On the 23rd of August 2013, 73 members of the Women’s Advocacy Network submitted a petition on behalf of war affected women to the Gulu District Local Government. In the petition, the members of the grass-roots organisation, supported by the Justice and Reconciliation Project, request the Local Government representatives to appeal to the Government of Uganda to initiate policies which will address the needs of war-affected women in the region, many of whom were abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army during its twenty year conflict with the Government of Uganda, and their children.
Specifically, the petition calls for action for the special needs of the children of war-affected women, some of whom were born in captivity, and who have continued to suffer the brunt of stigmatisation in their communities, despite the end of armed conflict. They are also often deprived of education and psycho-social support and, in some cases, do not know the identity of their paternal relatives.
The petition also requests that a reparations policy be adopted by the Government of Uganda to address the socio-economic needs of war-affected women, to help build their capacity to support themselves and to compensate them for the losses they suffered during the war. The women also request that accountability processes for the atrocities that took place during the war be effected in order to aid reconciliation and healing within communities and throughout the country.
The petition was put on the agenda to be tabled on Tuesday, September 10th 2013 at the Gulu District Local Government District Council Hall.
Read the petition below: