From March 1 to 3, 2022, the Africa Programs Office (APO) of the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities (AIPG) organized an in-person training seminar event on Gender Mainstreaming for the Prevention of Identity-Based Violence. Taking place at the Imperial Golf View Hotel in Entebbe, Uganda, the program was held in collaboration with the Uganda National Committee for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and All Forms of Discrimination (UNC).
This seminar represents the latest in a series of training programs conducted in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, part of a multi-year project funded with UK aid from the British people through the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO). The event welcomed 30 representatives from prominent Ugandan government bodies such as the National Police, the Defense Forces, and the Ministry of Gender and Labour, as well as leaders of civil society organizations, with representatives from the British High Commission and the Embassy of Belgium attending as Observers.
The Auschwitz Institute’s APO developed the seminar’s curriculum in coordination with its local partners. Dr. Rose Kwatampora, Senior Project Manager at the Uganda Management Institute, opened the event with a keynote address entitled “Gender and Identity-based Violence in the Great Lakes Region.” During training sessions, participants worked to increase their understanding of the role of gender in shaping experiences of, and solutions to, conflict and identity-based violence in Africa’s Great Lakes Region.
Seminar modules focused on facilitating analysis of the ways in which legal instruments, institutions, and policies can be used to support the prevention of gender-based violence. Instructors also highlighted the importance of incorporating religious and cultural approaches, as well as other existing best practices, into processes for the prevention of identity-based violence, including early warning and early response mechanisms. At the conclusion of the training seminar, participants came up with four project ideas developed during their group work sessions as possible activities to implement gender mainstreaming in atrocity prevention in Uganda.
During her presentation Lillian Kobusingye, Transitional Justice advisor at the Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA – Uganda) and 2017 Lemkin Seminar alumna, explained:
The existence of historical gender imbalance has meant that gender programming focuses solely on empowering women as a means to level the field. However, promoting gender equality should ensure that both men and women enjoy equal visibility, empowerment, and participation in all spheres of public and private life.