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Stories From Gulu, Summer 2022

HPI Helps Keep All Girls in School and Safe!

“Every Day Is a Step to My Dream”
– Dorah, HPI participant

“When our school told us that school has been closed because of COVID, and that we would stay home indefinitely, and would tell us when we are return to school. “I got scared, because when we are in school our friends from HPI program brings us sanitary pads every month, and also talk to us and constantly remind us that, we need to be assertive and chose our help carefully, concentrate on our education, and focus at achieving our dreams.”

“Unfortunately, the gap was small but almost costed my future I was raped by those who were supposed to protect me. But I’m grateful that the school allowed be back to school with my baby and I’m determined to complete my education. The day when our senior woman followed us during COVID-19 lock down I will never forget, and always reminded women support fellow women as sisters and mother to daughter we all win, when all us complete our education we will have better life.

I dream of that day when all girls in my village are educated and they have jobs our community, will automatically change and the answer is simple is to remove the barriers to our education.

Thank you, our friends, in WGEF for inspiring and empowering future leaders in my community by ensuring all girls like me go to school and stay there until they complete.  – Dorah, 15,

Please support our Health Periods Initiative ~ It’s the best chance to keep girls in school, creating opportunities and facilitating dreams.

Summer 2022 Newsletter: Women Leading to Prevent Hunger!

Check out the latest WGE Fund newsletter, including these stories and updates:

  • WGEF Supporting Fish Farmers
  • 543 New Farmers Preventing Hunger and Food Insecurity
  • What’s Happening at Gulu Women’s Resource Centre
  • Statement on the Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe v Wade.

Statement on the Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe v Wade

June, 2022

The right to full reproductive health care is the fundamental human right of all women and pregnant people. The need for sexual and reproductive health care is universal and the decision by the US Supreme Court takes away the right of women to control their fertility, the right to privacy, and the right to determine their own futures. This decision gives politicians power over women’s bodies.

By taking away this fundamental right, the US is moving away from the global movement to advance human rights, and women’s right to abortion care. Many countries have decriminalized the right to abortion, legalized reproductive care, and protect the right to choose. The US now stands outside of established norms and protections, perplexing our allies and women around the world.

Personally, I am heartbroken for women and those who will be affected by this decision in personal and profound ways. Disabling women to determine their futures and life outcomes, to safely manage their sexual health, and to access safe and legal abortions that have to be implemented in all health care and walk-in clinics like walk-in clinic Brighton Beach all over the country to improve women’s health in a better way. Under-resourced women who cannot travel or navigate the dangerous landscape, will now be forced to continue an unplanned pregnancy. Not only is this decision misogynistic but racist.

This is not about protecting women and children, it is about controlling, policing, punishing and disenfranchising women who challenge the patriarchy, period. The Pro-Choice community must mobilize and pressure the democratic Congress to act. There are ways to protect the right to choose, but it will take bold action, electing pro-choice candidates in November, and commitment to the effort to protect body autonomy, equality and right to choose!

Women’s Global Empowerment Fund will stand with our global community to ensure all women, girls and pregnant people, have access to full reproductive health care, human rights and gender justice.

Stay hopeful and fierce! More to come,

Food Forecast: Increasing Food Security Across the Region

Spring, 2022

As we move into 2022 and beyond, food scarcity, shortages, and cost, caused by war, conflict and climate chaos, are creating concern—and the forecast is dire. For the Global South and specific regions, this is even more urgent. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres predicts a “hurricane of hunger.”

The war in Ukraine is a tragic global event, with geopolitical implications that will create serious issues around food security, deepening poverty, and instability. Russia and Ukraine export a majority of the world’s wheat, 50% to the WFP, and Global South countries, several in North, East, and Central Africa. A protracted war in Ukraine will cause a breakdown of the global food system, with wheat and fertilizer costs soaring, along with higher energy costs, all of which will push food prices to dangerously high levels.

Globally, Russia is the No. 1 wheat exporter with Ukraine at the fifth largest, providing over 30 percent of the global wheat supply. In addition, Russia and Ukraine provide the majority of the world’s sunflower oil and fertilizer, which affects others’ ability to grow wheat to replace lost crops. As spring is the time for planting in Ukraine, the war and conditions will prohibit farmers from planting crops, leading to a dangerous food forecast.

