Envisioning empowerment: Mapping the paths of widowhood in Northern Uganda


  • Juma Bosco Namutebi




SIDINL, empowerment, widows, Uganda


The traumatic experiences of widows in Northern Uganda are in a subtle intersection of cultural practices, social stigma, and the impacts of widowhood on their mental and physical health. Utilising data from local ‘Specialised, In-Depth Information & Newsletters’ (SIDINL), this analysis captures a comprehensive narrative of widowhood through online platforms that serve as micro-humanitarian networks. These networks enable widows to share their stories, access support, and engage in a communal healing process facilitated by local therapists and humanitarian workers. Using Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), these interventions aim to foster resilience and positive change among the different types of widows. Culturally sensitive and community-based approaches address the unique challenges of this local context such as the polygamous marriage balance, childlessness, and land grabbing issues. The findings advocate for humanitarian leaders at all levels to tailor strategies to empower all people in crisis, by integrating legal, economic, and psychological support to transform their roles from passive recipients to active participants in their healing and empowerment journeys.


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Author Biography

  • Juma Bosco Namutebi

    Juma Bosco Namutebi is a psychologist from Uganda, currently collaborating with Makerere University in Kampala. Drawing from his academic background in psychology, his focus is on women’s mental health support services. Notably, he has initiated small support groups for women to share their experiences amid the diverse social pressures they face. He is actively engaged in enhancing the accessibility and inclusiveness of professional mental health support systems, advocating for their expansion to serve a broader population in Uganda.


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How to Cite

“Envisioning empowerment: Mapping the paths of widowhood in Northern Uganda” (2024) The Humanitarian Leader, 6(1), p. Working paper 046, June, 2024. doi:10.21153/thl2024art2004.