A supportive policy and social environment that enables rural & peri-urban based grassroots female sex workers to live free from human rights abuse in order to live healthy and productive lives in Uganda.
Summary Description of your Organization
Alliance of Women Advocating for Change (AWAC) is a network for grassroots rural and peri-urban based female sex workers (FSWs) led groups. It was established in 2015 and registered under Reg. No. 220998 in 2016, by champions of the sex worker movement in Uganda. AWAC aims at promoting meaningful involvement and coordination of rural based grassroot sexwork led groups and adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) at high risk. It particularly focuses on addressing the root causes of human rights violations, such as gender based violence, stigma, discrimination and poverty fueled by criminalization and cultural norms attached to sexwork at individual, community and national level. Currently AWAC has 25 grassroots female sex worker led CBOs spread over 28 districts; Kampala, Mukono, Wakiso, Nakasongola, Masindi, Hoima, Gulu, Lira, Arua, Luuka, Bugiri, Tororo-Malaba, Busia, Buvuma, Kalangala, Mbale, Soroti, Buikwe, Mbarara,Kabale-Katuna, Kabarole, Kasese, Kamwenge, Ntoroko, Bundibugyo, Kyenjojo and Bunyangabo districts spread across the 6 regions in Uganda.
AWAC has functional governance structures including the General Assembly, Board of Directors and the Secretariat headed by Executive Director, management team and programme team. AWAC fulfills its mandate through mobilizing and supporting FSWs organizing at grassroot levels, institutional strengthening and empowerment/mentorship of emerging peer leaders/groups to advocate for an enabling environment; creating awareness on skills & livelihood development and economic empowerment of FSWs and AGYW at high risk expanding their range of choices ; capacity development to create demand for a robust referral and support system, policy analysis, trainings of law enforcement authorities, policy makers and service providers, multi-level lobbying and advocacy, research, documentation and consultations to address the gaps in the legal and policy frameworks at all levels. But also to ensure scale up of access to comprehensive HIV, SRHR, GBV and TB services for FSWs and AGYW at high risk in Uganda.
AWAC was born out of the need to bridge the missing link of the untapped potential, comparative advantage & strategic resourcefulness of grassroots rural & peri-urban based FSW led groups in the struggle to work towards realizing empowered FSWs and AGYW at highrisk living a healthy life with their rights fully respected and observed in Uganda. Varied number of groups in rural and peri urban areas were not organised, lacked functional structures and sex workers in these areas were suffering violations of their rights coupled with lack of access to essential SRHR, GBV, HIV/AIDS and TB tailored services as most of other organisations are concentrated in the capital city. AWAC’s role therefore is to bridge this gap.