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Uganda woman 2012 Uganda woman 2012 Document Transcript

  • Ju G bi OL lee D Ed EN iti onUGANDA WOMAN Issue 1 March - September 2012 50 YEARS OF WOMEN EMPOWERMENT UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 1
  • 2 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • Contents3 6 8 Message from Securing the future “I Have Been the Voice for the President of the Girl Child the Voiceless” - Kadaga 4 Minister’s Message Foreword by the 5 Permanent Secretary A Tribute to the 10 Development Partners Women Organizations: 16 From Humble Beginnings to a force to reckon with12 WOMEN EMANCIPATION MOVEMENT IN UGANDA 20 Women’s contribution to CONSTITUTIONALISM Judiciary Promotes 22 Gender Sensitivity Engaging Men and Boys 24 in Gender Equality Addressing Gender 25 based Violence Profiles of 50 Women 26 Achievers14 EVOLUTION OF THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S MACHINERY UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 1
  • UGANDA WOMANPublished by;Ministry of Gender, Labour and SocialDevelopment,P.O. Box 7136,www. Mglsd.ug.coKampala, Uganda.Managing Editor: Jane Sanyu MpagiDeputy Managing Editor: Mondo KyatekaEditor: Pamela Irene BatengaConsulting Editor: Ikebesi Ochole OmodingEditorial Administrator: Jane EkapuContributors:Lominda Afedraru, Frank Batema, Betty Bigombe, 18 The Domestic Relations Bill: HOW IT HAS EVOLVEDNamirembe Bitamazire, Alice Emasu, LaureenKarayi, Joanita Kawalya, Maggie Kigozi, LillianKiwanuka, Sandra Komuhiimbo, Mary Maitum, 34 Ugandan Women/Girls close Education gapAnn Mugisa, Wangwe Mulakha, Sarah Muwanga,Proscovia Nalweyiso, Carol Namagembe, DennisObbo, Margaret Sentamu, Victoria Ssekitoleko,Olivia Ssentumbwe, Emma Were Tinka, Hilda 36 WOMEN AND LAND OWNERSHIP: STATUS AND PROPOSED FUTURE INTERVENTIONSTwongerweire, Joseph WalugembeContributing MGLSD Staff:Cecilia Ajom, Annet Kabarungi, Juliana Kuruhiira, 38 Women’s Role in Agricultural DevelopmentElizabeth Kyasiimire, Maggie Mabweijjano,Cornelius Magara, Susan Muwanga, CollinMwijuka, Hadijah Namuddu, Simon Omoding, 40 Women Investing in the FutureCrescent Tirinawe 42 Maternal Health in UgandaLayout and Graphics: Paul WambiPrinting: Ashek Systems 44 Women make gains in Armed Forces 46 Women in Conflict ManagementCover Picture: A photo montage of women who have 48 The Journey of Media Women in Ugandabeen at the forefront of womens empowerment inUganda since independence.Inside Front: The 2008 Uganda Women swimmers 50 The Advance of Women Sport in UgandaOlympic team. 52Inside back: International Womens Day paintingBack cover: Poster illustration of the International History of Women in Entertainment in UgandaWomens Day 2012, by Giovanina Colalillo (Canada) 53 Empowering Women to get Clean Water 54 Transforming Women’s Lives: the Change we want to See2 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • Message from the PresidentI would like to congratulate all the women of Uganda of the women’s walk from socially and politicallyupon reaching this important International Women’s constructed bondage to freedom and empowerment.Day of March 8th 2012. As you know, women This magazine is timely especially because it coincidesconstitute 51% of Uganda’s population and, therefore, with Uganda’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.they are essential to Uganda’s development. Therefore, as we celebrate the International Women’sOn January 29th 1986, when I took my first Presidential Day, our most critical undertaking must be thatOath, I offered to serve the people of Uganda and of consolidating our gains and building on therelease them from bad governance. I have since put achievements so far made to fully transform our societyin place an ideologically oriented and democratic from a pre-industrial to a modern, industrial and self-leadership in which everybody participates. For that sustaining economy. As a revolutionary, I believe thatreason, women have been given an opportunity to take for us to sustain our political, economic and socialleadership positions at all levels of Government right gains, our struggle must remain people-centered andfrom LC1. follow a correct and popular ideology and strategies as articulated in the NRM Manifesto and the NationalYou will recall that I assured Ugandans and the entire Development Plan.world that the NRA/NRM’s coming to power was nota mere change of guards but a fundamental change. It is for these reasons that we are investing a significantNow, 26 years down the road, right thinking people amount of money in the various sectors in orderare able to see the irreversible developments that the to build a competent, equitable and competitiveNRM revolution has created. My job as President has indigenous labour-force.been and remains that of laying strategies for people-centered policies. As head of Government, I pledge my continued and total commitment to the eradication of all forms ofOn this day, when we take stock of the achievements discrimination against our women.registered so far, I join all of you in celebrating themonumental progress that has been made to empower For God and My Countryand emancipate the women of Uganda. I testify thatthe women of Uganda have been a formidable pillarbehind the success of the NRM Government. Yoweri K. MuseveniThe Uganda Woman magazine is a candid account PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 3
  • Minister’s MessageWomen of Uganda, I take this opportunity to congratulateyou for making a significant contribution to the 50 yearsof Uganda’s Independence.On this International Women’s day, 8th March, 2012,I call upon all of you to join all Ugandans to celebratewhat we, as the women of Uganda, have achieved so farin the development process of this country. Although weacknowledge the challenges in the past and the challengesto come, we are aware that all our triumphs are but a resultof overcoming difficulties that were previously consideredas insurmountable.As the State Minister of Gender and Cultural Affairs, it ismy responsibility to inform you that this Ministry existsto promote the participation in and benefit from thedevelopment process of both women and men. I am verypleased to note that the women of Uganda have made theircontribution in response to the significant steps taken bythe NRM Government to ensure that the participation ofboth men and women in the development process is at par.I am delighted that the Ministry has instituted amouthpiece- the Uganda Woman magazine throughwhich the contributions of women to the developmentprocess will be continuously recognised and showcased.In this maiden issue, we have published the stories ofwomen who have together with our male counterparts sectors as you will discover when you read the stories inbuilt Uganda from a Colonial Territory into the regional the magazine but I know that there is still some distancepower that it is today. It is for this reason that Uganda will to cover. It is also our responsibility to sustain the gainsbe celebrating its Golden Jubilee. that have been achieved over the years especially during the period that the NRM has been at the steering of thisI take this opportunity to thank His Excellency, President country.Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, for his wise leadership whichhas propelled women to a better level, and in addition, for I call upon your contributions and constructive criticismshis acceptance to inaugurate this magazine. to the magazine so that it can become a worthy mouthpiece for the girls and women of Uganda.Furthermore, I wish to thank the women achievers, whowe have profiled in the magazine most sincerely, for not Finally, I wish to thank all of those who have played a partonly accepting to share their stories with all Ugandans, in organizing the International Women’s Day this year andbut also for the sacrifices they made for this country. In over the years. Your role in empowering girls and womenthe same vein, I wish to thank the journalists and all the in Uganda is hereby recognised.technical people with whom we have worked to produce Fellow women, I, on behalf of Government, pledgethis historic magazine. sustained support towards promoting gender equality andI would also like to thank the United Nations Joint women’s empowerment in the development process.Programme for partnering with us in the production of thismagazine and equally appreciate the various initiatives oflike-minded development partners, women organisationsand the Civil Society as a whole. Rukia Nakadama Isanga MINISTER OF STATE FOR GENDER ANDFellow Ugandans, I call upon you to join our struggle in CULTURAL AFFAIRSthe promotion of girls and women’s empowerment. I amaware that we have achieved milestones in the various4 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • Foreword by the Permanent SecretaryCelebrating a half century of achievement by and for thewomen of Uganda is what this maiden issue of the UgandaWoman magazine is all about. Hence, its launch has beenscheduled to coincide with the commemoration of theInternational Women’s Day on 8th March 2012.In publishing this magazine, the Ministry of Gender,Labour and Social Development is contributing tothe events and activities to mark Uganda’s 50 years ofIndependence. The magazine pays tribute to the womenwho have made a contribution to Uganda’s development.Their tireless efforts led to the review of the marriagelaws, the reduction of gender disparities in education andpolitics, the removal of wage disparities between men andwomen and gave the women in the country the right tovote as early as 1962, when women elsewhere were not yetallowed to vote.Further, the magazine presents the status of women in thevarious sectors today and presents suggestions on what elseneeds to be done.Uganda Woman magazine is one of the publications in thehistory of the Ministry devoted to gender and women’sconcerns. The first publication was a newsletter entitledWomenews which was published between 1990 and 1995. It is the Ministry’s expectation that the magazine provides politicians, policy makers and the public at large withIn conforming to the shift in policy from Women in information geared towards empowering women.Development (WID) to Gender and Development(GAD), the Ministry published the Gender Bulletin in2000. The bulletin differed from the newsletter; whilethe newsletter emphasized Ministry activities, the GenderBulletin presented analytical articles on policy issues,programmes and approaches. Christine Guwatudde KintuThe Ministry also published a quarterly magazine entitled PERMANENT SECRETARYCommunity Dialogue which in addition to promotingthe community dialogue approach to development,highlighted important issues such as gender based violence,culture, maternal health and human rights among others.Uganda Woman will be published bi-annually and willbe distributed all over the country in tandem with thecommunication strategy of the Ministry. The magazineis supported by the United Nations Joint Programme(UNJP) on Gender Equality. UNJP is a programmedesigned to bring together stakeholders from Governmentsectors, Civil Society and the Private Sector to identifyand address inequalities between men and women. UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 5
  • New Vision Photo Securing the future of the Girl ChildBy Mondo Kyateka not have a sweater or any other cloth parish, that I overcame that dark cloud to cover herself with, like most of her in my life.”“Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures” friends. Today at 77 years, Mbire, is one ofis the theme for this year’s International When her mother saw her daughter Ugandas most powerful women withWomen’s Day celebrations. For this suffering in the rain, she took pity on her an impressive resume. Over the yearsUganda is already on track by its and removed the omwenda cloth, the she has run some of the most successfulgender sensitivity to women’s issues. only one she possessed and was wearing businesses, held important public officesThe celebrations will be held in Nebbi on top of her dress, and tossed it to her and mentored many other successfulDistrict. This year’s women’s day is of daughter at the back of the lorry. business women and men in Uganda.particular significance because Ugandais celebrating 50 years of Independence. Mbire received it with a sunken heart Mbires is an example of a woman, who but her mother’s kind gesture of love as a girl, rose from extreme poverty toUganda has many testimonies about touched her greatly. She secretly vowed achieve global acclaim. Her formulawomen’s empowerment from its to success is; prayer, hard work, self-Colonial and post-Independence confidence, integrity and risk taking.periods. In her book, "Shaping of aDestiny", Thereza Mbire narrated her That several women in Uganda haveinspirational life. The last born of eight overcome insurmountable challengeschildren, Mbire grew up in a traditional and continued to dominate the social,society, which believed that girls were academic, political, economic andmeant to take care of the home. When religious spectrum to lead severalat six years she sneaked to school at organizations is a clear indication thatRushoroza, her elder brother beat her girls and women can perform equally asup for disobedience. Then, girls were well as boys and men.not allowed to attend school. It was This realization is important foronly after the intervention of a catechist inspiring girls’ futures. The UN’s themethat she continued schooling. Theresa Mbiire is an advice to families and communitiesOn hindsight, this intervention to inspire girls by involving andsalvaged her from poverty. A small but to herself that one day, she would repay encouraging them to participatetouching incident, then, amplified her her mother generously. “It was at that actively, effectively and equally withfamily’s poverty. One day, while heading moment that the level of our poverty boys at all levels of social, political andback to school from Kabale to Virika in dawned on me and dismayed me greatly. cultural leadership.Fort Portal on the back of an open lorry, That action troubled me for the rest of my life. It was not until I built my Education is key to the empowerment ofit started raining very heavily. She did mother a house and moved her from the women and the girl child. Thus achieving6 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • gender equality in education, and in per 100 live births, it is still below while fetching water for domestic andthe Ugandan society, is a basic human the Millennium Development Goals productive uses. Therefore, womenright. Benefits through education are (MDGs) target in reducing maternal and girls should be supported to securewell known and ably illustrated by mortality to 131 death per 100,000 live water for achieving food security andMbire’s testimony. Economic benefits birth by 2015. improved livelihoods. To improveinclude higher income growth, higher access to safe water in rural areas The Government has put in placewages and more productive farming. where the majority of women live, the measures to address this trend andInvesting in girls’ education and skills Government’s target of overall access to interventions to inspire adolescent girlstraining yields dividends and enables safe water is 1.5kms in rural areas. This to access sexual and reproductive healththem to articulate their views. Girls who target has been realised at a level of 65%. information and services to enablehave been educated are likely to marry The target is to increase access to safe them take control of their sexual andat a later date and to have smaller and water in rural areas to 77% by 2015 and reproductive lives. These include; familyhealthier families. 100% in urban areas by the same period.All challenges in the education sector Government also has focused onthat hinder girls’ education must construction of gravity flow schemesbe addressed by Government, all and piped water supply sources amongstakeholders, parents, the community other things to improve access to safeand teachers. The gender stereotypes water in rural areas.depicted in curricula, educational Other actions that should be undertakenmaterials and practices, teachers’ by different stakeholders to secure aattitudes and classroom interaction better future for girls include:affect girls’ motivation to pursue • Increased awareness creation onscientific and technological training. MGLSD Photo the disadvantaged situation of girlsA national strategy for girls’ education among stakeholders at all levels;was formulated and addresses the gender • Make the girl child, particularlyissues identified as major reasons for girls Children listening attentively those in difficult circumstances,dropping out of school. This strategy is aware of their potential;complemented by the early childhoodeducation and the infrastructure and planning, safe motherhood and male • Educate them about their rightssanitation policies which enable girls involvement in reproductive health. guaranteed by international humanto complete primary school while rights instruments, including the Despite these efforts, challenges stillstill young. The infrastructure and Convention on the Rights of the exist in ensuring access to quality healthsanitation policy promotes gender Child and the Constitution; services and promoting utilizationsensitive sanitation facilities to cater of key health services including the • Enact legislation for girls and for girls’ needs including children with challenge to reduce the maternal and institute various measures tospecial needs. infant mortality ratios to meet the improve her status;Government has since 2004 introduced MDG targets. Gender disparities • The media, religious andthe science policy in a bid to promote still exist between women and men. community leaders should embraceskills acquisition and encourage girls to The Uganda National Health Survey the campaign to protect the rightstake on science subjects. Studies indicate (UNHS) 2005/06 estimated that of the girl child;that girls participate less and perform women constitute of 43.9% of the sick • Encourage women, men, girls andpoorer than their male counterparts in population in rural areas in comparison boys to promote the girls status;sciences. to men who account for 39.4%. • Facilitate the equal provision ofFurther, Government policy of Educated women can recognize the appropriate services and devices toan additional 1.5 points for girls importance of health care and know girls with disabilities and providejoining tertiary institutions is a good how to seek it for themselves and their families with related supportinspiration. Adult literacy education their children. Health workers should services; and,also did a lot to educate the women to provide health education and other health service to enable them deal • Support youth Non Governmentread and write. Organisations in their efforts with their sexuality. This knowledgeWomen and girls health and the helps girls avoid HIV and AIDS, early to promote the equality andrelated sexual and reproductive rights marriages, early pregnancies and the participation of girls in society.continue to be a concern, and have risk of maternal death associated withbeen aggravated by the HIV and AIDS difficult early child-bearing which [Co-authored with Emma Were Tinka,pandemic. Although the number of severely curtails their educational and Public Affairs Officer, Uganda Mediawomen who die due to pregnancy employment opportunities. Centre]complications declined from 505 in2001 to 435 per 100,000 in 2006, Traditionally, the role to collect water Mondo Kyateka is Assistantand the children who die before their for domestic use is a responsibility for Commissioner Youth, Ministryfirst birth day reduced from 88 to 75 females, especially the girl child. They of Gender, Labour and Social walk long distances and take long hours Development UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 7
