfereˆncia de habilidades a na˜o-membros e a habilidade de assumir o controle de certas deciso˜es familiares quando se esta´ lidando com homens. Concluı ´mos que estes benefı´cios sociais poderiam ser ampliados se eles fossem totalmente reconhecidos como importantes por agentes de mudanc¸a.

Keywords: civil society, gender, diversity, labor, livelihoods, Sub-Saharan Africa

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Gender, Women, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2011

Navigating Support, Resilience, and Care: Exploring the Impact of Informal Social Networks on the Rehabilitation and Care of Young Female Survivors of Sexual Violence in Northern Uganda


Stark, Lindsay, Debbie Landis, Blake Thomson, and Alina Potts. 2016. “Navigating Support, Resilience, and Care: Exploring the Impact of Informal Social Networks on the Rehabilitation and Care of Young Female Survivors of Sexual Violence in Northern Uganda.” Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology 22 (3): 217–25. 

Authors: Lindsay Stark, Debbie Landis, Blake Thomson, Alina Potts


Sexual violence is an issue of significant concern in conflict-affected societies, with girls often among those most affected. While formal support services such as medical care, psychosocial support, and legal assistance for survivors are undeniably important, informal actors also play a key but poorly understood role in assisting survivors. This study examines the experiences of young female survivors of sexual violence in northern Uganda in order to explore the variety of roles (both positive and negative) that informal support networks played in contributing to survivors’ healing and recovery. In-depth interviews were conducted with 12 female survivors of sexual violence between the ages of 13–17 who were living in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Lira, northern Uganda. Each girl participated in a series of 4 interviews over a 1-year period. Girls participating in this study identified social stigma to be the primary source of psychosocial distress following an incident of sexual violence, as well as the most significant barrier to their recovery and reintegration. Findings also suggest that the relationship between a girl and her perpetrator had a significant impact on the type of follow-up support she received—particularly with regard to her ability to access justice. Survivor accounts also indicate that family members played a complex role in girls’ lives following an incident of abuse—in some cases providing significant support, while in others exposing girls to additional stigma or marginalization. Findings offer important insights to inform the development of response initiatives that build upon community-based networks, while also strengthening linkages between formal and informal forms of support in the lives of survivors.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Gender, Women, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2016

A Long Time Gone: Post-conflict Rural Property Restitution under Customary Law


Joireman, Sandra F., and Laura S. Meitzner Yoder. 2016. “A Long Time Gone: Post-Conflict Rural Property Restitution under Customary Law.” Development and Change 47 (3): 563–85. doi:10.1111/dech.12236.

Authors: Sandra F. Joireman, Laura S. Meitzner Yoder


Mass displacement of people due to violence poses a unique set of challenges for property restitution when people return to their homes after a long absence. This is particularly evident in rural areas where the dominant form of land holding is customary tenure. Violence-induced displacement, unlike voluntary migration, challenges both customary and public legal-administrative structures. The lack of written documentation of customary holdings and the importance of the support of community leaders means that incorporating returnees back into a community can be easier for those who choose to return, while reclaiming property without physical return is nearly impossible. This article seeks to make three contributions: 1) to note the diversity of return processes after long displacements in terms of timing and demographics; 2) to demonstrate that the nature of the claims people can make on customary tenure systems is at odds with international legal norms on property restitution after displacement; and 3) to introduce a set of observations and questions on how conflict can change customary law. The article is based on fieldwork conducted in Uganda, Liberia and Timor-Leste, all countries with extended displacement where most of the rural land is held via customary claims.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Land Tenure, Land grabbing, Post-Conflict, Political Participation Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Oceania Countries: Liberia, Timor-Leste, Uganda

Year: 2016

Stress, Mental Health, and Burnout in National Humanitarian Aid Workers in Gulu, Northern Uganda


Ager, Alastair, Eba Pasha, Gary Yu, Thomas Duke, Cynthia Eriksson, and Barbara Lopes Cardozo. 2012. “Stress, Mental Health, and Burnout in National Humanitarian Aid Workers in Gulu, Northern Uganda.” Journal of Traumatic Stress 25 (6): 713–20. doi:10.1002/jts.21764.

