Cooperating to Prosper: Rural Women in Luweero District
August 20 – 27, 2018
The members of the Luweero Women’s Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited (LUWOMCO) carried out a campaign in the 13 sub-counties of Luweero District to mobilise women and men to join their cooperative and appreciate working together in cooperatives in order to improve their household income and standard of living. The campaign was conducted in the sub-counties of Makulubita, Nyimbwa, Bombo Town Council, Bamunanika, Wobulenzi Town Council, Butuntumula, Zirobwe, Kikyusa, Kamila, Luweero Town Council, Luweero Sub county, Kalagala and Katikamu.
The campaign that attracted hundreds of women and men was championed by EASSI, under a tripartite arrangement with the National Association of Women’s Organisations in Uganda (NAWOU) and the Association of Women Lawyers in Uganda (FIDA-U). The project, Women’s Economic Justice is funded by the Forum for Women in Development (FOKUS), a Norwegian Women’s organisation. FOKUS receives financial support from the Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD), the Ministry of Children and Equality and The Kavli Trust.
At the different sub-counties the visibility of LUWOMCO was enhanced and the District Leaders and the people at the grassroots were enabled to understand the aspirations of the cooperative. During the campaign drive, the Project Officer, Ms. Agnes Akoth talked about the initiation and development of the East African Women’s Trade and Investment Bank that was being advocated for by EASSI to facilitate the growth of businesses owned by women. The proposed bank will try to address the financial obstacles individual women and men in the cooperatives face in the process of conducting trade.
She further urged women in Luweero District to join LUWOMCO because the cooperative provides women with an opportunity to collectively market their products together and also acquire power that leads to increased income and women’s voices at the household and national levels. This will lead to National Development and the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals specifically, Goal No. 5 on achieving women’s empowerment and gender equality and Goal No. 4 on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
The Chairperson of the Cooperative, Ms. Sarah Mirembe explained that the cooperative deals in grains, agricultural products, wine, juices and art and crafts. In the cooperative, they are able to buy in bulk and sell when the prices have gone high. In addition, Ms. Elizabeth Damulira explained that new members will benefit from the profits generated from the share capital, training’s organized by the cooperative, collective bargaining and marketing of their products.
Issues raised during the campaigns included; providing more financial support to the women in the cooperative; offer computer training and the use of technology so as to engage new members; purchasing of members products for sell by the cooperative; creating more market linkages for the products in Luweero District and developing of a Bank to enable women traders to access affordable finances.
At the end of the Campaign, the cooperative welcomed 25 new members that had fully paid a membership fee of 10,000 Uganda Shillings and bought shares of 20,000 Uganda Shillings per share.