WSR Uganda 2016

Before, during and after the presidential, parliamentary and local government elections in 2016, the Women’s Situation Room Uganda played an important role in ensuring peace.

Working within 15 hotspot districts, 120 trained grassroots women and youth mobilised their peers and communities not to fight over political differences or engage in violence during elections. These included Arua, Bukomansimbi, Gulu, Isingiro, Kabale, Kampala, Kamuli, Kanungu, Lira, Luweero, Mbale, Ntungamo, Rukungiri, Sembabule and Soroti. The peace advocates also spread peace messages in places of worship, bars, during boda boda station meetings, over the radio, on social media and using graffiti painted around the city. WSR youth leaders were instrumental in generating early warning information and preventing expected outbreaks of violence involving the youth.

Working within 15 hotspot districts, 120 trained grassroots women and youth mobilised their peers and communities not to fight over political differences or engage in violence during elections. These included Arua, Bukomansimbi, Gulu, Isingiro, Kabale, Kampala, Kamuli, Kanungu, Lira, Luweero, Mbale, Ntungamo, Rukungiri, Sembabule and Soroti. The peace advocates also spread peace messages in places of worship, bars, during boda boda station meetings, over the radio, on social media and using graffiti painted around the city. WSR youth leaders were instrumental in generating early warning information and preventing expected outbreaks of violence involving the youth.

To promote peace before voting day, the 14 Eminent Women visited diverse power brokers, individuals and institutions engaged with the electoral process such as leaders of political parties. 480 WSR women election observers monitored 450 polling stations to report any incidents of conflict or violence to the WSR call centre. As a result, 1,500 calls were received from across the country reporting violence and election malpractice. All incident reports were resolved within 5 to 10 minutes of the call by the Uganda Police Force, Uganda People Defence Forces and the Electoral Commission, who had special desks in the Kampala physical situation room. The physical room also featured a peace cloth signed as a written commitment to promote peace by political party leaders, presidential candidates, heads of observer missions, diplomatic missions, international development partners, civil society organisations, the media and general public.

After the elections, the Eminent Women continued with peace advocacy, conducting mediation between the main political parties with the aim of initiating a political dialogue leading to a national dialogue to build a culture of peace.