She describes herself as a soft spoken person but when she starts talking about women and girls rights, you can see the lioness in her arise. She is very passionate about her work, hard working and very charming. She loves reading a lot and is very optimistic about life. Meet Rose Kigere, Executive Director Woman RIghts Initiative, Uganda.
What are the qualities that define you as an African woman of strength?
I am a happy, intelligent, sweet and very passionate woman. I love family. These are the qualities that make me succeed in the things I set out to do.
Tell us about your AWLI experience
I joined the African Women Leadership Institute (AWLI) in August 2007 and have never looked back. This experience was a big eye opener for me. I had studied social work and social administration and had wanted to empower women and children but I did not know exactly how best to do it. During the four weeks, I met wonderful tutors who shaped my thoughts to fulfill my passion. I learned about intergenerational leadership, leadership for young women, feminist principles and what we stand for and the unity in diversity of African women.
What are some of the unique aspects that stood out for you at the AWLI training and lessons learned?
Wellness for ourselves as a great virtue to consider to be able to serve others and being our sisters' keepers, delegation as an important element for successful leaders. Having a network of fellow women to keep on mentoring you and to sharpen your skills and talents.
Why would you encourage the young women in your circles to pursue the AWLI training?
The AWLI is an open platform to learn about women and our struggles in Africa and beyond, the sisterhood, the knowledge and skills you acquire while at the institute are immense.
What's your message to AWLI at 20?
Continue doing this wonderful work. It has great impact to the young women you train. I truly know that all women in various spheres of life get change as a result of this institute.
Your 2 cents to young women activists out there
Don’t give up stay focused
It’s never too late to make a difference
Take us through your journey to WORI.
WORI started in 2007.
After the AWLI, I founded WORI with the help of two other women; one of them is now deceased. Our journey has been amazing. We focus on empowering marginalised women especially at the grass roots holistically through leadership, women’s rights, economic empowerment and sexual reproductive health. Over the last nine years we have been working to see that girls and women live in better conditions and have the ability to make informed decisions depending on their various situations.
We have carried out various projects with the most recent and interesting being the women’s shelter where we hope to provide consistent counseling and psycho-social support, legal aid and an emergency medical unit as well as a hostel for girls and women to be able to heal from gender and domestic violence. We know this journey will make us more engraved in to the work we do to serve our women better.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself in the policy formulation of issues that affect women in Africa making my contribution by giving my view and opinions. I am looking forward to becoming an entrepreneur at international level.
And for Rose, the sky is just the beginning!