Long Essays

This is a collection of Reasearch Papers done by Upgraders.

Papers List

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Women’s access to credit: Is micro-finance an answer? Women’s access to credit: Is micro-finance an answer?

This article is a continuation of my previous dissertation presented for fulfillment of the Post-graduate Diploma in Women’s Law course pursued in 2000. In the research, I did a comparative study of the Co-operative and Rural Development Bank (CRDB) before and after its privatization in 1996 in relation to women and access to credit. The aim was to analyze the effect of structural adjustment programmes which led to privatization of many public companies, the Co-operative and Rural Development Bank included.

By Lucia Gamuyakairo

Protecting teenage girls from HIVAIDS The role of the state and society in Tanzania Protecting teenage girls from HIVAIDS The role of the state and society in Tanzania

This essay discusses the cultural, social and economic issues contributing to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Tanzania – one of the greatest threats to the country’s development. The author outlines and evaluates the various ways the government has intervened to try to control the situation but she is particularly concerned about the vulnerability of the girl child in Tanzania. Cultural practices such as early marriages are still rampant and the school dropout rate is unacceptably high so, while Tanzania is signatory to international human rights legislation requiring governments to eliminate all harmful social and cultural practices, girls are still not adequately protected. Despite shifts in policy and new laws, like the Sexual Offences Special Provisions Act 1998, government efforts remain largely ineffective and the author recommends a more proactive, rigorous approach to the problem. She looks at the issue of young people’s access to information and suggests that a life skills education programme would be one way of empowering young people so they can make the right decisions about safe sex and their own reproductive health.

By Rose Teemba

The dilemmas of an African woman politician at the crossroads: law, reality and patriarchy The dilemmas of an African woman politician at the crossroads: law, reality and patriarchy

The public struggle by Ugandan women for recognition and participation in the political affairs of the country began in earnest in the 1940s with the formation of the Uganda Council of Women which first battled against unjust laws and later began the agitation for, among other things, increased participation of women in national politics (Tamale,1999:10). However, the women’s movement while still in its nascent stages was affected by the turbulent political events in Uganda, particularly the banning of non-government organizations during the 1970s, but survived to grow into the diversity of civic organizations that operate in Uganda today.1 At the international level the long-cherished principles of freedom and equality enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were formally restated in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

By Rebecca Kadaga

Handling of survivors of rape as a crime against humanity, the gender perspective in the Rwandan genocide tribunal  Some lessons from the Muhimana case Handling of survivors of rape as a crime against humanity, the gender perspective in the Rwandan genocide tribunal Some lessons from the Muhimana case

This essay finds its departure in the preparatory work in the Muhimana case, focusing on the interaction with respective witnesses who subsequently testified in the case. The accused, Muhimana committed exclusive and disproportionate crimes against women and girls in Kibuye during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The author also derives some of her observations from her experience as a regional magistrate in Zimbabwe and her work at a non­governmental organization, the Musasa Project. She identifies some inherent problems associated with being a victim of rape, for example, being ostracized and stigmatized and social and economic insecurity. She also identifies the inadequacies and anomalies within the legal system in relation to these crimes and the sometimes insensitive treatment of the victims. The essay concludes by exploring gender sensitive ways to close the gap between rhetoric and practice in interviewing witnesses and investigating rape as a crime against humanity and a crime of war. The author suggests ways to reinforce any identified strengths in the system and to avoid re­-traumatizing victims as they interact with the international justice system.

By Renifa Madenga

The case for delivering credit with education in contrast to delivering credit only to the rural poor The case for delivering credit with education in contrast to delivering credit only to the rural poor

This essay begins by examining different international rights legislation that specify that every human being has a right to development and the skills, knowledge and opportunities to achieve this development. Governments are obliged to set up policies and programmes to provide an enabling environment for this and women, so often excluded, need the opportunity to be empowered and join the mainstream of development. The author describes how the Ugandan government has gone out of its way to support microfinance institutions, which often give women priority, and has put legislation in place to protect people’s savings and to protect the organizations themselves. She then goes on to describe and assess the efficacy of the various development models which have been implemented to deliver information, education, training and credit opportunities to women. Most of these models have focused on either training or providing credit but the author shows how, by combining these two, as is done in the Credit with Education programme, poor women have had the opportunity to develop a better standard of living. The Credit with Education programme has proved that, by providing the essential training and information in a single co­ordinated package, women have not only been able to take advantage of the credit on offer and succeed in generating the income to meet their family and household needs but have also been able to improve their economic, social and political positions, particularly in rural areas.

By Grace Mutenyo

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