Over the last few months, the IWCA Uganda Chapter has been at the helm in lobbying and advocating for the meaningful participation of the women all the coffee value chains in Uganda. Uganda being predominantly an agrarian state, there are several social-cultural/social-economic impediments to women’s empowerment in the agricultural value chains, most specifically in the coffee sub-sector. The women are not fully utilizing their potential in agribusiness enterprise. Gender stereotypes, unfavorable, outdated cultural and traditional norms remain a major stumbling block. Most of these impediments are deeply rooted in traditional norms associated with land ownership, girl child education and succession.
As the current IWCA Uganda Chapter leadership, we are committed to making a positive contribution to women’s economic emancipation, most specifically in the coffee sector. The challenges are many, but at the same time, the small steps we are taking are consistently resulting in steady, remarkable progress. The IWCA Uganda Chapter formulated its three-year Strategic Plan for the period 2019-2021. As Uganda advances to middle-income status, and with agriculture as one of the prioritized areas among the twelve (12) identified enterprises in the Second National Development Plan (NDPII), the implementation of this Strategic Plan will directly contribute to Uganda’s economic priorities and aspirations through promoting women economic empowerment. We are highly indebted to the USAID Uganda Feed the Future Enabling Environment for Agriculture (USAID/Uganda FtF EEA) activity for invaluable support to the development of this strategic plan.
Besides this, there is much more that has been going on, including the our participation in the Hainan Coffee Expo in China; the African Fine Coffees Conference in Kigali, Rwanda, and our subsequent membership to the African Fine Coffees Association; participation in International Women’s Day Celebrations; participation and exhibitions during the Buy Uganda, Build Uganda (BUBU) Expo; Q Grader Training for Ugandans; IWCA participation at the 31st SCAA Annual Convention in Boston, resource mobilization and membership services. I would like to to thank our supporters for the continued support and commitment to advancing women in coffee in Uganda.
I hope you’ll be inspired by our stories in this issue of our newsletter.
Victoria Sekitoleko, IWCA Uganda Chapter President
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