Some of the material in is restricted to members of the community. By logging in, you may be able to gain additional access to certain collections or items. If you have questions about access or logging in, please use the form on the Contact Page.
This thesis looks at how civil society organizations (CSOs) are working to address the issue of violence against women in Uganda. Specifically, it examines what types of organizations are working to address this issue, where their efforts fit into the public health ecological model for violence prevention, and to what extent they adopt a feminist perspective. In addition, I investigate how operational environments affect CSOs and what the organizations consider they have learned from their experiences. The study is primarily based on interviews conducted in the field with CSO representatives from various parts of Uganda. The findings suggest that the majority of the CSOs studied are grassroots or other indigenous women's organizations that undertake activities in multiple categories and thus adopt a holistic approach in addressing the issue of violence against women. Based on the public health ecological model for violence prevention, the overall picture that emerges is that the CSOs focus on primary level interventions, specifically concentrating their efforts on sensitization, awareness-raising, advocacy, and lobbying activities. In regards to their level of operations, my findings indicate that organizations favor community level interventions. All of the CSOs in the sample aim to address multiple at risk factors and most adopt a focus on multiple types of violence. In terms of the target population, the majority of interventions are universal, whereas both selective and indicated interventions primarily target women and girls. The study results indicate that the majority of the organizations adopt a feminist approach, either explicitly or implicitly. As a result, the CSOs focus on women's and girls' strategic interests and work towards the equal enjoyment of rights and opportunities. In addition, a majority of the activities that aim to address women's practical needs do so in ways that have high transformatory potential. Those interviewed report that CSOs face a variety of constraints from their operational environments. Inadequate human and financial resources, negative cultural and political climates, as well as competition between CSOs are impeding their efforts to end violence against women in Uganda. Only two positive factors were identified that contribute to the performance of CSOs – their dedicated members/staff/volunteers and networking with other organizations. From the CSO interview responses some common lessons emerged. These include addressing the causes instead of the symptoms of violence against women, in particular, addressing gender inequality and consequently involving men and other community members in violence prevention efforts. The organizations also emphasize the importance of appropriate methods and communication strategies when dealing with sensitive issues. Finally, although facilitating behavioral change is a long-term and arduous process, interventions that promote lasting change are considered critical in order to end gender-based violence.
Feminism, Civil Society Organizations, NGOs, Uganda, Violence Against Women, Gender Based Violence, CSOs, Feminist, Public Health
Date of Defense
November 7, 2006.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of International Affairs in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
Rebecca Miles, Professor Directing Thesis; Terence Coonan, Committee Member; Peter Easton, Committee Member.
Florida State University
Use and Reproduction
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). The copyright in theses and dissertations completed at Florida State University is held by the students who author them.