I knew I can do something; I knew I can have a say to change the unfair norm in my society. But how do I do this? What can I do to foster the change that is much needed was a challenge, with a deep fear of how will society judge me if I come out to speak about the silence killer of our children who were forced and married off at a tender age in exchange of animals or money?
I believed this issue can be sorted, but then also as a community, we need to have rules that protects our daughters! The only way forward for me was to join elective leadership so that I can be among the community representatives. This I achieved with support from WGEF program of mentorship and technical support that I received from Gulu Women Resource Center. Every Friday evening we sit to learn how to write position papers to be presented and learn more about public speaking. This surely boosted my self-esteem, I gained the popularity I needed, I then realized I can be a community leader now that I am already leading a group of over 1200 people, including men.
In my division with have engaged all stakeholders and we have succeeded passing a law that prohibits early child marriage. Now we are looking forward to implementing it, I believe this is a landmark achievement that many divisions will benchmark on.
WGEF supported me, and many other women contesting for office and won as the women councilor three. I head the women and children’s affairs committee. Now I can talk about some of the unhealthy cultural norms in my community and a lot is changing for justice and equity for all.
— Christine Aryemo, Gulu