ACCORD conducted a series of mediation trainings for the Eminent Women of the Uganda Women Situation Room. The WSR is an early warning and rapid response mechanism to address and mitigate conflict or any incidents likely to lead to violence before, during and after the elections. During the months of November 2020, December 2020 and early January 2021, six sessions took place to strengthen the skills and prepare the Ugandan Eminent Women to respond to conflict situations that could arise in the upcoming elections that took place in Uganda on 14 January 2021.
The sessions were designed to introduce and engage the Ugandan Eminent Women on mediation approaches as well as on the potential conflict triggers that could emanate in the build up to the elections. The discussions enabled the women to identify the various tools for conflict and situational analysis in order to gain a better understanding of the conflicts that could arise during the pre-election and election phases. In January 2021, the Ugandan Eminent Women were joined by the International/African Eminent Women for further confidence and knowledge building. This was important to share further skills and expertise on ways in which to address election-related conflicts.
A significant outcome of these sessions was the acknowledgement and appreciation for the wealth of skills and expertise amongst the Eminent Women’s Group in order to address and undertake this intervention. At the end of the training, while the women confirmed that there was still much work to be done, they however indicated that the training made them feel more confident in the discussions and engagements that took place with various stakeholders in the build up to the elections. The Eminent Women’s Group also agreed on a common message they need to develop and convey to the various parties.
The engagements with the Ugandan Women Situation room has been an ongoing process since 2016 on strengthening the skills of the Ugandan Eminent Women to ready themselves during an electoral cycle. ACCORD is committed to continuing this process of empowering women leaders to participate effectively and efficiently in processes aimed at mitigating and managing conflict.