Resty, 21 years old, is a young She Leads advocate who has been part of many advocacy engagements at sub-county, district to national levels. She has built her leadership and advocacy skills through continuous engagements in She Leads activities. She is now more determined than ever to advocate for and advance the pressing issues affecting girls and young women in her community.
Resty lives with her parents and three brothers in a small village in Bugiri district, Uganda. Resty’s family rely on subsistence farming as their main source of income. Her mother also owns a private clinic which is their supplementary source of income. Resty lives a normal, happy, life. She grew up in Nawasinge village, under the care of her grandmother who took care of all her individual needs at the age of 3 years. At that time, her mother was still pursuing her nursing course in 2004 and was unable to fully take care of her. Resty successfully completed her primary and secondary education and proceeded to pursue a Diploma Course in Law. She plans to enrol for Bachelor’s Degree in Law soon
When the She Leads programme was launched in her village, Resty was identified and requested to join the programme by a religious leader who is also her relative. She was part of the 45 She Leads GYW advocates. After joining, she was oriented on girl-led movement building, lobbying and advocacy, resource mobilization, and gender equality. This built her capacity to identify advocacy issues that affect girls including their limited participation in decision-making.
Resty has been involved in many advocacy engagements at sub-county, district to national levels. She participated in sub-county quarterly reflection meetings of GYWs, district-level reflection meetings, National Dialogues with Stakeholders and GYW, National level GYW reflection meetings among others. The She Leads programme has provided her with various platforms to amplify her voice. She has been able to advance the pressing issues affecting girls and young women during events such as the Stakeholders meeting held on 13th June 2022, the girl's Symposium on October 2021, and the day of the African child on 28th June 2022, among other international days. Additionally, she has also been engaged in different She leads project activities such as sensitising the communities on discriminatory gender norms in her community and participating in public debates so as to promote transformative gender norms and condemn discriminatory gender norms.
Resty is now empowered & confident to understand that she can still live her dreams, and represent her colleagues as their spokesperson on various platforms. “I used to have low self-esteem with no hope of gaining confidence not until I joined She Leads where I received advocacy training. ¨I now feel confident and empowered and can amplify my voice if given the opportunity,” she explained. As a result of her exhibiting strong leadership capabilities, Resty was given the sub-county leader´s position of the GYW Alliance and is also a member of Bugiri GYW Alliance Leadership. “I feel happy and encouraged for being able to participate in decision-making processes,” she said.
Through the different She Leads engagements, Resty has gained more leadership capabilities, especially in the GYW groups where she has been able to lead other members and support them to gain more advocacy skills. This is further evident in her involvement in the district alliance where is also a leader. She has exhibited her leadership skills in conducting community activities to create more awareness of discriminatory gender norms through community sensitisations, community dialogues and public debates. From these engagements, 2 GYWs who had dropped out went back to school; one of them is currently being supported by the Community Development Officer of that sub-county.
Resty has also gained more advocacy skills through continuous engagements in She Leads activities at sub-county, district and national levels. She has further intensified her social media advocacy engagements, using her Twitter handle where she has posted, tweeted and retweeted advocacy messages in line with discriminatory practices that limit GYW participation in decision-making spaces. Moreover, she has built her courage to stand out and amplify the voice of the voiceless. She vividly talks about escalating cases of teenage pregnancy and early marriages calling upon stakeholders to enforce laws that protect the rights of GYW.
Resty is being monitored by the She leads programme team through the She leads group that she is part of but also through routine home visits and checks. The team conducts several discussions with her to ensure she achieves her dreams through capacity building and mentorships. She is also supported by her group members who help to execute her duties when she is not available. “I want to be a legal practitioner as well as a politician because am passionate about the law,” Resty said, as she described her future life aspirations.