Authors: Alastair Ager, Eba Pasha, Gary Yu, Thomas Duke, Cynthia Eriksson, Barbara Lopes Cardozo


This study examined the mental health of national humanitarian aid workers in northern Uganda and contextual and organizational factors predicting well-being. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 376 national staff working for 21 humanitarian aid agencies. Over 50% of workers experienced 5 or more categories of traumatic events. Although, in the absence of clinical interviews, no clinical diagnoses were able to be confirmed, 68%, 53%, and 26% of respondents reported symptom levels associated with high risk for depression, anxiety disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), respectively. Between one quarter and one half of respondents reported symptom levels associated with high risk regarding measured dimensions of burnout. Female workers reported significantly more symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and emotional exhaustion than males. Workers with the United Nations and related agencies reported fewest symptoms. Higher levels of social support, stronger team cohesion, and reduced exposure to chronic stressors were associated with improved mental health. National humanitarian staff members in Gulu have high exposure to chronic and traumatic stress and high risk of a range of poor mental health outcomes. Given that work-related factors appear to influence the relationship between the two strategies are suggested to support the well-being of national staff working in such contexts.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Humanitarian Assistance Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2012

The Violence of Peace: Ethnojustice in Northern Uganda


Branch, Adam. 2014. “The Violence of Peace: Ethnojustice in Northern Uganda.” Development and Change 45 (3): 608–30. doi:10.1111/dech.12094.

Author: Adam Branch


Traditional justice, or what this article refers to as ‘ethnojustice’, claims to promote social reconstruction, peace and justice after episodes of war by rebuilding traditional order. Ethnojustice has become an increasingly prominent mode of transitional justice in northern Uganda. As such interventions multiply throughout Africa, it is essential to probe their political and practical consequences. This article situates ethnojustice theoretically within the broader discourse, practice and institutions of transitional justice, and historically within the reaction against orthodox liberal transitional justice from within the industry. Through an engagement with ethnojustice texts and interventions in the Acholi region of northern Uganda, the article argues that ethnojustice can end up extending forms of unaccountable, patriarchal power within Acholi society, funded and supported by the Ugandan state and international donors. In addition to underpinning this project of social discipline, ethnojustice also benefits the Ugandan state in its effort to avoid accountability for its violence during the war.

Topics: Ethnicity, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2014

I Am Evelyn Amony: Reclaiming My Life from the Lord’s Resistance Army


Amony, Evelyn. 2015. I Am Evelyn Amony: Reclaiming My Life from the Lord’s Resistance Army. Edited by Eric Baines. Women in Africa and the Diaspora. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.


More than 60,000 children were abducted in east and central Africa in the 1990s by the violent rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army and its notorious commander Joseph Kony. Evelyn Amony was one of them. Abducted at the age of eleven, Evelyn Amony spent nearly eleven years inside the Lord’s Resistance Army, becoming a forced wife to Joseph Kony and mother to his children. She takes the reader into the inner circles of LRA commanders and reveals unprecedented personal and domestic details about Joseph Kony. Her account unflinchingly conveys the moral difficulties of choosing survival in a situation fraught with violence, threat, and death.
Amony was freed following her capture by the Ugandan military. Despite the trauma she endured with the LRA, Amony joined a Ugandan peace delegation to the LRA, trying to convince Kony to end the war that had lasted more than two decades. She recounts those experiences, as well as the stigma she and her children faced when she returned home as an adult.
This extraordinary testimony shatters stereotypes of war-affected women, revealing the complex ways that Amony navigated life inside the LRA and her current work as a human rights advocate to make a better life for her children and other women affected by war.
(University of Wisconsin Press)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Peacebuilding, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SV against women Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2015


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