36 years old
Action for Rural Women's Empowerment (ARUWE), Uganda
Agnes credits her mother with inspiring her to puruse a career in community development and female empowerment. Agnes says, "I grew up seeing my mother farming to feed us and sell crops to support our father in raising us." In the evenings, her mother met with other village women to share experiences and advice; which she brought back home to further develop her home. Agnes says, "Consequently, I grew up seeing what influence my mother had on our family."
Upon graduation, Agnes wanted to work for an organization that had the same values and passion to support rural communities, especially women like her mother and their children, to realize their full potential. She says, "working with ARUWE, with support from partners like VGIF, gives me an opportunity to change women’s attitude to development." Women were educated on their rights to participate in development initiatives, to access assets like land, to educate their children including the girls, and much more. Of ARUWE's partnership with VGIF, Agnes says, "it has further restored women dignity whose confidence was compromised before by their husbands and other community members since they believed they added no value to the society and their families."
She goes on to say, "Many women now affirm that, being aware of their rights and having some resources in terms of finances has enabled them to gain status in their families and their contributions is more recognized and this has boosted their self esteem. Now, women are not intimidated to fight for their rights. As we support and work with them, they are assuring us, that they are ready to change their community to benefit the women more."