  • INTERVIEW “I Have been the Voice for the Voiceless” - KadagaThe Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, is the first female Speaker of the House.In an interview with Uganda Woman she speaks about her life, experience, achievements and challengesQuestion: Can you tell us about for a master’s degree in Women’s Law. I Q: What have been youryour early life. am a product of Civil Society in the sense achievements? that before I joined politics I was theAnswer: I am the third born in my president of FIDA [The International A: One of them is the legal aid service;family. My parents were Civil Servants, Federation of Women Lawyers- Uganda it was the first one in the country, nowmy mother was a teacher and my Chapter]. One of the things I did was the Army and the Uganda Law Societyfather was working with the Central to start the legal aid services for poor have started legal aid services as well. ItGovernment. people, to get representation; this was enabled lay people to learn about the on 5th March 1988, at Udyam House. law and enabled women to have a voiceWe lived partly in Entebbe and Naguru The Guest of Honour was the-then in the public domain. I am a role modelin Kampala. I went to Shimoni Chief Justice, Justice W.W.Wambuzi. for many young people. Some new MPsDemonstration School from 1962 to I continued with advocacy for human [Members of Parliament] confessed1968. I was the first African pupil there. rights, and then joined the National that I inspired them.I was then joined by Irene Zikusoka andthe late [Erinayo] Oryema’s children. Resistance Council (Parliament) in I was also the first woman in Uganda to 1989, worked as minister for Regional have law chambers which I opened inAfter Primary Seven, I went to St. Co-operation, Communication; 1982. I enjoyed the Court battles.Catherine Girl’s school in Northern minister for Parliamentary Affairs,Uganda from 1969-1972. At the time, before I became the Deputy Speaker. Q: What have been your mostGovernment was starting up a new girls’ challenging moments?school in Lira so they collected girls Q: What challenges do you face asfrom all over Uganda to start the new Speaker? A: During the election period, youSenior One. From 1973 to 1974, I was A: Fulfilling the expectations of the spend a lot of time looking for money;in Kamuli College, Namasagali, where people of Uganda which are exceedingly you are also subjected to insults andI was the best student; and no one has high. lies. The biggest challenge is intrigue.broken my record in that school since. I You think that you are doing work in Q: Do you think you were elected good faith and yet you are surroundedscored ABBE and a-3 in General Paper. because of affirmative action? by people who are plotting against youLater, I joined Makerere University fora law degree; and Law Development A: No. I was elected because I was the every day. It is one of the challenges weCentre for a diploma in legal practice. I best, not because of affirmative action. have in the public life.then joined the University of Zimbabwe8 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • INTERVIEWQ: How do you deal with the women of Uganda had post-tertiary Q: Have women reached 30%problem of intrigue? education. So you can see that we still parity level in Parliament? have a lot to do in order to bridge theA: I handle this by focusing on my gap. A: We are now 34%. The target iswork and doing things the right way. 50%. Even our neighbours in SADCAlthough we have reached this level, I Q: Ugandan women have [Southern African Developmentcan assure that some parts of this society made gains in terms of women Conference] haven’t yet achieved it.don’t believe that women should be in empowerment compared to otherpositions like these at all. We still live in African countries. What do you Q: Is it time for women to contesta chauvinistic society despite the gains attribute this success to? for the Presidency?the women have made. So many men A: If you look around the Continent,don’t want us in these places. They look A: We have a gender sensitive Constitution. Although there is still Liberia has the first woman president.at us as imposters; they try to frustrate I think in the next fifty years, womenour work and make us appear inefficient. resistance in some quarters, women are still making more demands based on should be more visible at higher levels.Q: What do you think has been their rights and eventually doors will Q: About your childhoodyour impact on governance? have to open for them. experiences, what do you thinkA: I have been a voice for those with Q: If you were to re-live your life, helped you to get where you are?no voice in the public domain. I have what do you think you would have A: I was not a typical Ugandan child.spoken out on issues that affect the done better? My parents were Civil Servants; we hadpopulation. I stay focused on the water, electricity; I would travel in apublic interest, even when we are doing A: I don’t think I would change anything. bus, on the days I had not eaten [spent]legislation; I have kept focus on the the money. On the day I had eaten theinterest of minorities. money I would walk across Nyonyi Q: Who are your role models?Q: Over the last fifty years, how Gardens in Kololo. At break time wehas governance evolved and how A: Ernesto Che Guevara, the took milk with something to eat. Argentinean revolutionary who foughthave women contributed to it? Also, I never failed English. I read an for rights of poor people in Latin Enid Blyton novel each day.A: There has been quite a transition America and died in Bolivia; then, greatover the last fifty years. If you look at the women like Golda Meir, the former Q: What is your recommendationUganda National Council of Women, Prime Minister of Israel; Indira Ghandi for girls to stay longer in school?they started advocating for a better life [former Prime Minister of India];from the 60’s, e.g., in the LEGICO Margaret Thatcher [former British A: Government should ensure that[Legislative Council], there were only Prime Minister], among others. In schools are near them, water is availabletwo female members initially. Today, Uganda, the late Mrs. Rebecca Mulira, so that they don’t have to walk longthere is a change; there are more than Joyce Mpanga, Sarah Nyendoha Ntiro, distances; have libraries for them; and100 women in Parliament. Sugra Visram and Florence Lubega who parents should take interest in their was the Parliamentary Secretary, are my education.Twenty years ago, it was difficult to find role models. Q: Can you update us on thea woman leader even at the lowest level- even at Local Council I. They didn’t Q: How has the 50 years of Domestic Relations Bill?have the confidence to contest. So I Independence impacted on you? A: We are waiting for the reprint. Wethink women have made a contribution hope to pass it before June 2012. On myand given a new face to governance. A: It opened opportunities which I have been able to take up. I don’t think that initiative, the Bill was saved from theQ: Do you think women are closing at the time of Independence any one 8th Parliament.the gap on education and taking thought that there would be a woman Q: Is there anything you would likeup challenging assignments? Speaker in the country. Education has to communicate to Ugandans? enabled us to speak and think better.A: I don’t know whether we are closing A: Lighten the workload for the womenthe gap in education. If you take a census by giving them energy saving stoves so Q: What in your opinion is the wayof the infrastructure in the country, you that they can cook quickly and havefind that for every ten boys’ schools, forward for women in Uganda? time to rest and look after their children;there is one girls’ school. A: Women should be factored in the ensure that water is brought nearer toFor instance, since 1922, Makerere planning process of Government. Their the women so that they don’t have toUniversity still has two halls of voices should be heard right from the walk long distances. I would also like toresidence for women and 10 for men; villages. Today, there are insufficient see Health Centre IIs’ in every parish soKyambogo and other universities have women facilities in tertiary institutions that the women can access them easily.fewer facilities for women, meaning because there are no women to advocatethat we are making progress but are not for them in the ministries. Currently, The Rt. Hon. Rebecca Alitwalaclosing the gap. 95% of the people in the planning Kadaga is also Women meetings are men so they decide for the Representative Member ofIn the last census, only 2.5% of the women. Parliament, Kamuli UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 9
  • A TRIBUTE TO DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSA Tribute to theDevelopment PartnersBy Maggie M. Kyomukama United Nation Capital Development In 2006, the ministry became a partand Dennis Obbo Fund (UNCDF) and Habitat. of the overall programme of support from UNFPA. Under the 6th CountryIn the 50-year history of its post- Among the bilateral agencies, the Programme Cycle (2006-2010), aIndependence period, Government Danish International Development gender component worth 3 millionhas been supported by numerous Agency (DANIDA’s) was among the dollars was initiated to support theagencies and organizations to pursue first to support the NWM. implementation of activities relatedits development agenda including the From 1989–2000 a capacity building to formulation of gender sensitivepromotion of the status of women and programme supported by DANIDA policy and legal frameworks, capacitygender equality. contributed to a number of milestones, building for gender and development the effects of which are still evident programming, advocacy and policyGovernment’s efforts have been dialogue and promoting partnershipscomplemented by faith-based and today. The first-ever National Gender Policy was formulated, sectoral gender with stakeholders to address gendercivil society organizations (CSOs) and based violence (GBV) includingthe private sector, which have made policies and training manuals were developed and data was collected. female genital mutilation and cuttingsignificant contributions to education, (FGM/C).agriculture, health, sanitation amongothers. Likewise, in the area of Further, the British Government,gender and women’s development, through its development agency,Government and communities have the Department for Internationalworked with various development Development (DFID), is supportingpartners and organizations to realize Government to implement a 4-yeartheir goals. (2011-2014) Joint Programme on Gender Equality. Funding is channeledWhen the Ministry of Women in through UN Women.Development, the first NationalWomen’s Machinery (NWM), was The programme which will be launchedestablished in 1988, the United Nations during this year’s International Women’sDevelopment Programme (UNDP) Day celebrations in Nebbi Districtintroduced and supported the Umbrella has an initial funding commitmentProject. It was a comprehensive of 14,900,000 Pound Sterlingset of capacity building and skills’ (approximately US $ 24,767,313) fromdevelopment activities targeting women the DFID-UK for 5 Years (2009-2013).in leadership and decision-making. From 2009 the Irish GovernmentThereafter, various UN organizations supported the ministry for mappinghave been and continue to be close GBV, and subsequently, a programmepartners of the NWM. Among these to address GBV in eight districts ofare; UNDP, UNIFEM which as of June Busoga Region was initiated. The UNICEF Photo2011, became UN Women, United five-year programme (FY 2010/11 –Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 2014/15) brings together stakeholdersUnited Nations Educational and from the Local Governments,Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Mr. Keith McKenzie, former Campaign against Domestic ViolenceUnited Nations High Commissioner Unicef Country Representative (CEDOVIP), the Uganda Women’sfor Refugees (UNHCR), the World handing over education materials Network (UWONET) and a privateHealth Organization (WHO), United to Government officials for a sector firm, Mystic Multimedia, to workNations Fund for Population Activities primary school in Karamoja. towards reducing the vulnerability of(UNFPA), the International Labour communities especially women andOrganization (ILO), the Food and girls to GBV in Busoga Region.Agricultural Organization, (FAO), the10 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • A TRIBUTE TO DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSAt the launch of the programmeon December 9, 2010, theMinister of State for Gender andCulture, Hon. Rukia Nakadama The Senior Citizen Grant:Isanga, reiterated Government’s Enabling women to age with security and dignitycommitment to address GBV By Simon Omodingas a priority development issue.At the same occasion, the- Tereza Nannyonga is a 70-year old widow.then Ambassador of Ireland in She lives in Gogonya parish, Kibiga subUganda, H.E. Kevin Kelly, stated -County, Kiboga District, approximatelythat his Government was fully 5 kilometres out of Kiboga town. Likebehind the various interventions many people her age, Nanyonga sufferson GBV. a debilitating ailment; a persistent and disabling headache that was diagnosed as aAmbassador Kelly’s statement tumour. At her age she is not able to workof commitment was clear: “We anymore to produce enough for her ownsee the protection of human upkeep. She has two grandchildren whorights for both women and men depend on her for food, education, clothingas paramount for achieving the and medication. SAGE Photodevelopment goals set out byUganda; we will provide both Nannyonga is a common example of atechnical and financial support to Ugandan senior citizen. Although she hasa total value of two million Euros children, they live far away and are not An old woman at her homeover a five- year period.” able to support her when she needs help. Statistics indicate that only 7.1 per cent of recognised as a critical component ofThe Government of Norway is older persons in Uganda access pensions national development strategies andcurrently one of the strongest and only 40 per cent of these are women. key to achieving inclusive, pro-poor,allies in the effort to eliminate When the Ministry of Gender, Labour and equitable development. Direct IncomeGBV in Uganda and the French Social Development(MGLSD) initiated Support in the form of regular andEmbassy has made substantive the Senior Citizen Grants in 2011, predictable transfers of small amounts ofcontributions to the campaign Nannyonga was one of the first people to money to vulnerable or excluded citizensfor the abandonment of FGM/C receive the grant in September 2011. is at the core of most national socialthrough collaboration with protection systems.UNFPA. Grants from the embassy “I am blessed to have been identified as a beneficiary. There are many people The provision of Direct Income Supporthave benefited civil society and who would wish to get this money but is a key tool that complements Uganda’scommunity based organisations are unlucky. In September when I got efforts to empower women and addressimplementing activities for the money, I used it to hire people to dig their unique vulnerability. WomenFGM/C abandonment among my garden, in order to improve my food play a critical role for providing thecommunities that practice it. production. Because the money is not basic requirements for their families,As Uganda celebrates 50 years of enough I will use the subsequent grants to particularly children.its existence as an independent access medical treatment, and buy sugar As Nannyonga’s case demonstrates,country the NWM pays tribute and meat,” she says. grandmothers, in particular, play anto the Development Partners important role in caring for their The Senior Citizen Grant (SAGE) andwith whom it has worked and grandchildren. In many cases this the Vulnerable Family Grants (VFG), arewill continue to work in the enables parents to produce food for part of the MGLSD’s Social Protectionchallenging process of women’s their families or enter the labour market. Programme.empowerment. Unfortunately, because of poverty and The grant is given to people who are 65 years vulnerability, women’s resilience and and above (in the case of Karamoja this has ability to provide for their families isMaggie M Kyomukama is the been lowered to 60 years). The VF Grant greatly reduced. Despite significantAssistant Commissioner for on the other hand is given to households Government investments in healthGender and Women in the that have low labour capacity (unable to and education, the poorest and mostMinistry of Gender, Labour work owing to physical disability, old age or vulnerable are failing to access basicand Social Development underage). For SAGE, the selection criteria services. Financial constraints are a keyand Dennis Obbo is the is age, while households who benefit from barrier to accessing health services yetSpokesperson, Ministry of the Vulnerable Family Grant are selected sickness is cited as the major reason forLands, Housing and Urban using a labour capacity and dependency dropping out of school.Development assessment mechanism. Under the schemes, beneficiaries receive Ug Shs 23,000 per Simon Omoding works with the month. Social Protection Programme in Today, social protection is globally the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 11
  • WOMEN’S MOVEMENTWomen EmancipationMovement in UgandaBy Alice Emasu SeruyangeIt is misleading to believe that thesetting up of Gayaza High School(GHS) in 1905 during the Colonial eragave direction to women’s emancipationin Uganda. GHS was not meant toprovide women leaders, but rather, itwas a tutoring ground for the future Martin Ssebuyira Photowives of the Colonial chiefs.GHS did not help to free the womenfrom the traditional patriarchalstructures of society in which culturalpractices consigned the womenfolkas secondary in decision-making, The first LEGICO buildingeducation and property rights. However, Uganda visible internationally. while Oyeru was a permanent secretary.from these beginnings emerged womenwho started organisations to address The UCW spurred female Other influential women were: Florencewomen issues. representation in the Legislative Nekyon, Nancy Kaumbura, Christine Council (LEGICO), the Colonial Cwa, Joyce Mpanga, Joyce Mungherera,According to Uganda Women’s Parliament. The women who were the executive director of YWCA andNetwork (UWONET), the women’s nominated to the LEGICO were or had Miria Kalule Obote.emancipation movement started been in the executive of the UCW. Theinformally. It emerged from women The next Parliament, the National first representatives to the LEGICOwho contended with African cultural Resistance Council (NRC) had four were UCW’s founder Barbara Sabentraditions of ingrained subservient roles, women: Olivia Zizinga, Gertrude and its first president, Alice Boase. Insocial and religious disenfranchisement. Njuba, Janat Mukwaya and Rhoda 1956 Pumla Kisosonkole joined theIn 1914, the Mothers’ Union became Kalema. The participation of women LEGICO and was followed by Sarahthe first women’s organisation to continued to rise and by 1994, there Ntiro in 1958.be formed. The forerunners of this were 50 women out of 280 membersorganisation were the GHS graduates; By the time of Independence the of Parliament (MPs). The participationSala Mukasa and Naome Binaisa. Later women representatives in the LEGICO of women in the political life of thethe Uganda Women’s League (UWL) included: Frances Akello, Florence country continued to rise and to date,was formed by a cross-section of women Lubega, Eseza Makumbi and Joyce women occupy 34% of the positions insome of whom were European and Masembe Mpanga. After 1962, women Parliament.Asian. These two organisations led to were not represented in Parliament During the National Resistancethe formation of the Uganda Council until after the Liberation War of Movement (NRM) Government, otherof Women (UCW) in 1946. According 1979 when, in the-then constituted organisations started to be formed. Someto Aili Mart Tripp, a chronicler of National Consultative Council (NCC), of these included; Action for Women’sthis period of Uganda’s history, in "A Geraldine Namirembe Bitamazire Development (ACFODE) which wasFoot in the Door," “As Independence and Rhoda Kalema joined Parliament. started by Maxine Ankrah. Forum forneared the UCW sought to prepare These were later followed by Teresa Women in Democracy (FOWODE),women to influence public opinion and Odongo-Oduka in 1980. founded by Winnie Byanyima, UgandanGovernment policies which affected UCW was later renamed the National Women’s Network (UWONET) andwomen and the family.” Association of Women Organisations Uganda Media Women’s AssociationThe actions of the UCW concretized (NAWOU), which was later renamed (UMWA) by Margaret Sentamu.into the formation of the inter-racial and the National Council of Women These Non-Government Organisationsnon-denominational Young Women’s (NCW) following a decree by Gen. Idi (NGOs) promoted women’s equalityChristian Association (YWCA) in Amin. In this uncertain period in the and mobilized women for improved1952. Its leaders; Katie Kibuuka and movement, Mary Astles Senkatuka amd livelihoods. They demanded theRebecca Mulira, studied the women’s Hellen Oyeru were the most prominent establishment of policy, legal andmovement in America and played a part women. Senkatuka was minister of administrative structures to promotein making the women’s movement in Culture and Community Development the participation of the women in all the12 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • WOMEN’S MOVEMENTsocio-economic and political aspects of emancipation was the enactment of the ensured the participation of women insociety. 