Agnes Akoth, GTA Focal Person for PTY Uganda
Agnes is the GTA focal lead for the Ugandan Power to Youth Consortium working with EASSI
With experience in social work, women’s empowerment, and child protection, I had little knowledge of gender concepts. Sonke Gender Justice, through the Power to Youth (PTY) Program, facilitated a training on Gender Transformative Approaches (GTA) in June 2022 for all Uganda PTY implementing partners, including the Eastern African Sub-Regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI), Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU), and Uganda Youth and Adolescent Health Forum (UYAHF).
“For the very first time, I understood gender in simple terms together with a deeper analysis of its construction in our societies.” The training various topics were introduced, including components of the GTA, gender and diversity, power, norms, and values, engaging men and boys, empowering women and girls, and the human rights-based approach.
The training has been impactful to Agnes’s personal and professional life. Professionally, I can look at things differently: For example, while implementing activities, I make sure intersectionality and representation of stakeholders within the socio-ecological model are met, says Akoth.
Additionally, with empowering women and girls which is EASSI’s niche, basic questions like; Are these girls/women’s voices, agency, choice, and responsibility heard/felt? This directs projects not to just tick boxes but conduct an activity that has a sustainable impact for the adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in our communities.
Agnes can now identify the various forms of power that employees exhibit at work. She frequently shares her perspectives on toxic power with those who wield it to affect positive workplace change. Her role at EASSI includes fundraising, and she uses this platform to ensure that male engagement is incorporated into all proposals we develop and submit.
This is to ensure that EASSI has male engagement programmes running in the countries where we work (Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Eritrea, South Sudan, and Tanzania), thereby contributing to EASSI’s vision of “a transforming society where women and men realise their full potential through the advancement of gender equality, women’s advancement, and social justice within Eastern Africa and beyond.”
Personally, I have shifted my mindset from assuming that men must always provide for their families. I can now support my partner in paying bills like meals, school fees, and house rent. Now my partner is less stressed and has money for himself.
CHANGE STARTS WITH ME, AGNES I AM CHANGED PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH