We approach the problem of child marriage utilizing a multi-dimensional approach – addressing education, gender based-violence, social norms, and providing income generation opportunities. Commitment to children, adolescent girls and young women living a life of equality, justice and dignity, and the solutions we develop to support these are sustainable in the long-term.
Strengthen Leadership and Confidence
Comprehensive trainings, Mentorship & Counselling, Leadership trainings & Camps
- 87% of girls now can refuse unwanted sexual attention
- 96% of girls believe in their power to improve their lives
- 37% girls are holding leadership positions in their schools
Invest in Sexual & Reproductive Health Services & Education
SRH service provision, Peer-to-peer learning, educational campaigns, including social media engagement.
In Uganda, Sexual and Reproductive Health Services and Information Fall Short for Adolescents
The ability to achieve sexual and reproductive health and rights, including being able to decide when and whether to have children, is critical for the health and well-being of all women. Yet new data from the Guttmacher Institute show serious gaps in sexual and reproductive health services for adolescent women in Uganda. For example, an estimated 648,000 women aged 15–19 in Uganda are sexually active and do not want a child in the next two years. However, among this group, more than 60% have an unmet need for modern contraception, meaning that they either use no contraceptive method or use a traditional method of contraception.
Approximately half of all pregnancies among women aged 15–19 in Uganda are unintended, totaling an estimated 214,000 unintended pregnancies each year. The overwhelming majority (88%) of these pregnancies occur among adolescents with an unmet need for modern contraception.
Share Child Opportunity Eastern and Northern Uganda believes that all children, adolescents and young people have the right to make their own free and informed choices and to have control over their sexual and reproductive health and lives, free from coercion, violence, discrimination and abuse. Girls and young women, in particular, are denied the ability to exercise these rights. Fulfilling the rights of all children, adolescents and young people is fundamental to achieving gender equality.
However, gender inequality and discriminatory social norms mean that girls and young women often lack the voice, agency and autonomy to make their own decisions in relation to their sexual and reproductive health and are frequently denied access to quality sexual and reproductive health information and services. This can leave them vulnerable and unable to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), as well as from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. It can also result in serious psychological harm.
Girls and young women are frequently subjected to serious human rights violations, including coerced sex, sexual violence and harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation/cutting and child, early and forced marriage.
Transform Unequal Gender Norms
Male engagement, Gender-based violence prevention, Media & campaigns, Gender sports matches. We integrate gender-equitable approaches to ensure that all people can make informed choices and to transform gender norms and power dynamics that limit access to healthcare and impede rights.
SCOEN envisions a world where all people exercise their right to gender-equitable sexual and reproductive healthcare and participate as equal members of society. Our programs incorporate gender-transformative approaches to explore, challenge, and improve social norms, beliefs, and practices that shape people’s sexual and reproductive health outcomes and broader opportunities.
At the national level, we advocate with our partners for gender-equitable, youth-friendly, and socially inclusive policies and programs. In health systems and facilities, we train healthcare providers and administrators to deliver gender-sensitive and youth-friendly counseling and services. We partner with youth- and women-led organizations and local leaders to deliver community, school, and workplace interventions that challenge gender stereotypes and eradicate discriminatory practices that harm the health and well-being of all people.
Vision and Commitment
SCOEN strives to achieve gender equality in and through sexual and reproductive health and rights. We aim to create a world where women and girls exercise their rights to gender-equitable sexual and reproductive health services and participate as equal members of society.
We support every person’s right to make free, informed decisions about whether, when, and with whom to have sex and whether, when, and with whom to have children. Our programs use a gender-transformative approach that is grounded in youth-centered and socially inclusive principles. We acknowledge the disadvantages and discrimination women and girls face in exercising these rights, and we tackle the gender- and power-related barriers that deny them these rights.
Build Economic Independence
Vocational skills training, Business mentoring, Employment opportunities.
Currently the world has the largest young population ever and estimates show that 90 percent of them will live in the Global South by 2020. Being young is and will not be easy as young people are three times more likely to be unemployed and prone to economic exclusion. For girls and young women, the situation is even worse. Only 48.5% of women worldwide participate in the labour market, which represents a huge loss in terms of individual potential and for the economy of the countries in which they live. Negative gender norms in combination with a lack of education, confidence or skills sets young women out to be among the most economically excluded of all.
We believe that promoting these non-traditional female careers is key to effectively change negative attitudes towards gender equality and enhance girls and young women’s economic empowerment.
Exciting community transformation is happening in Uganda through economic empowerment programs! SCOEN believes in dignity, not dependence. The five incredible projects below not only help to provide necessary income, but also promote feelings of resilience and independence.
Join us in celebrating five projects that are making a huge economic impact for vulnerable children, their families, and their communities in Uganda.
Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA)
VSLAs are a micro-finance model that allows impoverished and vulnerable individuals access to credit for small businesses or income-generating projects. Interest rates at financial institutions for small loans can be outrageously high (as much as 24%!). VSLAs Loans are charged 10% interest, and when repaid, the interest goes into the VSLA account which is then paid out as profit to all the members based on their percentage of savings over the year.
Areas emphasized during training included group dynamics and formation; financial literacy; goal setting; conflict resolution; savings, loans, and interest; developing a group constitution; and business development.
Supporting young people to develop the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the world of work
More than 2.9 billion people – nearly half the world’s population – are under the age of 25. SCOEN believes it is crucial that these young people have the knowledge and skills to succeed in life if we are to break the cycle of poverty.
Ensuring all young people, including the most marginalised and disadvantaged, can unlock their potential through access to decent work will drive progress towards sustainable, inclusive development.
Yet today, some 500 million young people in the developing world are un- or under-employed. The situation is particularly difficult for women and girls, who face even greater challenges in securing productive and fulfilling employment than their male counterparts.