1995 Constitution, often referred to as a governance at lower levels. The 1997 “gender sensitive constitution”. It affirms Local Government Act provides thatThe NRM responded by appointing equality of all persons and prohibits 30% of the seats and local councils arewomen to positions of influence. discrimination based on gender. It was reserved for women.For instance, Dr. Wandira Specioza a result of the women’s involvementKazibawes was appointed vice- Other breakthroughs for the women’s in the constitutional review process.president in 1994, becoming the first movement included HIV and AIDS Around this time, the Government alsoAfrican female vice president. She Prevention and Control Bill (2009), supported Civil Society Organizationsbecame a role model for other women intended to provide a legal framework (CSOs) and committed individuals toand young girls in the quest for women’s for the national response to HIV and promote women by first and foremostadvancement. AIDS. It seeks to protect the rights of establishing and enforcing legal, policy people living with HIV and AIDS.Other women who occupied important and institutional frameworks.offices included; Rhoda Kalema, The National Gender Policy was The steps made by Government includedBitamazire, Rebecca Kadaga who were formulated in 1997 to mainstream the domestication and enforcement ofministers, Ntiro was undersecretary in gender into the national development conventions and the signing of protocolsthe Prime Minister’s Office; and heads process. It improved the social, legal/ with a bearing on women’s rights andof parastatals such as Allen Kagina civic, political, economic and cultural empowerment. Some of these includeof the Uganda Revenue Authority conditions of the women. The women’s movement has taken advantage of the existing legal and institutional framework to build capacity of grassroots’ women. Thus women are encouraged to form savings and credit groups, lobby for financial support, build collaborative networks and strive for economic empowerment. There are also positive indicators of Shawn Makumbi Photo the rising level of awareness on the human rights of women. For instance, today when a school girl conceives, it is not the end of her education, unlike previously. Families and education Members of Mothers Union in Nebbi presenting a goat as a bride price gift authorities are waking up to the reality of the problem and allowing the girls to(URA), Florence Kata of the Uganda the Convention on the Elimination return to school after delivery.Export Promotion Board (UEPB) of all forms of Discrimination against Awareness has also been created inand Margaret Kigozi, who has recently Women (CEDAW) and the Protocol the area of land rights for women.retired as the executive director of the on the Rights of Women in Africa of Previously, only 3 % of women ownedUganda Investment Authority (UIA). 2003. The protocol provides a legal land and controlled family assets; now, framework on a series of issues affecting more women especially the workingFurthermore, in 1988, the women’s women such as how and when to enter elite are becoming economicallymovement led to the establishment or quit a marriage, property rights, independent and aware of their rightsof a ministry in charge of women domestic violence, Female Genital to property.as the National Machinery for Mutilation (FGM) and other forms ofthe Advancement of Women and The formulation and enforcement of abuse and violence against women.Promotion of Gender Equality and laws and policies that protect womenEquity; Joyce Mpanga was its first Further, the legal environment for against abuse and other forms ofminister. women was enhanced with the passing violations have catalysed the women’s of the Penal Code Amendment Bill in movement and will continue to formIn the early 90’s the women’s movement 2006 and 2007. It made defilement a the agenda to address emerging issues.adopted new goals and objectives capital offence. The annulment of Penalmeant to make women more visible [Co-authored with Ikebesi Omoding, Code sections on divorce and adulteryand their voices audible at all levels; a free lance journalist and editor; and in 2007 by the High Court was anothergetting women into strategic decision- National Chairperson of the Uganda success for the women’s movement.making positions; promoting equal Media Union.] The enactment of the Female Genitalopportunities, freedom of speech; Mutilation Private Members Bill into Alice Emasu Seruyange is theinfluencing the enactment and effective law in 2009 imposed tough penalties for Executive Director of Theenforcement of gender responsive laws people practicing FGM. Association for the Re-orientationand policies; and, promoting women’sparticipation in the public spheres. The Government has established a and Rehabilitation of Women for democratic environment that has Development (TERREWODE)The milestone for women’s NGO. UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 13
  • NATIONAL MACHINERYEvolution of the NationalWomen’s MachineryBy Jane Sanyu Mpagi women’s concerns into the national and district development plans, promotingIn 1995, the United Nations (UN) women’s income generating activitiesdefined the National Women’s and promoting participation ofMachinery (NWM) as the central policy women in politics and decision-makingcoordinating unit inside government positions. Currently, the Ministry iswith the main task of mainstreaming responsible for overall formulationthe gender equality perspective in and coordination of policies on genderall policy areas. Previously, National and development focusing on genderWomen Machineries could exist within mainstreaming within the sectors. Itor outside government. also plays a catalytic role and influences action towards gender equality andSince Uganda’s Independence in 1962, President Museveni displaying the women’s empowerment.the national machinery for advancement promulgated 1995 Constitutionof women has been evolving; from an The National Machinery works closelyorganization established by women and with the National Women’s Counciloutside government to a body within established the National Council of (NWC), a statutory organization ofGovernment. Women (NCW) by a presidential decree local assemblies of women, which was to serve as the women’s machinery. The established by law in 1993. The CouncilAt the time of Independence, the NCW was located in the Ministry of draws representation from variousUganda Council of Women (UCW) Culture and Community Development. groups of women including Members ofwas the NWM. It was formed in 1946 While the machinery gained legal Parliament, female youth, and womenby a cross section of women from all over legitimacy, it lost out on bringing on with disabilities among others. Mostthe country to press for Government board voices from autonomous women importantly, the Council mobilizesrecognition and support for women’s organizations because the 1978 decree women and lobbies Government andconcerns. The activities of the Council had banned all the women associations other actors to strengthen support towere focused on reforming marriage in the country. Consequently, the women.laws. Other issues were the right of achievements of the organisation in thiswomen to work and to participate in period were limited. The approaches and strategies used bythe politics and governance. the NWM to promote the status of The NCW continued to be the women have changed over time. FromAt that time, there was no visible recognized NWM during the period the 60’s to the late 80’s, emphasis wasstructure for women advancement of 1980 – 1985. However, it was put on identifying women’s immediatewithin government. The issues of shifted from the Ministry of Culture and practical needs which includedwomen were handled within the and Community Development to the water, credit, and agricultural inputs.Ministry of Culture and Community Ministry of Local Government.Development by the Department of However, with the increasing discourseCommunity Development. The main In 1988, a Ministry of Women in on gender which was influenced by theactivities of the department were geared Development was established in the international thinking of 1990s, thetowards making women better wives. Office of the President. It was later focus became wider. Emphasis shifted merged with the Youth and Culture from addressing women in isolationHowever, a few strategic issues were Ministry in 1991. In 1994 the Ministry to mainstreaming the gender equalityaddressed. For instance, women were was re-named Gender and Community issues in development planning andtrained in leadership. Florence Nekyon, Development and later in 1998 it programming. The Ministry soonwho was a community development became the Ministry of Gender, Labour realized that it did not exist to solicitofficer, narrated that women received and Social Development after the and distribute funds for traditionalthree months leadership courses. merger with labour and social services. types of women’s income generating activities, but rather to plan strategicallyThe first attempt to establish a NWM The Ministry as the National and influence other sectors and actorsinside government was in the 1970s. In Machinery positioned itself to seek for to address gender issues in their1978, President Idi Amin, responding equal rights by women through legal programmes and projects. Accordingly,to the lobby of women organizations, and institutional reforms, integrating the National Gender Policy (2007)14 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • NATIONAL MACHINERYstates that the NWM is charged with and social spheres, guarantees gender the NWM.the responsibility of spearheading balance, outlaws negative culturaland coordinating gender responsive practices and protects maternal rights Despite the achievements anddevelopment and in particular, ensuring of women. opportunities, challenges have alsoimprovement of women’s status. abounded throughout the 50 year Gender disaggregated data is a major journey. For instance, the Civil ServiceThe mainstreaming strategy has component of the mainstreaming Reform of the 1990s reduced theinvolved integrating gender equality strategies. It substantiates arguments number of gender experts from 25issues within legal frameworks with facts on the disadvantaged position prior to 1998 to 10 currently. The gap increased the work load of the remaining staff especially because they need to continuously support the other sectors in gender mainstreaming. In addition, while the shift of the Ministry from the President’s Office to a separate Ministry reflected a move towards autonomy and growth, it also meant loss of clout because what was originally a ministry became a mere department in a larger ministry. However, the merger of the national machinery with other social services functions such as labour, community development and social protectionShawn Makumbi Photo provided an entry point in integrating gender within these areas. Perhaps the major challenge is about Sabiny woman with a load of firewood on her back: tracking progress. Addressing gender There is a need to reduce the burden on women inequality is about changing attitudes, which is a long process and the results cannot be ascertained in the short andincluding the 1995 Constitution, of women vis-à-vis that of men. The medium term.development frameworks like the Ministry works closely with the UgandaNational Development Plan (NDP) Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) to ensure In the past 50 years the NWM hasand in all sectoral plans. Also, Gender that relevant gender disaggregated data shifted from an NGO to a governmentFocal Points have been appointed in is generated. ministry. It has progressively gainedall line ministries to ensure that gender importance and visibility and hasmainstreaming is sustained. Collaboration with like-minded Non been able to influence policy making Government Organisations (NGOs) processes. It has thrived on pressureOne of the notable successes of the is another strategy that the NWM in from the women’s movement coupledmainstreaming strategy and therefore Uganda has employed. The issues that it with the positive political will ofof the NWM was the broadening of the addresses in collaboration with NGOs Government along with its ability towomen’s agenda within the legislative include; gender budgeting, reforming integrate gender into the developmentreforms. The Ministry worked with the legislations, economic empowerment, process. Also, direction at cabinet levelwomen organizations to coordinate gender based violence among others. has given it the political influencenationwide consultations for the Also, strong linkages with the regional needed for gender mainstreaming at allConstitution; a memorandum was and international events have shaped levels.drafted and sent to the constitutional the work of the NWM. For instancecommission. The Ministry’s international instruments which Jane S. Mpagi is the Director formemorandum addressed issues of both Government has signed and ratified such Gender and Community Development,national concern, such as national as the Convention on the Elimination Ministry of Gender, Labour and Sociallanguage, but also specific women’s issues of all forms of Discrimination against Developmentsuch as elimination of discrimination Women (CEDAW) and the Beijingon the basis of sex, property, marriage, Platform for Action, among others haveinheritance and divorce issues as well shaped the mandate of the NWM.as entrenchment of affirmative actionin the Constitution. Consequently, the Most importantly, the political will andUgandan Constitution provides for commitment at the highest level of theequal protection of all people under National Resistance Movement (NRM)the law, ensures women’s rights to equal Government continues to provide anopportunities in political, economic enabling environment for the work of UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 15
  • WOMEN CSOs FOWODE PhotoWomen Organizations:From Humble Beginnings to a Force to Reckon WithBy Rita Aciro Lakor Frances Akello, Sugra Visram, Barbra Doctors, Association of Uganda Women Saben, Pumla Kisosonkole and Sarah Lawyers (FIDA – Uganda), CentreIn the past 50 years, Uganda’s women Ntiro. These and Joyce Masembe for Domestic Violence Prevention,non-governmental organizations Mpanga, Eseza Makumbi were Community Development Resources(NGOs) have played a vital role in instrumental in laying the foundation Network, Department of Genderstrengthening democracy at the family, for women’s organizations in the Studies Makerere University, Disabledcommunity and national levels. Despite country. Women’s Network and Resourcetheir humble beginnings, they have Organization, Empower Children andpromoted civic awareness and fostered Later, UCW was renamed the National Communities against Abuse and Forumdemocratic participation. Association of Women’s Organization of Women in Democracy (FOWODE). in Uganda (NAWOU). ThisThe ideology of emancipation started to organization gained momentum until Others are: Women International Crosstake root with the establishment of the the coup of 1971 when it was banned Culture Exchange (Isis-WICCE),Mothers Union in 1914, arguably the by the Government of Gen. Idi Amin. National Bahai Community forforerunner of the women’s movement. Advancement of Women, Send a Cow,Later, the Uganda Women’s League Later, the Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET) was formed to re- Uganda Media Women’s Association,(UWL) was formed. Leadership in Uganda Women’s Finance Trust andthis organization was provided by invigorate the women’s movement in the country. UWONET was born out of Women Engineers, Technicians andSala Mukasa and Naome Binaisa, the Scientists in Uganda.mother of Godfrey Binaisa, who later the East African Women’s Conferencebecame president of Uganda. held in Kampala in 1993 in preparation There has been a tendency to prioritise for the UN World Conference on the women organizations in urban areasThe UWL led to the founding of the Women in Beijing, China in 1995. It but there is a move to shift attention toUganda National Council of Women is an advocacy and lobbying network the rural areas where the majority of the(UCW) that in turn led to the for the national women NGO’s and women reside and where agriculturalemergence of Young Women’s Christian individuals in Uganda. production is the mainstay of theAssociation (YWCA) in 1952. UCW women’s economic activity. UWONETprevailed on Governor Andrew Cohen Today, UWONET comprises of 16 member associations which include: will soon cease from activism at theto nominate women to the Legislative national level to the rural women’sCouncil (LEGICO), the Colonial Action for Development (ACFODE), Association of Uganda Women Medical organizations so that it tackles issues ofParliament. The first women included: peace building; gender based violence;16 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • WOMEN CSOssexual reproductive health; advocacy; Penal Code Amendment Bill of 2006 Further, since the launch of Universalwomen’s economic empowerment; and, and 2007 where defilement was made a Primary Education (UPE) in 1997, theinformation sharing at that level. Capital offence, has benefitted women number of female intake increased from for the better. three million to 7.6 million in 2003.Women Civil Society Organizations The enrolment of children with special(CSOs) have provided space for women Then, the allocation of the 1.5 bonus needs has increased to 54% for boys andto participate in public affairs and points for girls since 1990 has improved 46% for girls. Also the introduction ofopportunities to upgrade their level women’s intake into universities Universal Secondary Education (USE)of education, contest elections, own significantly. Statistics indicate that inproperty, take up high profile jobs andparticipate in economic activities. Up tothe 1970’s, women formed only 5% ofthe Parliament. There was one womanminister, Mary Astles Senkatuka, whoserved in the portfolio of minister ofCulture and Community Developmentin Amin’s regime and Hellen Oyeruwho was permanent secretary.In the 1980s Parliament, there wereonly Stella Odong Oduka and Rhoda UWOPA PhotoKalema. The ratio of women academicsin top management at the universitieswas at 20% compared to 80% malesshowing an instant increase from the UWOPA members debating gender budgeting1970’s and 80’s which was minimal. Inareas of governance, women have comefrom zero in the early 1960’s to over 2010 Makerere University registered increased the advancement of women30% at all levels. more female students than male from primary to secondary from 46% ones. Out of 13,766 students for the to 69%.The participation of women continued award of degrees and diplomas into rise and by 1994 there were 52 women various disciplines, 6,936 or 50.4% Various educational programmes havein Parliament of 280 MP’s; now there were females while 6,830 or 49.6% been influenced by women organizationsare 202 women out of 332 members. were male. Previously, according to a such as ACFODE, Forum for Women’sWomen’s organizations have benefitted study undertaken in 2008, by Grace Educationalists (FAWE) and individualfrom both the local and the global Bantebya, out of 28 deans and directors efforts of women such as Ruth Kavuma,aspects. For instance, the ratification at the university, 20 were male and 6 former MP of Kalangala, who used herof the Convention on the Elimination females. Similarly, there were 22 males leadership in FAWE to solicit supportof all forms of Discrimination against and 7 females out of 29 deputy deans for vulnerable girls.Women (CEDAW) in 1979, the and directors. Going by the rise ofsigning of the Protocol on the Rights of the female intake, the future promises Yet there are still eye sores. The problemWomen in Africa and the passing of the better for women. of women being overwhelmed with poverty is disturbing. The 2007 Government Report indicates that 38% of the women and children are living below the poverty line. This is an indication that women organizations still have a lot of distance to cover in the quest for women empowerment. [Co-authored with Lominda Afedraru, a journalist working with the Daily Monitor and Susan Muwanga, Senior Women in Development Officer with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development] Shawn Makumbi Photo Rita Aciro Lakor is the Executive Director of Uganda Women’s The Director of Gender and Community Development in the Network (UWONET) ministry of GLSD, Jane Mpagi participating in a womens conference UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 17
