Involving the Youth in the Promotion of Gender Equality and Good Governance - Foundation Office Uganda and South Sudan
Involving the Youth in the Promotion of Gender Equality and Good Governance
Inter-Institutions Debate in Lira
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Over the past 25 years Action for Development (ACFODE) has employed several strategies towards promoting gender equality and good governance in Uganda. Advocacy for policy formulation, research, capacity building, coalition building, mobilization and sensitization activities have been core in these strategies. In fulfilling these functions ACFODE has enjoyed the generous support of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.
Despite several achievements registered challenges still exist with regard to women’s full enjoyment of their rights as well as their effective participation in the governance processes. The notion of gender equality is for example still not full appreciated in Ugandan societies. In light of such challenges ACFODE considered drawing attention to the young generation as a strategy for deepening and sustaining the gender equality and good governance campaign. The inter-institutions debate tournaments were born in this context.
Conceptualisation of the Debate Competition
ACFODE is convinced that deepening the gender equality campaign and guaranteeing its sustainability demands active involvement of the young generation. This is not only for the reason that the youth will take charge of tomorrow’s management of society it is also due to the awareness that young people present significant potential which if tapped can be very useful to gender equality and good governance promotion. The debates were identified as effective means of engaging and mentoring the youth into the gender equality agenda and promotion of good governance. They challenge youth to inquire for themselves information on gender and good governance and to share their findings in a persuasive way with peers. This activity is expected to contribute highly to the overall goal of the KAS – ACFODE programme which is to promote women’s greater representation and participation in political decision-making.
Objectives of the debates
The main objective of the debates is to increase youth involvement in the promotion of gender equality and good governance. Debates build the capacity of the youth to effectively participate in the promotion of gender equality, sharpen their reading and research skills on gender and good governance and consequently mentor them into eloquent, articulate and fast thinking individuals
On the overall the debate process is expect to inform and empower participating students with information and skill by which they can become effective ambassadors for promoting gender equality and good governance. In addition, the process is expected to yield:
-Enhanced student’s speech, communication dialogue, problem solving skills.
-Enhanced critical and analytical writing, research, confidence, self esteem.
-Inculcation of principles of tolerance, harmonious co-existence, good governance and functional democracy among the youth.
-Creation of close working relationships between ACFODE and participating institutions
-Creation of a debate culture in Institutions of Higher Learning in Uganda.
The debating format used will be British Parliamentary debate (BP) a type that is usually used for University students. This debate format has two teams on the proposing side and two teams on the opposing side. Each team has two debaters. Despite the fact that two teams are on the same side and seem to support each other, in order for a team to win, it must execute its role capably as it will be judged independently.
Once the teams make it to the finals one team will emerge the winner. Since competitive debate is a new concept in the Universities of Uganda and particularly British Parliamentary style ACFODE conducts training for the students in their various institutions prior to the competitions.
Participants in the debates are students in higher institutions from learning including universities and other tertiary institutions. The northern region debate tournament will for example have participation of the following institutions: Uganda College of Commerce - Aduku (UCC), All Saints University Lira, Lira School of Comprehensive Nursing, Uganda Technical College Lira , Uganda Christian Institute .