IST initiated a market women’s program in Uganda to address the plight of the invisible market women whose voice and power has been ignored and suffocated. To date over 800 market women aged 15-40 have been reached directly through IST’s leadership training and organised interfaces with the media, and other market stakeholders like city and municipal councils. Market women have also participated in radio talk shows to speak out and demand their rights. Three women vendors’ market associations with credible leadership have so far been formed and some registered with the National Registration Bureau of Services in Uganda. Through this program, IST has successfully strengthened market women’s voices to negotiate for their demands with local authorities and beyond.
Development partners and Non-governmental organisations have so far been interested in IST to work with market women in Uganda. Based on these successes IST now seeks to expand the market women’s program, by reaching more markets in central and northern Uganda while at the same time deepening the program focus to address issues of women’s access to markets and the nature and extent of violence experienced by market women.
In September 2016 UN Women awarded 2 years and three months grant to IST to implement a market women project titled: Enabling women’s access to markets and awareness on GBV by market women. The project will be implemented in four markets; two markets in Kampala district of Kalerwe and Nakawa, Two markets in Gulu district of Gulu main market, and Celeremo.
- A formative research on women’s access to markets and the nature and extent of violence experienced by market women.
- Introductory project meetings with market women and stakeholders
- Organising mentorship talks for market women with mentors like UWEAL, Enterprise Uganda to share market information and opportunities.
- Engagement meetings with line ministries and government agencies ( min of Local Government, MoGLSD, KCCA, Min Trade, Private Sector Foundation) to share market information and opportunities.
- Business skills training for market women
- Sensitising of women, men, girls and boys about VAW/G
- Developing and Dissemination of IEC materials
- Media engagements
- National Market women symposium
- Training market women in transformational leadership and sensitising market women about VAW/G
- Monitoring and Evaluation
- Information generated on women’s access to markets, nature and extent of violence in markets and strengthening of policy analysis.
- Women Business enterprises (WBEs) have increased access to financing and markets
- Market women have represented at all levels of leadership structures in markets and participate in decision-making processes in other levels.