  • DOMESTIC RELATIONS BILLThe Domestic Relations Bill:HOW IT HAS EVOLVEDBy Lillian KiwanukaIn 1946, various women’s groupsincluding faith based organizationsestablished the Uganda NationalCouncil of Women (UCW). This wasthe first national women’s organizationto lobby Government to addresswomen’s concerns such as social justice,equality and social development.The UCW set up a committee tostudy the status of women and laterlobbied Government for marriagelaw reforms that would ensure that all Shawn Makumbi Photostypes of marriages including; religious,customary and civil were registered.Other issues the committee tackledincluded; bride price, property andinheritance, rights of succession,women’s right to work and maternity A procession to present gifts at a traditional marriage ceremony in Bugandaleave for Africans. Two majorconferences were held around these reforms to protect them. In October that was tabled in Parliament in 1996.issues. The conference held in Kampala 1963, a committee was set up to review From then on, the Bill has been rejected1960 passed 14 resolutions concerning the issue and in 1966 the Succession over various issues but the controversiesthese matters. Act was enacted. In 1972, the-then hinge on property rights, especiallyThe catalyst for the conference was an president, Gen. Idi Amin, passed a the right to the family land and theunfortunate incident which happened decree for protection of widows and matrimonial home.in the 1950s. A young pregnant in 1973, he passed another decree for The most recent opposition to the Billwidow, Lovinsa Senkonyo Katwe, was registration of customary marriages. took the form of bitter demonstrationsthreatened with eviction from her Fast forward to the night of February 12, in the streets and at Parliament bymatrimonial home because she had only 2012; former Rubaga South Member of Muslims who insisted that their faitha daughter and therefore as females, Parliament, Susan Nampijja, was hacked adequately caters for domestic relationsthey had no inheritance. Instead, all and left for dead by her estranged lover, and therefore for them, the DRB wasthe property including the matrimonial Geoffrey Mukisa. Believing he had unnecessary. The Bill was subsequentlyhome was bequeathed to a boy, the killed her, Mukisa proceeded to a lodge, returned to the URLC and split intohusband had borne with a mistress. booked into a room and took poison. He two so that the Muslims could haveThe husband left Lovinsa with only was discovered and rushed to hospital; their own while the rest had another.a sewing machine he had bought her. but he died days later. It is alleged that Is the animosity towards the proposedThe UCW intervened in this matter the two had been fighting over property law justified? Some lawyers indicate thatand enabled Lovinsa to retain her they had acquired together. the anger is misplaced because the Billmatrimonial home; the heir, however, This is just one of the cases of spouses only seeks to define rights of marriedtook the rest of the property. Lovinsa and/or lovers killing and maiming each and cohabiting couples. By enactingbecame the personification of the other over property. It may not have the law, the Government wouldwomen’s suffering around whom the to come to this if the proposed law on implement Constitution requirements,UCW rallied to push for fair laws. domestic relations had been in place. particularly regarding protection of theIn August 1963, the-then prime most disadvantaged, especially women, The initial draft of the Domesticminister, Apollo Milton Obote, children, widows and orphans. It would Relations Bill (DRB) was drawn inannounced that a committee was to also promote economic development 1980 but it never materialized. Thebe set up to investigate the status of and enhance Uganda’s profile because Uganda Law Reform Commissionmarried women and recommend legal it will have complied with the relevant (ULRC) drafted another Bill in1994 international Conventions.18 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • DOMESTIC RELATIONS BILL read it. Many of the members do not ownership of the matrimonial property have the Bill. What we have is a report,” and if he wants to marry another wife, Kadaga said. he shares his half with the new wife. This is intended to ensure equitable Though Kadaga is optimistic that the distribution of property guided by Bill will be passed into law, Sarah Ntiro the principle of contribution of each is pessimistic. She observes that the spouse. people who should be passing it do not believe in it because they do not want to Another proposal is that any property stop doing the things that the proposed acquired before the marriage shall not law seeks to end. “They want to continue be affected by the marriage. Also, the neglecting women and children; they Bill recognizes the contribution made feel it is giving the women too much by spouses towards property acquired power to challenge the goings- on in by the other spouse. This, too, is society,” she argues. Other skeptics intended to protect the contribution of agree. Religion and traditions are used a spouse to his or her partner’s property. as excuses for violence against women The MDB also recognizes property and disinheriting them of property. rights of cohabiting couples. The recently amended Bill has been When the Bill is eventually passed renamed the Marriage and Divorce into law, various individuals and Bill (MDB). It defines the rights organizations will be credited for the and obligations of the parties in the tireless effort to ensure that the rights marriage. It further addresses the issue of women in marriage are upheld. of matrimonial property and provides Some of the organizations include: for property acquired separately by a the Ministry of Gender, Labour and spouse. Social Development (MGLSD), Further, the Bill provides for property Action for Development (ACFODE) ownership in polygamous marriages. the Federation of Women Lawyers While the old proposal suggested - Uganda Chapter (FIDA) and the that a man would seek permission of National Association of Women’sThe Constitution stipulates that every Organisations (NAWOU). existing spouse(s) to marry anotherperson has a right to own property wife, the new proposal has omittedindividually or jointly. Contrary to Lillian Kiwanuka is a Senior Legal that requirement. Instead, it givesarguments that the DRB will destroy Officer in the Uganda Law Reform the husband and first wife a 50-50the marriage institution, it recognises Commissionthe different kinds of marriagespertaining in the country. Theseinclude: Christian, Bahai, Hindu, Civil,Islamic and Customary marriages. TheBill also seeks to protect both parties ina marriage by spelling out their rightsand obligations. Currently there is nosingle comprehensive law spelling outthe rights and obligations of each of theparties.In 2010 the-then Attorney General, Dr.Kiddhu Makubuya, blocked the secondreading of the DRB. He told Parliamentthat the ULRC was not ready withthe Bill. In December 2011, however,Parliament wrote to the Ministry ofJustice and Constitutional Affairsinquiring about the Bill. The Speaker ofParliament, Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadagaindicates that the Bill will be passed by Shawn Makumbi PhotoJune 2012.“We are waiting for the reprint.The Prime Minister will bring it toParliament and the Committee can Karamojong dancers at a ceremony UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 19
  • WOMEN AND CONSTITUTIONALISM Maitum with her son Women’s contribution to CONSTITUTIONALISMBy Justice Mary Maitum or traditions which are against the do.” Justices Margaret Oguli, Irene dignity, welfare or interest of women; or Mulyagonja of the High Court andUganda has adopted three constitutions which undermine their status. We also Stella Arach Amoko of the Court ofsince 1962. Miria Matembe and I were contributed to the clauses that accord Appeal, are some of my students.the only women in the Constitutional equal rights to a man and womanCommission of 19 people that wrote at, during and at the dissolution of I have fought for women’s rights tillthe current 1995 Constitution. marriage. I retired in 2008. I have settled land disputes, especially on land rightsUganda’s laws are a mixture of English The National Resistance Movement through teaching people about theCommon Law, a result of our Colonial (NRM) Government’s policy of provisions of the law. In so doing, Istatus and the indigenous customary affirmative action and the additional saved women from being evicted orlaws. However, all customs or traditions 1.5 points for women entrants to denied access to the land bequeathed tothat conflict with the statutory laws are universities has enabled many girls them.null and void. Apart from Rwanda’s, to study law while the one thirdour Constitution is unlike that of many representation of women, as guaranteed We have the Association of WomenAfrican countries; it is human rights by the Constitution, has increased Lawyers (FIDA-Uganda); which Ibased and it is pro-women. women participation in decision headed for two terms, the Uganda making at all levels. Law Society (ULS) and the NationalWe fought for equality between men Association of Women Judges inand women and Article 21(1) explains it As older women in the profession, Uganda (NAWJU), through whichwell. Articles 21 (2) and 21 (3) provide we inspire girls to join and to pursue women lawyers are fighting to promotefor equal treatment and prohibits other educational careers. At the Law gender equality, human rights and thediscrimination on grounds of sex; while Development Centre (LDC), where I rule of law. The public is grateful toArticle 26 (1) states that every person lectured for 16 years and later headed the ULS for the free services they giveshall have the right to own property the Research and Continuing Legal to the public and especially to the poor.either, individually or in association Education Department, my advice to It is now a requirement for ULS thatwith others. This is good for women girls was: “Go to school, not to be like before a law firm renews its license, itwhose rights to own land or property me but to excel beyond me. Set personal must have done charity work in thehad been denied for ages. goals that you can achieve. Have faith community. and confidence in yourselves; thatThe Constitution also prohibits laws what a man can do a woman can also Since 1974 when it was established,20 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • WOMEN AND CONSTITUTIONALISMthe ULS with other stakeholders has the Northern and Eastern region overplayed a significant role to counter the issue and so far they are unyielding.and challenge laws and legislationsthat are anti-women. They have been It is only in educated and rich familiesto the Constitutional Court many that a bride price on their girls is nottimes on issues such as inheritance and asked for, otherwise the majoritysuccession, domestic relations, rape in indicate that they are not willing tomarriage and bride price, among others. abandon the practice. In other regions like Buganda, men are afraid ofAchievements have been realized. Now, getting married because it has becomethe law considers the mother as the first too expensive. The introductionguardian to the children in case the (Kwanjula), ceremony has becomehusband dies, unlike before when the commercialized to a level that someguardian/s had to come only from the parents ask for cars, sofa sets and otherman’s side. A woman can only be left out assets. Surprisingly, some womenas a guardian if proved to be incapable.Almost on a daily basis, FIDA fightsfor children’s rights, on issues suchas child maintenance and neglect.FIDA-Uganda operates legal clinics inKampala and its upcountry branches,where women have access to free legalservices. Many women in this countryhave been helped to access child supportfrom stubborn men. Furthermore,FIDA lawyers have counseled, unitedand re-settled broken families.The law was polite on adultery; that it isonly adultery when a married man doesit with a married woman, yet a married Lady Justiceswoman commits adultery with either amarried or single man. We have changed support this arrangement. The same International Cross Cultural Exchangethis such that everybody commits goes for practices like forced marriages (Isis –WICCE), the National Women’sadultery the same way. Now, the law and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Organization of Uganda (NAWOU)states that under normal circumstances and several others at the communitya widow can re-marry without vacating In other sectors like the Cabinet, level are playing their part in shaping theher matrimonial home, just like Parliament, the East African Legislative legal environment in Uganda. They arewidowers; it only becomes tricky for Assembly (EALA), media, banking/ in a coalition working for the enactmenther to re-marry if the house or land finance and health, women are engaged into law of the Domestic Relations Billbelonged to the man’s family. in promoting women’s rights through (DRB) that should be tabled during the advocacy, policies and programmes 9th Parliament.Similarly, NAWJU is promoting the that promote rights of the poorest andstatus of women. It is training judicial marginalized in society who are the The coalition’s goal is to have a fairofficers on human rights and rights, women, girls and the disabled in rural family law based on principles of non-instruments; such as the Convention areas. There are also several women discrimination and gender equality.on the Elimination of all Forms of Non-Governmental Organizations Despite the several challenges thatDiscrimination against Women (NGOs) and community based the country has in enforcing its laws,(CEDAW). It also trains officers groups working with and for women. Ugandans should be proud of thein counseling, property division, At the grassroots, women have been remarkable work done in the promotioninheritance, equality and how to apply involved in the legal affairs by attending of women’s emancipation and genderthem effectively in the courts. meetings, workshops and other fora equality. organized to gather and capture viewsDowry and bride price is still a problem and the community input into new lawsas an example of a tradition that or programmes. Their views and ideas [Story co-authored with Maggieundermines women. Why should a form the basis of the various policy and Mabweijano and Sarah Muwanga.woman be paid for? As if that is not research documents. Sarah Muwanga is a journalist withenough, why should dowry be paid Uganda Media Women’s Association]back if the marriage fails? Dowry Women NGOs, coalitions and networksshould not be compulsory; and if paid, like, the Uganda Women’s Network Lady Justice Mary Maitum is ait cannot be returned. We have engaged (UWONET), Forum for Women’s retired judge of the High Courttraditional and other opinion leaders in Development (FOWODE), Women’s UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 21
  • GENDER New Vision PhotoJudiciary PromotesGender SensitivityBy David Ndikabona Batema neutral then you will find that they are commits adultery but having sex with gender blind. unmarried woman was not consideredIn 2000, a team of Ugandan judicial an offence. This same law acted contraryofficers undertook a course in gender When I sentenced a man in Mbale to women because a married womanstudies in Women’s Law at the Chief Magistrates Court to 10 years caught having sex with either a marriedUniversity of Zimbabwe. It has brought imprisonment on charges of theft or unmarried man would be punishedabout change in the entire judicial in 1990, the convict insulted me severely.system. saying: “How can this little boy who is uncircumcised give me such a sentence, Others laws include the law on abortion,The judicial officers included Ms. doesn’t he know that I am actually which is used to punish the woman andFlavia Namulaba, a former inspector a real man?” The man’s emphasis on not the men who cause the pregnancy.of Courts (now a Minister of State); circumcision is a gender issue. In terms of cases, matters arising fromMs. Rebecca Kadaga (now Speaker defilement and rape are key concerns ofof Parliament), Justice Christopher This means that gender sensitivity in judicial sensitivity.Madrama, Henrietta Wolayo and I, the Judiciary was non-existent fromDavid Akky Ndikabona Batema. the time of Independence. For instance A recent report by Save the Children there is a law which enables people to Fund cited 12,230 defilement casesIn the first phase, we studied a diploma present land titles in order to obtain reported in 2007 compared to 15,385in law and later pursued a master’s a bank loan. The law is questionable in 2005. The Police Crime Report ofdegree in Women’s Law in 2003. After because women have no land titles and 2008 indicates that a total of 10,366 sex-pursuing this training, my perception therefore they cannot access bank loans. related cases were registered. 8,635 wereabout gender issues changed. I realized Gender unbalanced laws include the defilement cases; 4,124 were producedthat some laws are gender biased while law of succession, which gives mandate in court and 33 convictions wereothers are gender neutral. If you lift the for a man to be heir; the scrapped law made. Of the 1,536 cases of rape wereveil of laws that appear to be gender on adultery, which stated that a married registered in the same year, only 241 man having sex with a married woman were taken to court and 52 convictions22 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • GENDERwere made.Our Zimbawe team has formed theJuries Prudence of Equality Project( JPEP), which has embarked on trainingjudicial officers on gender sensitivity inthe Judiciary. We even acted a play ondomestic violence titled, “The Convict”.The Judiciary handles culture, religionand law in uniformity despite theattributes of various cultures. Forinstance, in some cultures, women areprevented from eating certain types offood; and are supposed to keep silentabout pressing issues, like female genitalmutilation (FGM).About marriage, judicial officials areencouraged to ask “silly” questions suchas: “Who said marriage is a bed of rosesyet it is full of thorns? The law makes Mr. David Akky Ndikabona Batema, the Deputyreference to the customary heir, how Registrar of the Jinja High Courtabout customary heiresses? longer live together to divorce. Grade One, 35 are female.Further, there is no religion whichis gender sensitive: Islam encourages Gender mainstreaming in the Judiciary The Judiciary is trying to create amen to beat the women if they are big- is on-going because transfers and gender-sensitive environment at theheaded; in Christianity, women are promotions of judicial officials is courts by providing facilities such asinferior to men; and, all religions teach now based on gender equality. Out children’s playing rooms, rooms forthat man to be the head of the family. of 58 Judges from Supreme Court to breast feeding mothers because manyTherefore, the Judiciary teaches people High Court, 16 are female; and of women seeking litigation before courtto question religion; that is why there 29 registrars, eight are female. Of the come with children.is a go-ahead for couples who can no 83 magistrates ranging from Chief to Many judicial officers are now passing gender-sensitive judgments. For instance, Justice Edmond Lugayizi rejected corroborating evidence to prove a defilement case. As long as the little girl has given evidence pinning the defiler, that is enough to land him in jail. Justice Kibuuka Musoke passed a judgment in a Masaka Court proving that marital rape is a crime which must attract the maximum sentence. There are still many existing challenges such as rigidity of a few judicial officers to gender sensitivity, lack of buckets in wash rooms to care for women’s needs and lack of facilities for the babies of women who are accused. [Co-authoured with HadijahShawn Makumbi Photo Namuddu, Women in Development Officer, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and Lominda Afedraru] A culture of keeping girls silent: a Pokot girl carrying her baby; David Ndikabona Batema is a Deputy by the age of 9 years, almost all Pokot girls have been circumcised Registrar at the Jinja High Court UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 23
