Women’s Empowerment Project: Develop with Dignity

Categories: NewsPublished On: 3rd July, 2023521 words2.6 min read

Women’s Empowerment Project: Develop with Dignity

Categories: NewsPublished On: 3rd July, 202323.7 min read

Enabling young people to grow without shame or fear

This blog post is part of a series on projects funded by a Women’s Empowerment Grant. Here, Teams4U, which received a grant of £25,000, reflects on the success of its project.

Teams4U and Teams4U Uganda have been operating in partnership for 16 years, delivering projects in WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), menstrual health, sexual reproductive health rights, AIDS activism, and education. Teams4U Uganda operates in the Kumi district, where 20% of girls are at risk of struggling to stay in education; in 2020, teenage pregnancy accounted for 22.3% of school dropouts among girls aged 14–18. Additionally, school absenteeism was prevalent, with girls missing 3–5 days a month on average due to period poverty and a lack of safe spaces for private use of sanitary products.

Our main aim for this project was for the at-risk girls to stay in school to continue their education. The Women’s Empowerment Grant funded the project for one year between March 2022 and March 2023.

Teams4U Uganda trained 21 female teachers and 21 male teachers across 21 schools in Bukedea, Kumi and Katakwi districts to implement peer-to-peer support and guided lesson plans. These would be used to address: taboos around menstruation, sexual and reproductive health rights; building self-esteem; gender-based violence; life planning; and menstrual hygiene and health. This was delivered to 1,680 adolescents aged 11–18 years (70% girls & 30% boys) in 21 extra-curricular clubs at school.

Each club met fortnightly for a total of 16 sessions. The students elected six champions to be responsible for the club and provided summaries of their learning for the wider school community through assemblies and classes.

One-day training was facilitated for the district education officers, school inspectors, school management committees, parent-teacher association representatives and headteachers. It covered an overview of the project contents to enable monitoring and evaluation, and to encourage the adoption of more supportive attitudes and behaviours towards adolescent girls. Locally manufactured reusable sanitary pads were provided to pupils of menstrual age.

Results of the project:

  • 97% of girls have increased their knowledge and confidence about their bodies, leading to improved wellbeing and resilience and a higher likelihood of remaining in school. The girls have a better understanding of their menstrual cycles and acknowledge that puberty is a normal stage of growth.
  • 83% of school pupils have increased their knowledge of how culture affects beliefs around their sexual reproductive health. They are now able to make better informed decisions when engaging in sexual relationships.
  • 79% of parents and 83% of boys and the wider community have more supportive attitudes and behaviours towards adolescent girls returning to school.
  • 100% of the girls and boys completed school. While three students became pregnant, they were encouraged by the school and their parents to continue their education. They chose to sit their final exams, with two of them passing and proceeding to further education.


  • Students not selected for the project felt left out and disgruntled.
  • Resources were limited, making it difficult to carry out comprehensive training and teaching in all 21 schools.
  • District education officers and school inspectors will need to be lobbied to ensure that headteachers and senior managers in the schools continue to educate pupils on these issues.