Advancing Human Rights and Supporting Women and Girls
As a survivor of gender-based violence, 2021 Fellowship Alumna Angella Asiimwe of Uganda is committed to advancing human rights, influencing policies to address gender-based violence, and defending the rights of women and girls.
When assault led to Angella becoming a mother at the age of fifteen, she was forced to support herself and her child by working in the informal sector with jobs that paid less than a dollar. Against all odds, she transformed her story to become a lawyer, entrepreneur, and human rights defender who is advocating for women and girls in the informal sector and survivors of gender-based violence.
Supporting women and girls in Uganda
Today, Angella is the founder and CEO of Voice Consults Limited, a legal and media consultancy firm that promotes and protects the rights of women, girls, and other marginalized groups.
Since 2018, Voice Consults provided legal aid and psychological and social support to girls and women in over 12 districts in Uganda. They have also trained over 5,000 women to equip them with skills in movement building, economic empowerment, and communication.
I am now a better servant leader that values diversity and inclusion of all people, and I include these principles in my work, especially through the training I carried out at my workplace to share the best practices I learned from the Fellowship.”Angella Asiimwe, 2021 Fellowship Alumna, Uganda
Raising awareness and promoting change
In collaboration with other women’s rights activists, Angella and Voice Consults have spearheaded multiple campaigns, including the #WomenMarchUganda campaign to raise awareness of femicide, which reached over 6 million people. They also organized the #Justice4Samantha, Uganda’s first online campaign against workplace sexual harassment.
Angella says, “My story as a poor survivor of sexual harassment when I was a teenager shaped my purpose and passion to advance human rights, lead campaigns, and influence policies to address gender based violence and poverty.”
Together with the Domestic Violence Act Coalition, Angella has helped enact laws that promote women’s rights, including the Domestic Violence Act, the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, and the Sexual Offences Bill.
Today, Angella remains in contact with Americans from her Leadership in Civic Engagement Institute The Presidential Precinct, including Executive Director Neal Piper, who has connected her to The Women’s Initative in Charlottesville, Virginia. Angella is collaborating with The Women’s Initiative to share best practices on supporting survivors of sexual harassment.
She says, “[The Fellowship] also expanded my network and opened my eyes to abundant opportunities available for young African leaders and young organizations like Voice Consults.”
Written by Abbie Wade.