  • GENDER AND MEN’S INVOLVEMENTEngaging Men and Boysin Gender EqualityBy Crescent Tirinawe health, HIV and AIDS prevention and aggressive sexual behavior on the part of reduction of gender-based violence have young men are often applauded by peersA provocative but informative been brought on board. and condoned by society.campaign: “Get off the Sexual Network”, In many countries UNFPA engages boys Clearly, men need to be involved iflaunched three years ago created a and youth on sexuality, family life and gender equality is to be achieved andbuzz. The advertisement splashed on life skills education to address current reproductive health programmes arehuge roadside billboards, and sponsored stereotypes about masculinity, male to succeed. Research findings indicateby the Uganda Health Marketing risk-taking behavior and to promote that men also want to be involved andGroup (UHMG), indicate that HIV their understanding of and support for that many welcome the idea of mutuallyand AIDS is prevalent among married women’s rights and gender equality. satisfying relationships built on trustand co-habiting people and those with and communication. It also stands truemultiple partners. Meanwhile, the Multiple relationships by men that when leaders are presented withadvert is silent about the most-at-risk illustrate the vulnerability of women. relevant data, they can become valuablepopulations such as commercial sex They cannot achieve sexual and allies in addressing various reproductiveworkers, truck drivers, and fishmongers. reproductive health – or even gender health issues. equality - without the cooperation andThe UHMG campaign has been participation of men because usually, it Towards this end, various initiatives andpopular as a conduit for disseminating is the men who indulge in more than programmes should seek to motivatemessages on the prevention of HIV and one relationship. Men also control the men’s involvement in promotingAIDS and other sexually transmitted frequency of sexual activity and the use gender equity, equality and women’sinfections. A number of communication of contraceptives. empowerment. Also, boys shouldmethods are used for the urban, be encouraged to reflect upon andeducated, wealthier target audience Furthermore, men control access to discuss issues surrounding masculinity,such as Face book, television and radio reproductive health information and relationships and sexuality so as tospots, local theater and radio skits with services, finances, transportation and deconstruct negative, high-risk andcall-ins. Other HIV and AIDS adverts other resources. They wield significant harmful attitudes.such as “Go Together, Know Together”, power over many aspects of women’sto promote counseling and testing for lives.couples is also being carried. It is hoped From an early age, boys are socialized [Co-authored with Emma Were Tinka]that through this phased approach, into gender roles designed to keepcampaign messages will promote mutual men in power and in control. Many of Crescent Tirinawe is a Senior Gendermonogamy and reduce promiscuity. them grow up to believe that dominant Officer in the Ministry of Gender,Various non-government organizations behaviour towards girls and women is Labour and Social Development(NGOs) have cued to support part of being a man. Risk-taking andprojects that emphasize men’s roles inreproductive health. The projects targetdifferent groups of men includingsoldiers and religious leaders to achievedifferent goals, ranging from HIVand AIDS prevention to greater maleinvolvement in family life. In Uganda,the United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA) has successfully partneredwith opinion leaders including elders,traditional leaders, bishops and imamsto promote responsible behavior andend harmful traditional practices.For decades, UNFPA has worked with Shawn Makumbi Photothe defense sector to reach out to menwith information, education and serviceson family life and family planning.Lately, other issues such as reproductiveand sexual health concerns, maternal A woman doing work that is regarded only meant for women24 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • GENDER AND MEN’S INVOLVEMENTAddressing GenderBased ViolenceBy Laureen Karayi and Sandra Despite the cost implication of violence • Ensuring holistic approach inKomuhiimbo against women, social set-ups, values addressing GBV issues at household and beliefs in almost every society in level, institutional levels, workplacesGender Based Violence (GBV) is the world, continue to ignore this abuse. and in the communities.defined as the physical, sexual, or This significant social problem inpsychological violations which are Uganda has been found to originate • Involvement of stakeholdersinflicted by man or woman on a from institutionalized male dominance including the Central Government,member of the opposite sex. Important as opposed to female subordination, Civil Society Organizations, Faith-to note is that both males and females leading to unequal power distribution Based Organizations, Traditionalcan be victims as well as perpetrators of in the home and the society. Leaders Local Governmentviolence. Authorities and the Development Ending GBV is a challenge which Partners should be ensured andNumerous studies have indicated that can be addressed with political will sustained;in Uganda, GBV in the family is mostly and commitment at national, local • Ensuring the establishment ofperpetrated by men against women government and community levels. systematic strengthening of theand children. GBV violations which GBV can be reduced by; GBV intervention measures,are experienced by females include responsiveness and preparedness ofwife abuse, sexual assault, dowry- • Mobilising communities to address customary beliefs and values all stakeholders; and,related abuse, marital rape, selectivemalnourishment of female children, which have been determined • Supporting and implementingforced prostitution, Female Genital by male supremacy and women capacity building programmes forMutilation (FGM) and sexual abuse of subordination; duty bearers and rights holders tofemale children, among others. • Advocacy campaigns aimed at reduce GBV. influencing policy reform, educatingViolence against women is the most the populace on the available legalpervasive yet under-recognized human framework, the available services Laureen Karayi and Sandrarights violation in the world, and a and enhancing local community Komuhiimbo work with the Ugandamajor impediment to achieving gender involvement in the reduction of Women’s Network (UWONET)equality and national development. GBV; UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 25
  • PROFILESProfiles of 50 Women AchieversThe selection of 50 women for inclusion in this maiden issueof Uganda Woman is meant to pay tribute to Ugandan women "The men/women who succeed best in public lifewho have been at the forefront of womens empowerment. The are those who take the riskpanel that selected these 50 women is cognisant of the fact of standing by their ownthat this list may not be exhaustive but hope that the stories conviction"and achievements of these women will inspire girls and women James Garfieldto new heights and propel the womens movement. 1st Woman Speaker of Parliament: Rebecca Alitwala KadagaShe is the current Speaker of Parliament and the first female to be elected to this post in the history of Uganda.Formerly, she was the Deputy Speaker of Parliament in 2001, a post she held until Thursday 19 May 2011, whenshe was elected Speaker of the 9th Parliament.The Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Kamuli District WomensConstituency, a position she has served in since 1989.[See interview, pg 8-9]. Tesos pre-Independence legislator: Frances AkelloWhen in 1951 at Ngora Primary School in Teso, XX 111; in Geneva she dined with the-then UN SecretaryFrances Akello, then 15, was chosen by the Franciscan General, Dag Hammarskjold. On her return, she becameMissionary Sisters for Africa to star in the film, More a goodwill ambassador, visiting schools and talkingthan I Can, she did not know where her life would lead to girls about how to overcome the societal prejudicesto. It became a tale of surprises and relentless struggle against women.for women rights. In 1960, she was nominated to the pre-Independence“How I was picked when I was in P.5 defeats my Legislative Council (LEGICO) by Governor Sir Frederickunderstanding. It did not occur to me that it was Crawford. At 24 years, she became the first womansomething important. It was the beginning of my public representative from the East and Northern Uganda. She Akellos illustrious career revolves around advocacylife because the film was shown worldwide,” she says. followed Pumla Kisosonkole, earlier nominated in 1956 and leadership of women at all levels. “My interest has and Sarah Ntiro in 1958.Akello was one of the first Ateso girls to join the always been the promotion of human rights. If humanprestigious Namagunga Girls School in 1954. She Akello says Ntiro nurtured her well in parliamentary rights are promoted, we wouldn’t be talking aboutthen studied for diplomas in Education at Makerere procedure. She credits Ntiro for spearheading a marginalization of women."University College and in Leeds University, the United campaign on Girl Child education in secondary schools. In 1998, Akello helped to form Teso Initiative for PeaceKingdom. Later she became a tutor at Bukedea Teachers As a result of their lobbying, Tororo Girls’ school was and also participated in the Juba Peace Talks betweenTraining College. established. the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Government. InAkello became an activist. In Ngora she rebelled Despite the limited number of women in the LEGICO, 2001, she worked with Uganda Debt Network, and helpedbecause of poor feeding. In Namagunga she opposed they served in various committees including one on form the Teso Anti-Corruption Coalition. Presently, shethe practice of older girls bullying younger ones and this the determination of the national flag colours. The is the finance minister in the Iteso Cultural Union (ICU)led to the expulsion of the ringleaders. Bullying became marginalization of women was even evident in the and vice chairperson of Council of Marcus Garvey Pan-a punishable offence. Akello was also at the forefront of composition of the committee that went to UK for pre- African University in Mbale.fighting for teachers’ rights. Independence talks. “I was disappointed that no woman She says that Government’s affirmative action has was in the group that went to Lancaster House.” AfterIn 1959, she had an opportunity to visit nine European uplifted the standards of living of women in Uganda and Independence Akello did not contest for Parliament andcountries to study youth formation and organizations. emphasizes education as a key to women empowerment. went back to teaching.While in Rome she got a public audience with Pope John26 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • PROFILES Uganda’s 1st Woman Graduate: Sarah NtiroBy Ann Mugisa and Susan Muwanga under a tree shade and asked to talk to me. You want to embarrass my husband; who do you think you are?Sarah Ntiro is a woman of many firsts. said Lady Cohen. “I said, ‘Excuse me, who are you? WeShe was one of the first two women in the LEGICO haven’t been introduced? Who is your husband and how(1958-61); she started the Teaching Service Committee am I embarrassing him?”(1965-67). She was among the founders of the firstwomen movements in Uganda, the Uganda National That is how they became unceremoniously introduced.Council of Women (UCW); the Young Women Christian Ntiro and the Governor’s wife then sat down and soonAssociation (YWCA) where she also served as Executive discovered they had both been to the same school, St.Vice President for Africa (1971-79). She was also a Annes College at Oxford University. The older woman have done it.” Furthermore, she successfully pushed formember of the Uganda Association of University Women, said: “I will write and tell the Principal that you have legal recognition of non-governmental organizationsFamily Planning Association of Uganda and co-founder done your work.” (NGOs) despite stiff opposition.and Patron of the Development network of IndigenousVoluntary Organisations (DENIVA). This event catalysed the abolition of discriminated In the 1970s, she had a brush with the Government of wages along gender lines in Uganda and that is Gen. Idi Amin who suspected her of misleading AnglicanEvery aspect of Ntiro’s life is a captivating story on how Ntiro came to earn the same salary as her male bishops including the then Archbishop Silvanus Wani.its own. She started her education at Duhaga Girls’ colleagues such as: Erisa Kironde of King’s College She chaired a commission and made a report on theBoarding school, then Kings College Buddo before Buddo; James Aryada of Nabumali High School and terms and conditions of service of Church of Ugandajoining Makerere College, then. Here, her White lecturer, William Rwetsiba of Ntare Secondary School. employees. The report recommended that younger andMargaret Graham, enrolled her for further studies in more progressive people would be employed.London, where she did both her Bachelors and Masters In 1958, the Governor named Ntiro to the Legislativedegrees before returning home. She fled the country to Kenya where she established the Council (LEGICO) because she came across as serious Education Consultancy of Higher Education for African and principled. With her father’s blessings, Ntiro took upAs a newly graduated teacher in Gayaza High School in Refugees. her seat. It is in the LEGICO that she dealt the final blow1956, right from Oxford University, Sarah Evangeline to wage discrimination. She returned after the National Resistance MovementNtiro Mugizi Nyendwoha Akiiki refused her salary of Shs75 because her male colleagues were paid Shs 100. This (NRM) took over in 1986 to an appointment as the She initiated a private member’s Bill providing for equal Director of Aid Coordination in the Prime Minister’sled to a confrontation with the Colonial Governor’s wife, pay for equal work. She had lobbied the Government Office.Lady Hellen Cohen. side as well as the Opposition ensuring that everybodyThe Headmistress, Miss Joan Cox, reported her to Lady voted for it; and it became law. One of the older White Ann Mugisa works with The New Vision and SusanCohen who came to the school over the matter, relates front benchers turned around in admiration and told her; Muwanga is a senior Women in Development Officer inNtiro, “The headmistress came with a lady as I taught “Little girl you’ve done it. For them to think like us, you the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development A Life of Service: Janet Kataaha MuseveniWhen her husband became President in 1986, the She says that from childhood, she has had a passioncountry had been shattered after years of war and bad to lift up those who are down. She says that she alwaysgovernance. Many families had been separated and loved the old people and felt sorry for the fragile or themany children had been orphaned during the turmoil. very poor, and that with time, this grew into a need toShortly afterwards, HIV and AIDS claimed the lives of serve humanity.many parents and so many children orphaned. According to her, she has realised this through herJanet Kataaha Museveni, the wife of President Yoweri efforts to raise orphans and vulnerable children, protectMuseveni realised that she could make a difference if abused girls and try to provide direction for the youth. Toshe helped these children. She founded an organisation, this end, she started national youth conferences every Museveni who professes to being a born-again Christianthe Uganda Women’s Efforts to Save Orphans (UWESO), December so that the youth would come together to learn says. “To serve mankind, is to serve God and thereforethrough which she provided a family-like environment to and be counseled about directing their energies to living to serve a higher purpose and answer to even a muchbring up these children. She worked with grandmothers lives of purpose. higher calling. This calling goes beyond position andwho had survived the scourge and were looking after the influence, as the world sees it, but calls for a lot moreorphans. As the Minister for Karamoja, one of the least developed responsibility, great care and courage in the face of parts of Uganda, which usually suffers severe food challenges.”“I am glad that many years down the road, these children shortages. She has initiated programmes to helphave grown, finished school and are independent, Karimojong women to grow enough food for their It is this responsibility that she tries to emphasise andupright citizens raising their own families. As a mother communities. She also launched programmes for safe wants to pass on to the next generation.and now a grandmother, it gives me a lot of joy to see motherhood countrywide, provided micro-credit forchildren who were neglected and had no hope, now raise women in Ntungamo, provided guidance and counseling “Our work has been an attempt at showing gratitude totheir own families and even take leadership positions clinics for youth with HIV and AIDS. God for the life He has given us and for returning ourin various sectors in our country,” Mrs. Museveni states country to a path of growth and development; a pathwith satisfaction. “Serving, for me, has always flowed from my belief that cares for human lives and is optimistic about the in the purpose that God gave me here on earth,” Mrs. future,” Mrs. Museveni concludes. UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 27
  • PROFILES First African female Vice President: Dr. Specioza Wandira KazibweSpecioza Wandira Kazibwe was born in Iganga in executive committees were reserved for women.District on July 1, 1955. She attended primary schoolin Busoga and then joined the prestigious all- “I was motivated by my mother who always spokefemale Catholic Mount Mary’s Namagunga boarding out against injustice,” Wandira-Kazibwe says. “Mysecondary school. mission is to see the emancipation of rural women through functional skills development and accessShe entered Makerere University in 1974 and to micro-financing to ensure internally generated Generation in Africa member. In 1998, she foundedgraduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor improvement,” she says. the African Women Committee on Peace andof Surgery (MB, ChB) degree in 1979. She obtained Development (AWCPD), whose objective is to enablea Master of Medicine degree (M. Med) in 1985, Kazibwe joined President Museveni’s Government women’s participation in peace and developmentspecializing in surgery. in 1989, as deputy minister for Industry and processes on the Continent. She has also been Technology. From 1991 to 1994, she served in chairperson and a member of various nationalKazibwe began her political career as a student various capacities as: minister for Women in interest groups, including the Senior Womensleader at Makerere during President Idi Amin’s Development Culture and Youth; Minister for Gender Advisory Group on the Environment, the Ugandaregime. Then, she was a member of the youth and and Community Development; Minister of Tourism Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited and thewomen’s leagues of the Democratic Party (DP). and Wildlife; Lands; Public Service; and, Agriculture, Uganda Women Doctors Association. Animal Industry and Fisheries.When the National Resistance Army (NRA) came to She joined the world reknowned Harvard Universitypower in 1986, Dr. Kazibwe was elected as a Local She was then appointed Vice President in 1994 and to pursue a doctorate in International Health PolicyCouncil 1 Secretary for Women in Bugolobi. She became the first African female Vice President. In and Economics. She has since graduated with abecame a mobilizer for Nakawa Division in Kampala this position, she continued to push for the rights of Doctorate in Global and Population Health. Currently,City Council. women. She supported the Domestic Relations Bill Wandira-Kazibwe is serving as Senior Presidential with the intention of ensuring that spouses would Advisor on Population and Health.In 1996 she was elected Member of Parliament (MP) share property equally.for Kigulu South in Iganga District. She was a strong In 1998, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)advocate for special seats for women in Parliament Kazibwe is a board member for the Coalition for awarded her the “Ceres Medal” for her contributionfor each district so that the gender disparity would Dialogue on Africa (CODA); also of the International to food security and poverty eradication.be reduced. It was because of her efforts that seats board of The Hunger Project (THP); and an HIV Free The enduring strength of YWCA: Joyce MunghereraFor over 30 years, Joyce Mungherera was the advocate against domestic violence in Africa andpersonification of the Uganda Young Women’s she played a critical role in educating women aboutChristian Association (YWCA), until she retired HIV and AIDS. She served on many United Nationsrecently. She provided leadership against daunting (UN) committees and was involved in the planning ofodds. the Beijing Conference on Women in 1995.She kept YWCA alive during the 1970s, when the A Freedom-from-Hunger laureate, Mungereradictatorial Government of Gen. Idi Amin dismantled emphasizes that supporting women at grassroots isUganda’s non-governmental organizations (NGOs). the best way to advance a community. By mobilizingAmin threatened to execute her if she did not close village women, she built one of the world’s strongestit down; she went into hiding instead and tirelessly networks for women’s literacy. In the process shecontinued her work underground. became an inspiring example of a strong and incorruptible grassroots leader who has created an project, each woman gave her cow’s first female calfUnder her leadership, YWCA became one of the most enduring future for Ugandan women. For her efforts to another woman in the community, thus spreadingtrusted and respected grassroots advocates. The she was nicknamed, "General Joyce". nourishment, hope to families and sustainability forGovernment entrusted the organization to administer the project.Uganda’s first revolving credit scheme for rural Mungherera has represented Ugandan womenwomen which was very successful. What began as at international fora; such as the 1975 Nairobi Her international recognition also came in hera small, grassroots operation is now a 1.6 million Conference on Women Decade, the 1994 International election to the vice presidency of the World YWCA.member organization, and one of the largest NGOs Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) inin Africa. Her guidance has led to improvement of Cairo and the Beijing Conference on Women in 1995. Mungherera’s activism, vision, determination,women’s literacy and increased access to family It was in 1995 that she received the UN Africa Prize passion and leadership have been an importantplanning. for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger. force in empowering women throughout Africa.As a network, YWCA developed innovative educational, She was honoured for a project launched by theeconomic, health and social programmes for women YWCA, which gave cows to women as a source of foodand children. Mungherera was an outspoken and sustainable revenue for their families. In this28 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • PROFILES Woman of a Fighting Spirit: Joyce MpangaBy Ann Mugisa This led her to seek a seat in the LEGICO. There, Mpanga