Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Institute For Social Transformation Partner to Empower Women Entrepreneurs
The Institute for Social Transformation-IST has partnered with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) to Empower Market Women Entrepreneurs with knowledge and skills on a number of issues.
The program helps women to develop a positive attitude towards organizing as a union for collective actions, bargaining, understanding and receiving responses on extending the access to social protection on health insurance to the informal economy.
It equally helps to identify, discuss and address health and leadership challenges in the markets for the creation of a favourable market environment for both men and women.
The Training was conducted for the market women entrepreneurs who generated a number of issues that called for engagement of different stakeholders such as the market leaders, division and district leaders.
The training covered dialogue meetings for two markets in Kampala (Kalerwe Bivamuntuyo and Nakawa) and Cerealeno market in Gulu district. In attendance were women entrepreneurs, market leaders, division leaders, FES and IST staff.
The inclusion of women in leadership, improvement of hygiene and sanitation were among the key issues discussed and resolutions reached.
The training tickled the minds of women in the markets, to develop positive attitudes towards organizing for insurance, participation in decision making and taking on leadership positions.
The market women vendors elected their leadership that will govern the group that was trained (Nakawa Market Women Leaders Forum). The following positions were taken on by the market women in the group and they included: Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Mobilizer and Youth leader.
On the issue of social protection the women agreed to contribute 5,000 every week for health insurance in Nsambya Hospital, however, they agreed to invite IST to take them through the formal steps of applying for a health insurance. This shows a positive spirit that they have built to embrace the need for organizing.
In Nakawa market, the topic for discussion was hygiene and sanitation as experienced by market women entrepreneurs. The stakeholders agreed on improving garbage collection, regular emptying of the toilets, provision of toiletries, adjusting on the timing for opening and closing of the toilets, spray the market to weed rodents and hold community sensitization meetings on the use of toilets.
The leadership of Kalerwe market and the Community Development Officer of Kawempe Division participated in the dialogue. The dialogue envisioned and discussed the involvement of market women entrepreneurs in leadership and decision making. The leaders pledged to ensure involvement of women in decision making on issues within the market and reviving the reservation of funds for loaning at low-interest rates to the entrepreneurs.
In Cerealeno, The discussion during the dialogue was on sanitation and hygiene. Deliberations were made and resolutions reached. They included; Purchase of more land to expand the market and construct more toilet stances, improve on garbage collection, buy the sanitary disposal buckets. legalize the existence of the market and pour marram on the market corridors to improve on the drainage system.
The project has empowered Market Women Entrepreneurs with knowledge, skills in leadership, human rights and organising for collective action. 6 women expressed interest and took on leadership for the Nakawa Market Women Leaders Forum.The market women especially Nakawa, a came up with a strategy for health insurance at Nsambya with a contribution of 5000 per member. Upon issues that were discussed during the dialogues, leaders made commitments to resolve them. The targeted numbers of participants for the training and dialogue meetings were achieved to over 95%.
45 women entrepreneurs attended the training in leadership, Mobilization and Organizing. 38 women and 2 male from Nakawa market attended a dialogue at Kembabazi on Sanitation and hygiene.
15 women and 6 male from Kalerwe attended a dialogue on leadership and decision making. 35 women entrepreneurs attended a dialogue at Hotel Free zone in Gulu on hygiene and sanitation.