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.