successfully brought a private member’sFrom childhood, Joyce Mpanga showed a relentless Bill on Hindu marriages to protect Indian women. Thefighting spirit. Her grandfather, influenced by Indian women had lobbied her and her colleaguespatriarchy system, criticized her for being a girl, so they could remarry because they were beingdespite her being clever. “It is a pity that you have mistreated and even killed by their husbands.brains but they will never apply anywhere,” he hadsaid. She also founded the Uganda African Teachers’ hitherto lacking women’s policy was initiated. Association (UTA) through which she fought for It became the basis for the making of the gender“To know that I am bright, that motivated me; but desegregation of the teaching service.it also spurred me to prove to my grandfather that I sensitive 1995 Constitution. In 1988, Presidentam not a waste because I am a girl,” the soft-spoken Yoweri Musevevi created a ministry for women’s Mpanga says that the women’s struggles for affairs in the President’s Office, naming it, Womengrandmother, 79, says. Her father made the decision recognition and equality have been going on forto take her to school at a tender age of six. in Development (WID). Mpanga was appointed its decades. It started with groups like the Mother’s minister. Union, Young Women Christian Association (YWCA)Mpanga was one of only 13 girls who joined Makerere and the Girl Guide Movement.University in 1960. After graduation with a BA in She solicited funds from donors for women’s projects.Education, she became Deputy Headmistress of Money came in from Danish and Swedish agencies, In the 1970s, President Idi Amin decreed the National the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF),Makerere College School. At first the Colonial Council of Women (NCW) as the all-inclusiveSecretary for Education prevented her from the United Nations Fund for Population Activities women’s organization. But working under NCW the (UNFPA) and the World Bank and it was channeledpursuing further studies, but she found her way to other organizations revived. When the NRM tookthe University of Indiana in the United States for a through the locally-created non-governmental power in 1986, Mpanga was elected NCW president. organizations (NGOs). For the first time, issues ofMasters’ degree. On return, she still faced genderdiscrimination when both Kyambogo and Buloba safe motherhood were addressed. As a result of the Commonwealth conferencesTeachers’ colleges rejected her. in Harare, Zimbabwe and Vancouver, Canada, a A lot more to do: Rhoda KalemaBy Anne Mugisa and Susan Muwanga Parliament (1962-1970) had only three women in it, two of whom were from Buganda. There wereRhoda Kalema, is an 82 year old grandmother who only two in the National Consultative Council (NCC)has been at the forefront of the women’s struggle. (1979-80) and she was one of them. The number hasShe was educated at Kings College Buddo and since grown because of affirmative action to overlater completed a Social Studies certificate course 130 women MPs, 112 of whom are on an affirmativeat Edinburgh University. She recalls with nostalgia district woman’s ticket. Uganda Council of Women led to the making of thethe iconic women who fought for the recognition and inheritance law that enabled women and girls torights of women in Uganda. However, despite the unprecedented rise of the share family property. numbers of women in Parliament, the biggest in anyIt is easy to take for granted the fact that Ugandan Parliament in the world, Kalema feels that Women Kalema has had an illustrious political career. Shewomen can vote, choose to study Medicine or Members of Parliament (MPs) seem to be detached joined Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) in 1961 andEngineering and contest Parliament. Unknown to from the community. She feels that the women MPs KabakaYekka in 1962. She was appointed Deputymany, this was a result of an arduous struggle of could do better in fighting for the education of the Minister of Culture and Economic Development afterwomen who fought to ensure that the rights we take girl child, fighting vices like defilement and school Idi Amin was overthrown in 1979. After the Nationalfor granted now were realised. dropout. Resistance Movement (NRM) came to power, she contested and won the Kiboga County seat in theFor instance, Ugandan women were allowed to Kalema is proud that she was part of those women National Resistance Counci lin 1989. That same year,vote in 1962 long before others elsewhere. The organisations which played a role in transforming President Museveni appointed her Deputy Minister ofpromulgation of the 1995 Constitution that expressly the lives of women in Uganda. She is still a member Public Service and Cabinet Affairs, a position sheoutlaws segregation on the basis of sex was to her, a of some of those that have survived till now as well held until 1991. She stayed in Parliament until shetriumphant culmination of all their efforts. as the new ones created in the 1980s. retired in 1996.“The right to vote for Ugandan women was not Some of the old organisations include the Mother’s For all her contribution to transforming women,automatic. There were many things that women were Union and the Young Women Christian Association. Kalema has been recognised by differentnot allowed to do. As Sarah Ntiro and Joyce Mpanga The recent ones are the Action for Development organisations. FOWODE awarded her a prize fortestify, the girls were even not allowed to study (ACFODE), Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET), transforming young women in 1996 and in 1997Medicine or Mathematics at Makerere University Forum for Women in Development (FOWODE), Forum Isis-WICCE awarded her with a Woman Achievementsupposedly because they did not have the requisite for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), National Award for fighting for the development of women. Onbrains,” Kalema says. She is grateful that that Prof. Association of Women’s Organisations in Uganda October 9, 2009, the Government decorated her withJosephine Nambooze Kiggundu, the first female (NAWOU) and the Women International Cross Cultural the Nalubale National Award.doctor in Uganda and East Africa, could demystify Exchange (Isis-WICCE).that field then preserved only for men. Kalema salutes all the women she worked with, many Further still, she is proud to have contributed to of whom were her mentors and have passed on.Kalema notes that the post-Independence marriage reforms. Her efforts as the secretary of the UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 29
  • PROFILESOther Women Achievers Her Royal Highness, Winnie Karangwa The Nnabagereka of Thereza Mbire Byanyima Buganda Sylivia NaggindaShe is the first aeronautical engineer in Africa. This Through the Nnabagereka Development Foundation, One writer called her “A Woman of Steel,” whichmulti-talented woman who was a member of the which she founded, she has implemented various she is. She is a mentor and mother to many womenUgandan Parliament for three terms has spent most programmes to promote good health by fighting entrepreneurs and business enterprises in Uganda. Atof her life as an activist for gender equality. Today harmful practices that violate the rights of women and the age of 77 years she is one of the most prominentshe is Director of the UNDP Gender Team, Bureau for the girl child. Further, she has participated in various business woman in Uganda. She has ventured intoDevelopment Policy. She has served on various UN advocacy campaigns that support safe motherhood, many areas which include flower growing, bakery, hotelbodies including the Directorate of the African Union girl child education, family planning and prevention of industry, and upholstery. She has pioneered variousCommission where she headed the Women, Gender and sexually transmitted infections including HIVand AIDS. business institutions such as the Uganda WomenDevelopment section and founded Forum for Women in Under the Kisakaate initiative, she advances positive Finance Trust and the Uganda Women EntrepreneursDemocracy (FOWODE). social values that empower young people, and build Association Limited. their self esteem. Geraldine Lillian Brig. Namirembe Tibatemwa- Proscovia Bitamazire: Ekirikubinza NalweyisoThe former Education and Sports minister (1979- Prof. Lillian Tibatemwa-Ekirikubinza who went on to Nalweyiso is the first woman in the history of the1980 and 2005- 2011) has taught many girls in the become the first female Law professor in East Africa, Ugandan army to earn the title of a Brigadier. Currentlycountry. She was a teacher and head teacher of various and Makerere University’s first female acting Vice she is the highest decorated female army officer ininstitutions before she became a minister. She was the Chancellor, is a great inspiration to the womens the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF). She hasDeputy Chairperson of the Teaching Service Commission movement. previously been a military assistant to the president andbefore she became the Minister of State for Primary commandant of the UPDF Women’s League. She was the first female to become Associate ProfessorEducation in 1999 and later Minister of Education and of Law in East Africa; the first female to become Nalweyiso is one of the women who fought in the bushSports Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs) at Makerere war that saw the National Resistance Movement (NRM)Bitamazire is also a long serving politician who served University and the first female to become full Professor come into power. The former primary school teacheras the Woman Member of Parliament (MP) representing of Law in East Africa. joined the struggle in 1982. She was a formidableMpigi District from 2001 to 2011. She used her position fighter who was appointed leader of the women’s wing,as minister and MP to promote the rights of women She has authored many books and also headed many a full fledged combative wing.and the girl child. She promoted the Universal Primary academic and non-academic associations.Education and Uganda Secondary Education schemeswhich have enabled many girls to access education. Hon.Teopista Ssentongo Dr. Theresa Sengoba Noerine Kaleeba She is a workers representative in Parliament and TASO general secretary of the Uganda Cooperative Movement In 1996, Sengoba became one of the first female and Allied Workers Union. Her union activities started scientists to graduate with a PHD in plant virology in 1972 when she joined the Uganda Printers, at Morogoro University in Tanzania. Currently she isKaleeba is a physiotherapist who specialized in Journalists, Paper and Allied workers union, an affiliate spearheading the sensitization of the rural communityorthopedics and community rehabilitation. She was of the National Organisation of Trade Unions. In 1981, on researched agricultural products including highhead of the School of Physiotherapy at Mulago Hospital she was sponsored by International Federation of breed seeds.in Kampala before she joined the fight against HIV and Free Trade Unions to train other unionists who haveAIDS. In 1986, she started a support group, The AIDS She is the Director of Programme for Bio-safety Systems become influential leaders in labour movement. TheseSupport Organization (TASO) which blossomed into a and former Deputy Director of the National Agricultural include the executive director of the Federation ofpioneer movement to address stigma, restore hope and Research Organization (NARO). Uganda Employers, Mrs Florence Ssenabulya and Hon.dignity of people and families living with HIV and AIDS Mary Marion Tunde, who is also a workers member ofin Uganda. As its first director, Kaleeba developed TASO Parliament and several general secretaries of tradeinto a global model of HIV prevention care and support. unions.30 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • PROFILES Victoria Dr. Maggie Blick Kigozi Oliver Zizinga SsekitolekoAs a former Agriculture Minister early in President She was the first female Executive Director of the Uganda Captain Oliver Zizinga, now retired, was one of theMuseveni’s regime, she is credited for bringing the Investment Authority (UIA), a position she held for eleven senior female officers in the National Resistance Armyrole of women in farming and livestock keeping to the years (1999-2011). She brokered deals of over Shs. 30 (NRA). When her first born son, William Sebugwawo, wasGovernment agenda and the Heifer Project in 1986 trillion in investments creating about 4,000 direct jobs killed in 1980, she vowed to support the NRA bush war.which is still thriving. In 1995, she joined the United and 3.2 million indirect jobs. Her performance won the She never went to the frontline but instead cooked forNations as Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) authority the prize of the best Investment Promotion the leader, Museveni, and attended mediatory meetings.Director and was based in Zimbabwe and later in China. Agency in Africa and the Middle East in 2001. Kigozi has advocated for women friendly banking and as a result many women are accessing business loans. Prof. Maggie Kigozi was also the chancellor for Nkumba University for three years until August 2011. Currently she works as a consultant at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Elizabeth Muwanga Rose Mbowa When she joined the Police force in 1980, MuwangaShe was born in 1943 and she died in 1999. She was one became the first woman graduate to join the Police.of the most prominent dramatist, actresses and writers Hellen Alyek She was ridiculed for her move to join the force thatof her time. She used theatre to keep alive freedom of was considered a no-go zone for women. She was thespeech in Uganda and most importantly to expose the only woman among the 26 Ugandans considered forinhumane treatment of women in society. recruitment at the time. She has risen through theShe composed the Uganda women’s anthem and her Alyek is a retired Superintendent of the Uganda Police. ranks to the level of Assistant Inspector General ofplay, ‘Mother Uganda and her Children’, first performed who retired leaving behind a blue print. She created the Police, one of the highest ranking officers in the force.in 1987, toured internationally and was a celebration Child and Family Protection Unit (CFPU). As a reward forof Ugandas resilience, as well as its cultural and her pioneering work in setting up the CFPU, Alyek wonlinguistic diversity. She also nurtured the Music, Dance a scholarship to attend the International Associationand Drama Department at Makerere University. of Women Police (IAWP) conference in Dallas Texas in 1997. At that time, Alyek was sheltering women and girls who Dorcas Inzikuru were former abductees of Joseph Kony rebels, at her own home and had adopted 6 children orphaned by HIV and AIDS and the conflict in the North. Today she operates a Susan Muwonge shelter for victims in Lira. She is Uganda’s number one female athlete who hoisted Uganda back to the gold medal bracket after a 33-year gold medal drought when she won the 3000 m steeple chase at the World’s Athletic Championships in Helsinki in 2005. She has won other titles including a bronzeShe is called the Super Lady because of her rally medal in the 5000 meters at the 2003 Afro-Asiandriving achievements. When she won the National Rally Games.Championship in 2011, she became the first woman Rev. Florenceto win a national rally championship in the world. Last year she was decorated with the distinguishedMuwonge is a teacher by profession. When she won the Isabirye Order of the Crested Crane Class 3 medal in recognitioncoveted title, she said “Yes! Women can do it!” Muranga of the great service to her country. She has a passion to help young athletes to excel in athletics. The Rev. Florence Isabirye Muranga is an Associate Vicar of Church of Uganda, a lecturer at Makerere Margaret Senkatuka University, Department of Food Science and Technology and the Director of the Presidential Initiative on She was wife to President Idi Amin’s loyal aide, Mr Banana Industrial Development (PIBID) Project. She Robert Astels, a British National who helped formulate Olive Kigongo is recknowned for researches into cereal, potato and the Ministry of Culture. She was appointed Foreign especially matooke (banana plantain). The British Minister in 1973 and served only for one year before Council-Uganda Management Forum, 2006 recognized being appointed Minister of Culture and Community her among the top women. She is the winner of the Development, Senkatuka was in the group of women whoShe is the president of Uganda National Chamber of Presidential Scientific Innovation Excellence Award for fought for women’s emancipation movement becauseCommerce and Industry (UNCCI) which has been in the 2005/06 Presidential Science Award Cycle. she was one of the pioneer members of the Nationalexistence since the 1930’s. As a woman leader in the Council of Women. The fact that she was the only womanbusiness circles her position has been very supportive minister during the Amin regime is an indicator that thisto women who have ventured into business both locally helped the consequent governments to appoint manyand internationally. more women in ministerial positions. UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 31
  • PROFILES Barbara Kaija Janet Miria Matembe KahirimbanyiAs Editor in Chief of The New Vision, she is the first The current banknotes carry Janet Kahirimbanyi’s She is a reknowned woman activist. She is co-founderUgandan female to hold this position in a male signature as bank secretary. It marked the height of Action for Development, an NGO in Kampala and adominated industry. She took charge of Uganda’s of her 35 years’ service at the Bank of Uganda rising former Member of Parliament representing Mbararaleading daily after Ms. Els Temmerman resigned. In from banking officer to that rank. She is the first District. She also represented Uganda as a membertoday’s era, where information is power, Kaija’s daily woman to append her signature to the country’s legal of the Pan-African Parliament where she served asrole at the helm of Uganda’s leading newspaper makes tender. Another female first she notched was that of chairperson of its Committee on Rules.her a peer among editors. membership of the Kabale Rotary Club. She was a commissioner of the Uganda Constitutional Commission and later served as delegate to the Constituent Assembly that promulgated the 1995 Constitution. As former minister of Ethics and Integrity, from 1998 to 2003, she spearheaded the formulation of the Government policy on corruption, and set standards Joanita Kawalya Josephine Okot of ethics for professionals in public office.Josephine Okot is acclaimed as founder and managing She is a kind and smart diva who over the years hasdirector of Victoria Seeds Limited (Ltd), a seed company promoted music as a worthy profession for women.based in Kampala since 2004. Victoria Seeds has grown Previously artistes were considered as the failures ofinto an exporting seeds for vegetable, cereal, legume society but her efforts along with others of the same Elizabeth Bagayaand oil crops to the regional market. She has served as conviction have changed this.Chairperson of Uganda Seed Trade Association and on She is the lead vocalist of Afrigo Band, one of Uganda’sthe board of directors of key institutions and industry Bagaya was born into the Toro Royal family of King oldest bands. She has mentored many young musiciansassociations such as the Uganda Investment Authority, George Rukidi III and Lady Kezia Rukidi. She earned her in the industry. Her music is more than fun. It educatesthe African Seed Trade Association and the Kampala place in history as one of the first three African women listeners to stay healthy and to work hard.Industrial and Business Park. She is currently co-chair to graduate from Cambridge. She pursued a legal careerof the FARA Management Committee, of sub-Saharan and was admitted to the English bar in 1965.Challenge Programme in the Lake Kivu Region. Following the military coup of 1971, Princess Elizabeth was extended a special invitation to return and serve as Ugandas roving ambassador, in the Government of Dr. Joy Kwesiga Gen. Idi Amin. For a short while, she acted as Ugandas Foreign Minister. Later, she was appointed Ugandas ambassador to the United Nations. Her stint at the U.N. Betty Bigombe was short lived since she fell out with Amin. She is the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Makerere University having served as the head of Women and Gender Studies Department in the same universityShe is famed for her involvement in the peace from1995 to 1998. She is a women activist who has wonnegotiations to end the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) several awards including a certificate of recognition forinsurgency. In 1994 she was named “Ugandas Womanof the Year” for her efforts to end the violence. She also distinguished service to women. Dr Kwesiga is founder Proscovia Njukiprovided technical support to the Carter Center to foster of Action for Development.peace between the governments of Uganda and Sudan.In 1997, she joined the World Bank as a senior social Engineer Proscovia Njuki, is the first