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The study aimed to reinforce the centrality of water as a basic right, as a component of the right to housing, to the highest attainable standard of health, the right to food, and the right to an adequate standard of living.

The study draws most of the analysis from experience in both urban and rural water sub-sectors and also attempts to highlight the macroeconomics of water pricing and public utility management, for it is here that contrasts between water as a commodity and water as a social, spiritual, ecological good, and as a human right greatest. It further demonstrates the negative implications and impact of full-cost recovery approach that has been adopted by Ugandans on the of achievement of access to safe drinking water and water for producation to women as a basic right.

The study was conducted in five districts of Uganda, namely; kumi, mukono, Kampala, Wakiso and Rakai districts.

The outcome of this study resulted into formulation of a fact sheet on women's right to water and a campaign focusing on "water as basic right" and also informed a national initiative on "The Uganda water dialogues" which is coalition of the government of Uganda, Civil society organisations and the private sector.

To AWEPON, water is basic right and not a commodity for sale, w ater has substitute and is a God given right. He or she who sales water is commoditizing human diginity, humanity, life and above all  depriving women and men of an essential need that has no substitute.

For the second time since its creation by the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation of 2000, the Betty Plewes Fund has the opportunity to recognize the work of an African organization engaged in research and policy development on issues of priority to women. An independent jury has selected the recipient of the award, known for its excellent policy work and the relevance of its initiatives on issues of priority to women in Sub-Saharan Africa.

African Women Economic Policy Network (AWEPON) has launched a three year women’s economic empowerment programme directed to enable African women to realize their full potential through social and economic transformation, as well as funding for women’s social and economic empowermentas effort intensify to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

This intervention also results from various consultative initiatives from the African continent, including the African women convention of 2007 in Nairobi and other country case studies and experiences gained from various initiatives under taken by AWEPON as an organization.


AWEPON as an organization works towards realizing women’s empowerment and economic justice through research, economic policy analysis, capacity building, lobby and advocacy with a gender and human rights perspective.

The three year programme activities will include scooping and project mapping, regional meetings on approaches to economic empowerment of women, provision of resources and business skills management skills training. Other areas will be social transformation and economic empowerment training, provision of market information for women and training of trainers on social and economic transformation.

As effort intensify to achieve MDGs by 2015, developed and developing countries have committed to new partnerships and aid modalities designed to align aid to nationally-determined development priorities to pull diverse aid sources into direct support to recipient counties national budget to ensure greater stability and predictability in aid flows.

Experience in Africa has shown that, the changing policy environment plays a significant part in shaping initiatives to address poverty, women rights and gender equity interventions. The policy demands in themicroeconomic frameworks supports increased trade liberalization, privatization of social services can no longer be ignored when designing poverty eradication strategies at bothmicro and macro levels.

However, for gender equality and women’s rights to be integral part of aid effectiveness, African women need to be able to engage with country processes as well as shape the financing agenda. They should be in a position to asses the implications of the Paris declaration in relation to the Beijing platform of Action (CEDAW) and other human rights internationally agreed protocols.

The impact of these reforms on poverty reduction will be limited if donor and recipient countries ignore:-

  • The need to measure the effectiveness of aid against its excusive purpose- poverty reduction and respect for human rights, including gender equality;
  • The barriers to local ownership resulting from continued donor-imposed policy and benchmarks attached to aid;
  • The limited transparency and accountability to citizens and parliamentarians of donor-approved “country owned” poverty reduction strategies.
  • The principles that guide unique roles for civil society organizations as development actors supporting “democratic ownership” and citizens initiatives for poverty reduction, which enable their effective response to priorities set by beneficiary populations, not donor strategies;
  • The need for deeper, mutual donor-recipient accountability based on international human rights obligations.

This present a challenge for women organizations in Africa in playing a critical role in implementation of the five principles of the Paris Declaration and to influence national processes towards addressing women’s rights and gender equality. Gender equality is pivotal in achieving MDGs and other development goals.

AWEPON therefore actively intends to lead the consultation process in assessing aid effectiveness in financing for gender equality and women’s human rights in Africa with the intention of enhancing African women’s voices in ensuring aid effectiveness for gender equality and women’s rights work in Africa.

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