In Uganda, youth and women have limited access to and use of financial services. 34 % of women use informal financial services compared to 27 % of men. However, Government, with support from development partners, has endeavored to integrate gender equality into programs such as the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS); Peace and Recovery Development Program (PRDP); Universal Primary Education (UPE); and the Youth Livelihood Program (YLP).
Nonetheless, these efforts have been characterized by uneven sector responses to gender equality. This can be seen through limited expertise in gender analysis of projects and programs; scanty gender disaggregated data; and inadequate technical and operational support on the nature of flagship program that could lead to lasting transformations in the lives of women and youth.
Uganda central co-operative financial services’(UCCFS), a national co-operative providing financial Services to all types of Co-operatives in Uganda currently has 537 member cooperatives recruited from all regions of the country with total Individual Membership of more than 1,323,668 (Women: 568,649 and Men 755,019). More than 80% of UCCFS members are rural and community based Cooperatives. Women account for 43% of total members and Youths 13%.
During an Organizational Capacity Assessment and Gender Audit conducted by ACFODE in 2018, it was observed that most of UCCFs programmes are not gender sensitive.
Thus, to enable the organization and its members to appreciate women’s rights and avoid discrimination the services and products they provide, ACFODE facilitated a two days’ consultation workshop during which their current gender policy was reviewed, and an action plan for implementation of the same developed.
In attendance were Board members, Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisations (SACCO) members, management and staff of UCCFS. The workshop had sessions that elaborated gender concepts and meaning of practical and strategic needs of women in SACCOs such as financial literally, and business management.