female graduatescientist at the newly created Post-Conflict Unit. She engineer in East Africa. Her journey into engineeringhas co-authored several articles on post-conflict peace started at Gayaza High School. Njuki was the firstbuilding and the impact of conflict on women andchildren. In 1988, she was appointed State minister for Betty Matovu student to study A‘level mathematics at Gayaza andNorthern Uganda and currently she is minister of State was the only student in her class. She came top of thefor Water. science class and joined Nairobi University, where she was the only woman in a class of 40. In 1989, Njuki In 1980, Betty Matovu, stood out as the only woman, was among the founders of the Association of WomenPumla Kisosonkole among the male-dorminated management of the Engineers, Technicians and Scientists to addressShe is one of the pioneers of the women emancipation Uganda Times newsroom. She was the News Editor. the gender gap in sciences. She worked with Ugandamovement in the country. Along with other women, In that position she managed more than 55 reporters. Television for 28 years, before she retired.she challenged traditional beliefs of the patriarchal This high-profile position easily made her get a Unitedstructures of society in which traditional and cultural Nations appointment in 1982. She was later appointedpractices confined women to a secondary position. Her to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP),efforts earned her a position in the Legislative Council Nairobi office as a Communication s Officer. Thereafterwhich was the Parliament in the Colonial era. she was transferred to the headquarters in New York.32 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • PROFILES Justice Justice Justice Julia Sebutinde Mary Maitum Leticia KikonyogoJustice Julia Sebutinde started working within Ugandas Justice Mary Maitum was one of the few female High Justice Leticia Kikonyogo began her judicial career asMinistry of Justice in 1978. Court judges when she retired in 2008. She had an a Grade One Magistrate in 1973. She rose through theIn 1996 she was appointed Judge of the High Court of illustrious career as a lawyer and as a judge. She and ranks and became Uganda’s first female judge. She isUganda. She has chaired three high-level commissions Miria Matembe were the only women in the Constitutional a child expert and founding member and past presidentinvestigating allegations of corruption in the Uganda of the International Association of Women Judges. By Commission that wrote the 1995 Constitution. ShePolice Force, Ministry of Defence and the Uganda lectured at the Law Development Centre for 16 years and the time she retired, she was Deputy Chief Justice, aRevenue Authority. In 2005 she was seconded to the UN- she mentored Justices Margaret Oguli, Irene Mulyagonja position she held for two terms. She was also Head ofbacked Special Court for Sierra Leone. In 2007 she wasappointed the presiding judge of Trial Chamber II, which of the High Court and Stella Arach Amoko of the Court of the Court of Appeal and President of the Constitutionalis currently engaged in the trial of the former president Appeal. She is a women’s rights activist, who was head Court.of Liberia, Charles Taylor. of the Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA-Uganda) forShe is a member of the Uganda Women Lawyers two terms.Association (FIDA) - Uganda; the National Associationof Women Judges and the Uganda Christian LawyersAssociation She is also a good-will ambassador for Captain (Rtd)the United Nations Population Fund Programme, which Janat Balunziaddresses reproductive health, population developmentstrategies and advocacy. Cecilia Atim Mukwaya Ogwal When she retired in 2011, veteran politician and minister, Mukwaya had served as a minister for 15 Dokolo Woman Member of Parliament, Cecilia Atim years and was the only female member of the Cabinet who was a combatant in the National Resistance Army Dr. Elizabeth Ogwal, also previously known as the Iron Lady of Uganda (NRA). During her political career, she rose to the ranks People’s Congress(UPC), raised the profile of women Madraa of minister including the position of Attorney General in politics because of her outspokenness in a male dominated field. and Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. She also served as the elected Member of Parliament forThe HIV and AIDS scourge that hit Uganda in the She joined politics at the age of 12 while in Senior One at Mukono South Constituency until her retirement.early 1980s led to the establishment of institutional Sacred Heart, Gulu in 1961 and has never looked back.departments to try to stem the on-coming epidemic. In 1980, she was appointed assistant secretary generalOne of these departments formed early on was the at a UPC delegates conference. In the same year sheAids Control Programme (ACP). Dr. Madraa was its quit the management field and joined the party on a fullfirst female Executive Director. She had gone on to time basis. Although she fell out with UPC, she still hadthis posting from Mulago Hospital’s Mwanamuggimu the credibility to be elected by the public. Cecilia Ogwal Hilda MusubiraNutrition Clinic. is also a reknowned business woman. She is the Deputy Head of Public Service and Secretary for Administrative Reform. In that capacity in 2007, she was selected as the executive director of the Prof. Mary Okwakol Florence Commonwealth Heads of Governments and Ministers Mugasha (CHOGM) Task Force in Uganda to prepare the country to handle the conference.Prof. Mary Okwakol is the first female Vice Chancellorof a public university, Busitema University in Eastern Florence Mugasha was Head of Public Service andUganda. She is a firm believer in education and Secretary to Cabinet in the Office of the President ofrecently after receiving an award from Makerere Uganda from 1996 to 2002. She had a distinguishedUniversity for being one of the most influential women career in the Ugandan Public Service commencing in Prof. Josephineleaders, dedicated her award to all those strugglingacademicians who are trying to excel. 1972, rising to the rank of Permanent Secretary in 1990 Nambooze and eventually being appointed in November 1996 to Kiggundu the most senior public service position in the Uganda Government, a position she held for over five years. She was Uganda’s first female medical doctor. When she graduated, she received unprecedented local and Mugasha was the first woman Head of Public Service in international media coverage. Women preferred to go to Julian Adyeri Uganda, and in the course of her duties and professional her for treatment but she could not handle the treatment Omalla career, she was instrumental in spear-heading Public load and had to share it out with her male colleagues. Service Sector Reforms. She became a lecturer, then a senior lecturer and, laterJulian Adyeri started small but today her Delight In 2002, Florence Mugasha assumed her duties as on, an associate professor and finally a professor ofSupplies Limited, employs more than 400 people. Julian Deputy Secretary-General of the Commonwealth and Public Health. She lauds her family for their supportstarted with juice production and gradually expanded became the second woman to serve in that capacity inher company to supply a range of foods and cereals, in her challenging career that saw her delegate her the Commonwealth Secretariat.relying on forming partnerships with rural women. The domestic responsibilities.annual turnover of her company is 4 million dollars. UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 33
  • WOMEN AND EDUCATION (Inset) Namirembe BitamazireUgandan Women/GirlsClose Education gapBy Namirembe Bitamazire Uneducated girls face greater risks of that only 5% of the women were working HIV and AIDS, sexual exploitation in offices compared to more than 95% ofTwenty-two year old Sarah Wanyenze and child trafficking. They are also less the men.lives in Bwaise, one of the most likely to have healthy children and lessimpoverished slums in Kampala. She is According to the Commission, by 1963, likely to send their children to school.one of an estimated 1.2 million Ugandan less than five women in Uganda had at For many children, particularly girlschildren who have lost one or both least a degree compared to over 1,300 men and those orphaned by HIV and AIDS,parents to HIV/AIDS. that had degrees. Also, that only 12% or free education makes it possible to go 14,000 women had completed secondaryWanyenze lives with her older sister to school. Uganda’s formal education education compared to over 100,000 ofand brother-in-law in a small shack they terrain today has undergone several the men. Less than 200,000 women hadbuilt from discarded tin, cardboard modifications since education was first completed primary education, comparedand wood. She was not able to attend introduced by the Christian Missionaries. to 1.2 million males.school because they could not afford the Until the early 1990s the education policyschool fees of Ug. Shs 8, 000 in 1996; was fraught with gender disparities in The findings were shocking and theher future prospects were grim. Only her enrolment, dropout, performance and Commission recommended radicaltwo brothers, supported by their uncle, general attainment. changes, including the expansionattended school. He had prioritized their of women’s’ education through the According to the Castle Commission thateducation over hers. provision of adult literacy, setting up of was set up to reform Uganda’s education more girls’ boarding primary, secondaryHowever, in 1997, the Ugandan policy in 1963, it was established that and tertiary institutions. It also called onGovernment stopped charging school out of 100 girls that started Primary the Government to recruit more femalefees in primary schools to meet President One in the 1960s, only 10 completed teachers so as to influence the enrolmentMusevenis 1996 bold election pledge: Primary Seven, less than three completed of the girls in schools.Universal Primary Education (UPE) for secondary education; and, less than oneAll. It has become a lifeline for millions of completed university – compared to According to veteran academician,Ugandan children who are like Wanyenze. at least 20 of the boys that completed Prof. Senteza Kajubi, the Government secondary education and15 of the boys implemented the recommendations.UPE opened up opportunities for that completed university. “From Independence, Uganda had adisadvantaged and marginalized girls healthy education sector, for at least awho had never enrolled in school, or The Castle report noted that enrollment decade, focusing on the education ofhad dropped out because they could not at primary level by then was 20% of the the girls. However, the overthrow ofafford the fees and scholastic materials. girls to over 80% of the boys. This reduced President Milton Obote in the 1970s, ledWhen money is scarce, families send boys to 15% of the girls to 85% of the boys in to economic disruption, social troubles,to school in preference to girls. Across secondary. It further thinned to less than conflict and the education infrastructureUganda, more than half of the children 5% of the girls in tertiary institutions virtually collapsed,” he explains.that were not enrolled in school were compared to 95% of the boys. The Castlegirls. Commission report further established During that period, the number of girls in34 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • WOMEN AND EDUCATIONprimary schools increased from 131,000 to 240,000 or 20% to35%. Girls in secondary schools increased from less than 15,000to 50,000; and university intake for girls increased from less than Bitamazire speaks out on5% to 11 percent. However, this enrollment reversed to less than20% in primary, 28 percent in secondary and three percent in milestones on educationtertiary and university levels during the turbulent times of theGovernment of Gen. Amin. By Uganda Woman ReporterThe education sector deteriorated further from 1979 until 1986when President Museveni came to power and reformed the ailing Former Education minister, growing as we move on. It is becomingeducation system. The Government set up an Education Policy Namirembe Bitamazire, is happy that a developmental issue where theReview Commission under Kajubi’s chairmanship. A number the number of girls attending schools Government and everybody have anof recommendations were presented to reduce disparities. Key has increased by almost 1000%. interest.”among the recommendations was the introduction of UPE to “When we were going to school in the She also remembers that the 1950s there were a few girls, now thereduce gender disparity and also affirmative action programmes distribution of girls’ schools in the numbers have shot up. The biggestin education that would favour the girls. change is the rise in numbers. This is 60’s was a challenge. The girls’ schools were sparsely located andIn 1997, when UPE was introduced, Wanyenze was enabled remarkable.” secondary schools were even fewer.to complete her Primary Leaving Education in 2003. In 2007 She says the transition from one level Besides many families did not havePresident Museveni fulfilled another election pledge: Universal to another is also critical. “Even in the money to spend on fees and opted toSecondary Education (USE). tertiary institutions, the numbers of send only boys to school. Only families women has also grown tremendously.” which had people who had been toThe Ministry of Education statistics indicate that because of schools would take up the challengeUPE, gross enrollment increased by 73% in one year from Bitamazire says that another factor of educating the girls. Bitamazire3,068,625 pupils in 1996 to 5,303,564 in 1997 – 49%; of these, is that, the negative perception of says it is necessary to bring up the2,598,746 were girls. By 2003, gross enrollment in primary people and society about women and entire society to a certain level ofschools was 7,633,314, an increase of 149% - of which 49% or girls’ education, has changed. “In literacy.3,740,324 were girls. the late 50’s and 60’s people in my One of the biggest achievements of village would laugh at my fatherIn 2007, Uganda became the first country globally to introduce women Bitamanzire notes is that, “they and criticize him for sending us tofree secondary education. Consequently, Senior One enrolment have come to learn and appreciate school because they expected us torose by 33% between 2006 and 2007. In 2009, USE was their human rights and can no longer grow up and get married. That hasrolled out to cover Senior Four, completing the cycle for lower be squeezed.” Women have broken changed. The entire society and social into professions previously dominatedsecondary education. The scheme is restricted to students who environment is supportive of girls’ by men such as medicine, engineeringscore between four to 28 aggregates in their Primary Leaving education. That change in attitude and other challenging professions.Examinations (PLE). and perception is very important.” She further notes that because ofThis gave more chances for girls – who usually score the lower Besides, she says that during the 60s the constitutional provisions andpoints at primary level an opportunity to access secondary and 70s the Government did not have special programmes put in place by affirmative action for girls’ education, the Government, women have beeneducation, too. Out of the 500,000 who enrolled for Senior One, an imbalance that has since been exposed and emancipated.49% were girls. At the secondary school level, the enrollment for addressed.girls is at par with that of the boys. At university level, parity Bitazamire says that her personalat enrollment has also been achieved because of the affirmative The other important factor Bitamazire priority has been about makingaction policy launched in the 1990s. All female students points out, is Government’s policy people’s life better through education.joining the Government tertiary institutions are entitled to an on access to universal education, “Fortunately I was given an starting with primary and lately, with opportunity to serve in that capacity.additional 1.5 points. secondary education. She also says I thank God that I realized many ofOverall, gender disparity has been reduced and according to the that the impact of non-governmental my dreams in the sector. I am happyMinistry of Education and Sports, the enrollment of boys to girls organizations (NGOs) has been felt that I participated in the women’sin all the primary schools in Uganda stands at 49.4% - 50.6%. in mobilizing society towards girls’ movement for a long time.” education.Improvement of education also secured a place for Uganda’s Her prediction in the next 10 years: “I Women mentors and role models see about 80% of the women going towomen in politics. The United Nations Development such as Dr. Sarah Ntiro, Dr. Josephine school. I see more women achievingProgramme (UNDP) reveals that women in Uganda occupy Nambooze, Rhoda Kalema and in professional areas better than35% of the positions in politics compared to 5% in 1990s. Florence Nekyon, among others, were men. I can see more women lawyersFred Muhumuza, the advisor to the Minister of Finance, notes very instrumental in pushing for girls’ and engineers. The future is verythat the quality of life for the women in Uganda also improved education and empowerment. bright. I encourage women to continue grabbing every opportunity throughwith education. “They get married at a reasonable age, produce “Women are developing the perception the legal framework so that they don’tthe children they can take care of and many of them are now that we have arrived and therefore lose sight of the gains made so far. Iheads of the family. Women have come a long way – but cultural are relaxing.” She recommends also encourage women to network andaspects that discourage women continues to haunt us,” he adds. continued mentoring, role modeling play role models to their daughters and initiating activities that will and persuade their families andNamirembe Bitamazire is the former minister of encourage girls to stay in schools. communities to realize that investing One of the challenges in the 60’sEducation and Sports in girls’ and women’ opportunities is was that education was not popular. worthwhile. “The popularity of education is now UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 35
