The State Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development, Asamo Grace Hellen has promised to support the idea of using a gender tool dubbed Gender Action Learning System (GALS) methodology as government moves to implement the Parish Development Model.
This methodology was developed in Uganda by Oxfam to largely balance gender issues in its humanitarian programmes.
Asamo was speaking during the Empower@scale project closeout event for Oxfam, on May 17 at a hotel in Bugoloobi.
“We are also now challenged to revisit policy legislations and have GALS included in the policy as a methodology that will enable men and women to work together and address household gender relations hence improvement in household standards of living,” the minister said, “We will continue exploring this potential.”
However, she said, it is not the first-time the ministry is interfacing with the GALS methodology that was developed by Oxfam.
“In 2015, my predecessor had the honor of gracing an Oxfam showcase of the GALS methodology,” she said adding, “I appreciated this methodology because I knew it would help dismantle the negative cultural beliefs, focus on reshaping the underlying structural issues that affect women and later enhance women’s economic empowerment. I particularly appreciate that the methodology is community-led, as this fosters ownership and sustainability.”
The GALS methodology has since been rolled out across the country and transformed the lives of many communities.
Asamo said, a government, they made the commitment to embrace this methodology, and “I am happy to see that we have made great steps in integrating it in our programmes.”
The OXFAM GALS project (empower@scale) supported the Government in integrating GALS in various Government projects including, the Project for Restoration of Livelihoods in Northern Uganda (PRELNOR), a project under MAAIF implemented by the eight district local governments in the Acholi subregion; Project for Financial Inclusion in Rural (PROFIRA), a project under the Ministry of Finance working with different service providers across Uganda.
National Oil Palm Project (NOPP), a project under MAAIF implemented in the districts of Mayuge, Buvuma and Kalangala.
Francis Shanty Odokorach, the country director of Oxfam Uganda said, GALS helps women and men to develop their visions of change, appreciate their strength and achievements and work collectively to address gender inequalities within the family and community. The event was attended by close to 200 people from all walks of life including Members of Parliament.