VENUE: Sheraton Kampala Hotel (Central Region), Hotel Triangle Mbarara (Western Region), Churchill Courts Hotel Gulu (Northern Region) and Timisha Hotel Soroti (Eastern Region)
KAMPALA, MBARARA, GULU, and SOROTI: Today, January 11th 2021, the Women’s Situation Room (WSR) Uganda opens the WSR Uganda Physical Situation Rooms. The Women’s Situation Room, which was established in Liberia in 2011 by the Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC), is a women-led early warning and rapid response mechanism to curb violence before, during and after elections in African countries. It is a non-political platform for women and youth to mitigate election-related conflict, de-escalate tensions, facilitate real-time response to violent incidents, and ensure peaceful elections. This is the second time that Uganda is implementing the Women’s Situation Room during the electoral cycle, with the first time in 2016.
Ahead of Uganda’s presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for 14th January and as the election period begins today with the Special Interest Group polls; we are launching our Physical Situation Rooms to contribute to a peaceful election process by intervening and mediating in violent and tense situations. While a Physical Situation Room was hosted at only one location in 2016, this time around, we are establishing ‘Physical Rooms’ in all the four regions of Uganda. The Situation Rooms will be physically located in Mbarara for Western Region, Gulu for the Northern Region, Soroti for the Eastern Region and Kampala for the Central Region for one week from today to 15th January 2021.
Fear of real or perceived elections-related violence is a major deterrent for women’s political participation. The WSR Uganda 2021 Physical Situation Room is an opportunity for Ugandan women to take peace into their hands and to demonstrate that women are not just passive victims but are often determined and active stakeholders in ensuring that peace prevails in the country.
The Situation Rooms will be hosted by twelve (12) Eminent Women from Uganda and eight (8) Eminent Women from other African countries. The Eminent Women bring knowledge and experience in mediation and conflict resolution to ensure a peaceful transition. Prior to the elections, the Eminent Women held consultations with the Uganda Police Force, political parties, the Electoral Commission, youth organizations and women’s groups, the media and other key stakeholders.
Inside the Physical Rooms, visitors will write peace messages and append their names to the WSR Uganda Peace Cloth to symbolize their support for peaceful polls. The Physical Rooms will also feature 24-hour call centres with youth volunteers receiving and recording incident reports submitted to the widely advertised toll-free lines. The incident reports will then be forwarded to the Eminent Women for action. Desks for strategic partners will also be placed in the Physical Rooms including desks for the Uganda Police and the Electoral Commission. These desks will address incidents reported about their various institutions.
WSR Uganda 2021 Toll-free lines
Central Region - 0800333433
Eastern Region - 0800333434
Northern Region - 0800333435
Western Region - 0800333436
The WSR will also work with 1,500 women observers who have been deployed in 30 districts. Observers and the general public will call the Physical Rooms’ hotline to report any incidents that disrupt peace during the elections and after polling. The reports will be analysed by a technical team and given to the Eminent Women who will then forward to relevant institutions for response.
We continue to urge all Ugandans to say no to all forms of violence, and keep law and order. We affirm our commitment to take the lead in pursuing peace during and after the elections.
PEACE IS IN OUR HANDS
The Women’s Situation Room (WSR) Uganda
The 2021 Uganda Women’s Situation Room is working in thirty (30) districts including; Gulu, Amuru, Kitgum, Koboko, Arua, Lamwo, Nwoya, Kampala, Wakiso, Masaka, Luwero, Mityana, Sembabule, Kassanda, Serere, Iganga, Jinja, Mbale, Katakwi, Bugiri, Soroti, Hoima, Mbarara, Isingiro, Kasese, Ntungamo, Kabale, Rukungiri, Kanungu and Rubanda.