What does this mean for the Global South?

Historically, high food prices create not only human suffering, but also instability, conflict, and violence. Ukraine provides 50% of the World Food Programme’s wheat supply. This fact alone will severely compromise global efforts to feed the world’s under-resourced people. For example: Yemen is the site of the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with two-thirds of the population needing humanitarian food assistance. Ukraine provides 30 percent of the country’s wheat imports. Without Ukrainian wheat supplies, the food forecast for Yemen and other vulnerable regions is beyond tragic.

Yet, it is not just dwindling wheat exports that create the dire consequences of food shortages. Higher food prices will greatly increase hunger and poor health outcomes. The ability to feed people, support farmers, and sustain food economies will be affected by fertilizer shortages and the high cost of fuel. An estimated increase of 850+ million people may experience hunger and human suffering in some of the world’s most marginalized communities in 2022.

WGEF is pivoting to meet the moment:

All war and conflict disproportionately impacts women and children, and the current war in Ukraine is no different. Our call to global leaders is to end all conflicts. To create a peace and environment where all human rights are respected—and to respect and protect that environment. But until this happens, WGEF is pivoting once again to meet the moment.

Our goal for 2022 is to expand support and resources for our agriculture initiative. This initiative began in 2010 based on the understanding that for Uganda’s northern region to recover from conflict, it must grow its own food. Local food economies are the best way to stave off famine, food insecurity, shortages, inflation, and conflict.

Currently, WGEF supports 1,196 women involved in our Agriculture and Agri-Business programs who are growing a variety of crops that include corn, sorghum, millet, cassava, and sunflowers for producing sunflower oil for cooking. Each harvest produces between 840,000 and 1.2 million metric tons of maize and sorghum, which supplies local and regional markets. Sorghum and maize are popular and viable substitutes for wheat, which, due to current geopolitical conflicts, will become too expensive and unavailable for many countries in the Global South. Our Agri-Business project supplies and distributes food throughout Uganda, South Sudan, and beyond.

Pivoting our focus and resources to our agriculture program—we will increase sunflower crops, wheat substitutes, and corn—lets us bridge the gap and create a more sustainable food system. Local food economies are the only way to ensure people have access to fresh, diverse, affordable, and consistent food sources.

Food aid is not sustainable, and the global food infrastructure, as we understand, is vulnerable to changing global events. By supporting WGEF’s Agriculture Program, you are preventing hunger, food shortages, and human suffering. This program is proven, efficient, sustainable, and led by courageous women who are the food producers of Africa. Together we can make a difference.

For more information, please contact Karen Sugar, email hidden; JavaScript is required

International Women’s Day 2022: Empowerment is a Journey

Empowerment is not a destination but a journey. WGEF supports women on their journey for opportunities, equality, and justice. Join us on International Women’s Day 2022!

Organizing for Change | Building Diverse Pathways for Success
Challenging Systemic Inequality

Because we believe that when women and girls have an equal opportunity to learn, grow and connect with others, they will be able to realize their fullest potential. Because every idea counts, and by working together, we can help build a better world.

Join us in celebrating International Women’s Day by recognizing the contribution of women around the world like Lucy who are working hard, adapting to challenges, and breaking through cycles of oppression and poverty.

“As a young woman, I always feared the fact that I witnessed what was happening in my community, where a man is a sole bread winner of the small and sometimes bigger family too. When this man lose income, or are not there for whatever reason to provide for the family, the family crushes. Because the women as the mothers of the home are by tradition been rendered helpless due to a cultural norm of women being less and weak and made to depend on the men for everything, which results into abuse by the men; emotionally and physically.

“When I got married, I was always looking out for an opportunity to make me an economically self-reliant. Now with support from WGEF through their holistic program. I am the woman that I wanted to be. The one who is not too dependent to extend of being abused. I can survive on my own now, making helpful decisions that concerns me independent”.

-Lucy Akello, WGEF Member, Uganda