Using Gender Action Learning System (gals) to bridge the gender gap in rural households

One may wonder why GALS? But for ESAFF Uganda this is one of the ways to bridge gender injustices in rural household of Uganda. Gender action learning system a community-led empowerment methodology that aims at giving women as well as men more control over their lives for individual, households and community development .GALS is also a mainstreaming aspect for women and men to address gender issues important to the effectiveness of any development in communities.

ESAFF Uganda has implemented the GALS methodology in 3 districts of Westnile that’s Zombo, Adjumani , Nebbi and currently being scaled up in other 3 districts of serere, Amuria and Amuru). The methodology can be integrated in various activities such as seed rights, land rights, advocacy, agricultural extension, VSLAS.

ESAFF Uganda believes that gender inequalities among rural households in Uganda today can be addressed using this methodology because according to FAO, on average, rural women make up about 43 percent of the agricultural labor force in developing countries. Evidence indicates that if these women had the same access to productive resources as men such as land, market etc they could increase yields on their farms by 20 to 30 percent, raising total agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5 to 4 percent, in turn reducing the number of hungry people in the world by 12 to 17 percent.

However this methodology positions women as drivers of their own development rather than victims, identifying and dismantling obstacles in their environment, challenging service providers and private actors. It has proven to be effective for changing gender inequalities that have existed for generations, strengthening negotiation power of marginalized stakeholders and promoting collaboration, equity and respect among agricultural value chain actors

The methodology applies tools such as the vision road journey, challenge action tree, gender balance tree, and these tools help farmers analyze their present situation, identify weaknesses, opportunities to work towards a prosperous vision ahead for improved livelihoods.

By Namatovu Rashidah