In the words of Peluce Tuhaise: Training on peacebuilding and conflict prevention positioned me as Women Peace Mediator

In July 2023, Peluce Tuhaise, a District Councillor representing the women of Kyegegwa Town Council in Kyegegwa District. Peluce, who is serving her second five-year term as a District Woman Councillor, participated in trainings organised by UN Women Responsible Partner, Coalition for Action on 1325 (CoACT) on peace building, conflict prevention and countering violent extremism. These trainings were part of a four-year Women Peace and Security (WPS) programme being implemented by UN Women in 15 conflict prone districts in Uganda, with funding from the Government of Norway.


Peluce, gestures during a training in July 2023.
Peluce during the training in July 2023. Photo: CoACT

When I received the invitation to attend the training from UN Women’s partner CoACT, I thought it was one of the usual trainings that leaders get invited to. However, this training was different as it opened my eyes to the peace and conflict issues that affect women and equipped me with skills and tools I could use to identify, document, and share information on the existing conflicts which enhances conflict early warning and response. Unlike other trainings, at the end of this training participants were tasked to develop action plans to demonstrate how they will apply the new knowledge and skills gained.

 In my position as a district woman councilor, I had never received training that would enable me to learn how best to identify issues and address them. All I did was attend Council meetings and share ordinary issues without articulating how these issues specifically affect women and girls.

The training on peacebuilding and conflict prevention positioned me as Women Peace Mediator to collaborate with other women who had been trained to better identify and amplify issues that affect women and girls. As women peace mediators, we have now registered Kyegegwa Women Mediator’s Network as a Women Led Community-Based Organisation to implement peacebuilding initiatives in Kyegegwa district. The network was registered in November 2023. Within one month of our establishment, we registered 34 cases, most being GBV (Gender Based Violence) cases and land related conflicts. We have been able to mediate some and refer others to the Community Development Officer and Police for special management. As a Network, we are working closely with the office of the Resident District Commissioner, and the Sub County and District Peace committees to ensure cases referred receive the attention they deserve.

 As a District Woman Councilor and Peace mediator, I have been exposed to new information, knowledge, and skills, especially on leadership, GBV, human rights, Gender Equality and Women Empowerment, peacebuilding and conflict prevention, which I will use to impact the lives of women and girls in the district.