Thursday, 10 April 2014


Women living in rural parts of the developing world are disproportionately affected by marginalization and poverty. In Uganda, widows in particular, suffer the risk of land grabbers, destitution, stigma and abuse. Uganda Community Based Association for Child welfare (UCOBAC) an IDF grantee supporting in amplifying, the voice of the locals through advocacy, led to community involvement in making decisions on matters that affect their livelihoods; and was able save a young lady from eviction as narrated further below.
 A widow and her children survive the wrath of in-laws
A young lady aged 24 years experienced the cruelty of her in-laws during the time when her husband, was suffering from a severe case of Tuberculosis. While attending to the husband in Mulago, the national referral Hospital, her in-laws (relatives of the Husband) made a decision on behalf of the ailing husband to sell off part of the property (Land) under the disguise that the proceeds from the sale were to help with the medical bills.

During the process to secure a buyer, the young lady contacted the paralegal trained in rights and empowerment by UCOBAC and narrated to her the suffering she was experiencing. The paralegal accepted to intervene in resolving/stopping the sale and any misunderstandings between the young lady and her in-laws. Form the discussion, the paralegal contacted the in-laws, and a meeting was scheduled during which the widow’s concerns were discussed. With the intervention and guidance of the paralegal, the meeting discussed the concerns and a unanimous decision was agreed up to halt the sale of the property. Unfortunately shortly after the meeting had been held, the young lady’s husband succumbed to the illness. However the timely intervention helped to identify the immediate risk of violence to the widow, sale of the family property (Land), in addition to protecting the widow and her children from eviction. This demonstrates that the paralegal trained in rights and empowerment was a catalyst in resolving the Gender based violence that the window was to be subjected to.

Currently, the widow is in full possession of the property (Land), although her means of livelihood are no longer as they were. She is better off than she would have been if it was not the timely intervention of the paralegal and a few members of the community that were aware of the rights of women and children.