  • WOMEN AND LAND OWNERSHIPWOMEN AND LAND OWNERSHIP:STATUS AND PROPOSED FUTURE INTERVENTIONSBy Dennis ObboLand is a fixed asset and it is owned byindividuals as stipulated in the Ugandan1995 Constitution under Article 237.All citizens have a right to acquire andown land through four tenure systemswhich are: Mailo, Freehold, Leaseholdand Customary. Furthermore, Article26 also protects their land from beinggrabbed or even compulsorily taken.In Uganda, it is estimated that there areabout 600,000 registered land owners.Eighty percent of these are men and20% are women. The remaining 30 Hon Kirunda Kivejinja hands over a land title to amillion are either customary owners female landowner from Bulowooza Parish in 2007on unregistered land, or tenants onregistered land. The majority of these are Ugandan women have used three means Programme which specifies the need towomen and children who Government to obtain rights to land. These include: redress errors that have resulted into thehas protected under the Land Act, CAP social and kinship relations; the land dislocation of sections of the population227 as amended. market on a willing seller/ willing buyer and improvement of others. It clearly basis; and, through allocations from calls for the need to protect the landThe importance of women’s land rights various land administration institutions. rights of vulnerable women and menis borne out of the fact that they are the from land grabbers, in order to solve themajority of land users, and contribute Three major women concerns have problem of landlessness and historicalto agriculture, which is the backbone of shaped the interventions to address the injustices to people in this country.the economy. women and gender issues in the land sector. These are: The grabbing of land from widows, theThe status of women in the Land evictions of tenants without complyingSector has for long been one of the  The nature and magnitude of with the law, have all impacted onmajor issues for discussion by policy women’s land rights, which leaves women. The Government has usedmakers and implementers. A number of much to be desired; various interventions such as publicreviews have revealed major disparities  The vulnerable and negated sensitization of communities includingespecially in land ownership. position of women on land, where Local Councils (LCs), clan heads and they have been more of ignorant elders. These are the institutions andStatus of women and men in the Land victims, with little or no knowledge people who are involved in arbitrationSector in Uganda about their land rights and in land matters. The Systematic Women % Men% obligations; and, Demarcation Programme is another  The invisible or non-existent role innovative approach to ensure that Population 51 49 of women in land governance, women’s ownership to land is enhanced. Land especially the customary land 20 80 Ownership dispute resolution systems and As a result, the women, who in most Provision of processes. cases have more access to the land and Agricultural 80 20 not ownership, are supported to use the labour The consequences of these concerns have land more productively to attain food perpetrated gender inequalities in the security for their families. District Land Sector. Successive governments Land Board 33 67 have sought to address these women The spousal consent in the sale of Members and gender disparities, as part of the land, from which the family derives Area Land women’s emancipation programme sustenance, has also been used by some Committees 34 66 and to boost their opportunities to women to protect their land rights. members participate in the Land Sector. However, massive sensitization on this matter is still required.Source: Ministry of Lands, Housing and Part of the Government’s interventionUrban Development, 2010 to address this problem is enshrined in Despite having ratified several Point 8 of the original NRM 10 Point international instruments on human36 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • WOMEN AND LAND OWNERSHIPrights, there is an implementation gap.For instance, customs still overridestatutory law on recognition andenforcement of women’s land rights andthis has had negative implications for Government Modernizes Land Demarcationvarious interventions including povertyeradication initiatives.Since the NRM policy to fight povertyis anchored on land, the Draft National By Dennis ObboLand Policy, once approved by Cabinet,will provide the framework and basis Ever since Government privatizedfor guiding all interventions in the cadastral surveys (land demarcation)sector. In order to address the women’s in 2003, the average cost of anand gender concerns, the National Land individual survey has gone up to ShsPolicy proposes that: 2,000,000. The cost has discouraged the poor from titling their land. The rules and procedures relating to succession do not impede In a pilot programme, in Iganga transmission of land to women District, Government introduced and children; systematic demarcation and A woman land owner from Traditions and customs which subsidized the process down to Shs Bulowooza, Iganga District, discriminate against women and 100,000 and this has enabled 825 with her Plot Number. This is children with respect to access, people in the villages of Bulowooza an initiative of the Systematic use and ownership of land are and Madhigandere to have land titles. Demarcation Programme reformed; Family land is held in trust for the The Basoga beneficiaries will no longer have to rely solely on the local plant family and the rights of vulnerable called Ekinoowa to demarcate their land boundaries as proof of ownership. family members are protected; Under systematic demarcation, land of all people living in a given area is A regime of matrimonial property identified, ascertained and marked in a uniform way. aimed at protecting spouses both The programme protects the poor and vulnerable villagers from land grabbers. within and outside marriages is implemented, and legal Now, they will farm and develop their land with no fear of being illegally evicted. provision is made for spousal co- Land disputes will be eliminated as boundaries have been ascertained and ownership of family land and the agreed upon by the owners. Further, for family land, the names of spouses are matrimonial home; written on the titles and any land transactions will now require their consent. The provisions of the Land Act The process of land demarcation in the programme involves adjudicating, requiring spousal consent for all surveying and issuing land titles to land owners in a given administrative area transactions involving family land in order to protect their land rights. Every land owner, regardless of status have are enforced. Also the consent their land surveyed at a subsidized cost and titles processed and issued without clause to protect children would moving back and forth to the District Land Boards and the Ministry of Lands. be restored; The existence of marriage for Number of Land Owners in Bulowooza I and II villages purpose of securing the property rights of spouses who have Category of Land Owners Percentage acquired property in cohabitation Female land owners 14% should be presumed; and, Joint ownership by females and males 03% Widows and orphans should be Male land owners 82% enabled to inherit family land. Institutional land (schools, faith based facilities) 01%The Land Regulation is also being Total 100%revised to ensure and guarantee Source: Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, 2007equal participation in the LandSector. With these interventions, it is Number of Land Owners in Madhigandere villagesupposed that the next generation of Category of Land Owners Percentagestakeholders and land owners shall ablyunderstand the land rights of women. Female land owners 15%Accordingly, they will contribute to a Joint ownership by females and males 06%secure and harmonized Land Sector Male land owners 76%which will eventually contribute to Institutional land (schools, faith based facilities ) 03%the transformation of Uganda into anindustrialized country. Total 100% Source: Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, 2007 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 37
  • WOMEN IN AGRICULTUREWomen’s Role inAgricultural DevelopmentBy Victoria SekitolekoAgriculture is the pillar of Uganda’seconomy, offering the majority of ruralwomen their livelihood. The UgandaBureau of Statistics (UBOS) indicatesthat 73 % of the population aged 10years and older is engaged in agriculture.UBOS statistics further indicate thatthe sector contributes nearly 20 percentof the country’s Gross DomesticProduct (GDP), accounts for abouthalf of its exports and provides a largeproportion of raw materials for agro- Victoria Ssekitoleko(the author, left) with Elizabeth Kyasiimireprocessing industries. Food processing the Commissioner Gender and Womens Affairs, MGLSDsingly accounts for 40 percent of total The economic growth rate increased in When I joined Government, I wasmanufacturing. 1988, when GDP expansion measured optimistic that I would influence theDespite these tremendous positives, 7.2%, with substantial improvements in ministry’s policy to favour the invisiblethe sector’s performance has now the manufacturing sector. As minister rural farmers, in particular the women.plummeted after the boom of the of Agriculture, Animal Industry and I started the first Heifer Project in1960s and 1980s. In the 1960’s and Fisheries, I promoted women in farming 1986 which was funded by United1970’s most families invested heavily in and livestock keeping, bringing it to the Nations Fund for Population Activitiesgrowing cash crops, such as coffee and top of Government agenda. (UNFPA). Under this, various familiescotton, which were primary revenue countrywide received a cow each, whose At that time most women could notearners of the economy. When coffee primary owner was the woman, and the write project proposals but they wouldreplaced cotton as a major cash crop, family was the secondary owner. come and discuss their ideas with me.it was grown by small peasant holdings I would write their proposals and later Most men were not happy with thisthe majority of whom were women. present them to the bank managers. In arrangement arguing that since womenThe economic growth soon slowed most cases, the women got the loans. did not own land, ownership of the cowdown but in 1962, Ugandas economy should be shifted to the men. However,resumed rapid growth with subsistence Two of the women beneficiaries living these women were enthusiastic andagriculture expanding to 6.7% per year. in Kyanja around Entebbe did very would come in big numbers for training. well and turned out as model farmersBy the end of the 1960s and 1970’s, I remember one woman, after receiving in their village, transferring agriculturalcommercial agriculture accounted for her cow said: “I feel like a thief because I knowledge and business skills to theirmore than one-third of GDP. Industrial can’t believe I am the owner of this cow; peers.output had increased to nearly 9%of GDP, primarily the result of newfood processing industries. Thoughthe Government envisioned annualeconomic growth rates of 5.6%, civilwar and political instability almostdestroyed the economy. From 1972to 1976, GDP declined each year andregistered only slight improvementin 1977 when world coffee pricesincreased. This economic declineseemed to have ended and in 1987 GDPincreased to 4.5% with agriculturalfactories increasing production in the Market business women selling agricultural produceginning sector.38 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • WOMEN IN AGRICULTUREI am afraid the ministry may come backand take it away from me.’” batteries and plastics which is being littered in every part of the country Women Adopt ModernThere was another woman in Entebbe causing soil infertility. Also, farmers are now faced with a challenge of Farming Methods andwho habitually used to be the lastperson to pay fees for her four children diseases and pests which is a big Prosper burden for all agricultural productsand she used to hide from the school ranging from crop production, By Lominda Afedraru and Elizabeth Kyasiimirebursar and the headmaster. When she animal husbandry to poultry.began keeping the heifer, she paid her A number of women are now using modernfees promptly using money obtained The disease burden would not be a technical methods of farming; many are intofrom sale of milk from the cow. She later big problem to farmers if they had commercial and mechanized farming.rewarded the two school officials with knowledge on how to manage pests According to Dr. Geoffrey Asea, a cropfive liters of milk each. and diseases when they strike. scientist at the National Agricultural CropThe agricultural sector performed Farmers need to know which type of Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI),very well in the 1980s because farmers crop grows well in the Northern and there are gender friendly technologies whereproduced enough food and crops. At Eastern parts of the country. What I women have modern winnowing equipment,the time, banks gave farmers loans at an know is these parts of the region are cheap grinding mill machines and improvedaffordable interest rate compared to the good for fruit growing but farmers crop management.20% interest, or more today, which most are not aware of this. In the case of Farmers are using grafted seedlingsfarmers are failing to pay back. In 1987, banana bacterial wilt, there is need to especially fruit seedlings. A good numberthe ministry of Agriculture secured sensitize the farmers on importation of them are using high breed seedlingsenough funds from the Government of cross boarder planting materials. which are disease resistant and reduceand imported tractors which were given I commend the recent work in the growth of weeds. We can see a lot moreout to farmers’ groups for purposes of the agricultural research institutes enterprises dealing in agro-chemical inputsproducing enough food. During that for cross-breeding experiments which indicate that more and more peopletime loans for agricultural activities that have resulted in high-yielding are practicing modern agriculture. However,were available and affordable but the and drought-resistant varieties. farmers are using fertilizers without carryingsituation has since changed because Government should invest in research out soil tests to establish the soil nutrient, Drloans are difficulty to come by. to boost the morale of these patriotic Asea notes.The ministry also secured scholarships scientists who are more-or-less likefor training agricultural extension “missionaries”. This is for purposes of While listing some of the crop areas that haveworkers and farmers who acquired introducing new products which the registered fundamental improvements, thereknowledge on how to manage their rest of the world is already producing are inspirational stories of individual famers’farms. Women ensured food security like the genetically modified crops success that fit the bill of the Nationalby storing harvest in granaries; thereby otherwise “we shall be guarding the Agricultural Advisory Development Servicessaving seeds for sowing during the rainy gate when the horses have gone”. (NAADS) goals.days. Edith Rubereti is one such peasant-cum- [Co-authored with Elizabeth farmer. Hailing from Kabale District,Things have changed unfortunately for Kyasiimire, Commissioner for Rubereti earlier on agreed to join a Nationalthe worse. Farmers in the countryside Gender and Women Affairs, Agricultural Research Organization (NARO)now sell off their produce, sometimes MGLSD and Lominda Afedraru] programme on diversification to sweet potatobefore harvest. The greed for cash haseroded the culture of traditional food farming. Victoria Ssekitoleko is a formerstorage system. minister of Agriculture, Animal Now her potato vines have found marketAnother big challenge in the agricultural Industry and Fisheries in the neighbouring districts of Rukungiri,sector is disposal of waste items such as Kisoro, Mbarara, Kiruhura and Ntungamo. She sells a bunch of vine at 8,000/=. “I have a ready market for all my sweet potato vines,” she said. “Sweet potatoes can be grown in poor soil. They are also easy to plant because you are vine-cutting rather than planting seedlings; and vines rapidly grow and outgrow weeds. A farmer does not need to spend time weeding them,” she added. Rubereti lost her husband in 2000, leaving Shawn Makumbi Photo her with no tangible means of income. But after her initial NAADS-initiated successes, she has now diversified into tea planting, dairy cattle and fish-farming. She has subsequently educated all her six children to A woman tending her cow university level. UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 39
  • WOMEN IN BUSINESSWomen Investingin the FutureBy Maggie KigoziBefore 1986, Ugandan women weremainly engaged in small and mediumscale (SMEs) business in the marketsand shops. However, strides havebeen taken and today women areengaged in business investments andentrepreneurship in a more significantway. They have mastered trade,agriculture; they are in manufacturing,construction, education and healthand now they are gearing to take up thenew sectors of mining and petroleum.Women contribute to 40% of Uganda’sGross Domestic Product (GDP).Over the last ten years the UgandaInvestment Authority (UIA) hasrecognized successful business womenwith the Woman Entrepreneur of theYear award. These include: JulianaOmalla of Delight Uganda Limited(Ltd) for employment creation andinvesting in Southern Sudan; Mariam Shawn Makumbi PhotoLuyombo of Taibah Internationalschools; Maria Odida of Bee Natural;Josephine Okot of Victoria Seeds; and,Mary Tamale of Maganjo Grain millersLtd. A woman selling fish in Nebbi marketInitially, women entrepreneurs were veryfew. Through the Women Entrepreneurs to set up women’s sections in their provide financial literacy training forNetwork (WEN), UIA invited and establishments. Bankers required a women.started with 50 business women. Today mind-set change in relation to collateral.they number 400. The biggest challenge They also used to despise women in UIA also tackled the lack of capacity;to these women was lack of access to business and saw them as small-time most women were in business mainlyfinance. Women could not access loans business holders who didn’t merit the for survival. We designed a relevantfrom anywhere. Further, banks were attention of big banks. They also did programme and embarked on impartingnot willing to finance their projects not believe that women were capable of the women with entrepreneur skills. Bybecause they didn’t have collateral since paying back their loans. 2011, we had trained over 720 femalemany of them never owned land. WEN SMEs out of 1200 SMEs that receiveddiscussed this challenge and sought Banks woke up to the fact that women training. Enterprise Uganda, theout banks and other stakeholders that contribute 40% of GDP and started Private Sector Foundation of Ugandaincluded the International Finance putting in place mechanisms to help (PSFU) and the Uganda Chamber ofCorporation (IFC) of the World Bank, women. Now all the banks have women Commerce and Industry (UCCI) hasCommonwealth Business Women and programmes. UIA also trained bankers also been training women.Vital Voices, among others. and their security officers on how to offer business women preferential treatment. Generally, today there are variousIFC trained a group of bankers from Bankers were also encouraged to training opportunities for womenall the banks and encouraged them consider other forms of collateral and entrepreneurs. Civil Society40 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • WOMEN IN BUSINESSOrganizations (CSOs) like the from their parents and husbands as at Makerere and other universities.Uganda Change Agents Association well. UIA partnered with Makerere Departments, such as the Food Science(UCAA) have been targeting women University Business School (MUBS), School at Makerere have adopted andat the grassroots. The most important the Management Advisory Training adapted some of their technologies toaspect of this training was changing Center (MTAC), and Uganda Women make it applicable to business.the mindset which was previously the Entrepreneurs Association Limited I accepted to take the position ofbiggest problem. Now women know (UWEAL) to facilitate and carry Chancellor of Nkumba Universitythat they can start a business and be out grassroots training for women. and an associate professor at Makereresuccessful. Emphasis was put on Northern Uganda University so that I would link the so that the region could recover from universities and the academia to womenAlso, a number of women complained the effect of war. entrepreneurs.that they were being harassed by UgandaRevenue Authority (URA); they were Another issue has been the formalization Furthermore, I am encouragingscared of URA officials. UIA invited and registration of businesses. We have elite business women to invest inURA to provide training in the various reduced the steps it takes any person the agriculture sector and especiallyaspects of taxation and tax obligations. to shift their business from informal to into commercial farming. There areToday I believe business women know formal. Now it is a one-stop business opportunities for Ugandan women towhen and what they are supposed to pay registration centre. Registration can grow food for the Great Lakes Regionand they are generally doing business also be done on line. of Kenya, Southern Sudan, Tanzania,much better. Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic UIA is also offering training Republic of Congo.Women also lacked networking skills. opportunities to young women whoVarious women would go to their places are interested in starting their ownof work and head home immediately businesses; this training is also offered [Co-authored with Emma Were Tinkaafter, yet networking is where business is to young professional women in the and Collin Mwijuka, Ag Executivedone, where you meet your customers, private and public sector, who want Director of the National Womenpartners and potential partners. To to start a business for an extra income. Council]address this challenge, UIA initiated Areas with business potential include;monthly networking sessions. poultry, tourism and large scale tree Prof. Maggie Kigozi is the former planting projects. Executive Director UIA andWe also encouraged business women Chancellor of Nkumba Universityto save money and buy their own land. Science, technology and researchIn the Domestic Relations Bill, women has been taken seriously, too. Linksare entitled to have and/or inherit land have been made with the academia Small scale business women displaying their jewellery UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 41
  • WOMEN AND HEALTHMaternal Healthin UgandaBy Olive Sentumbwe Mugisa It is estimated that only 42% of women give birth in health facilities while 60% Health Centre III in a Kampala suburbThe status of women’s health in Uganda are delivered by untrained personnel.has greatly improved in the last five Of these, 80% are rural women whoyears. Over the last few years, the live far away from the health facilities. fistula is a severe medical condition inGovernment has implemented a number Sometimes the high poverty rate, with which a hole develops between either,of interventions aimed at improving little or no support from their husbands, the rectum and vagina, or between theoverall maternal and child health. The limits the women’s access to health bladder and vagina because of failedcurrent maternal health achievements facilities. There is also poor maternal childbirth arising from inadequatecannot be compared to the past because health as a result of lack of child spacing medical care. This usually leads tothe number of health care facilities has which is a major cause of pregnancy continuous flow of urine from theincreased. The equipment is better and complications. bladder and passing of faeces withoutthere are more trained health workers, control.increased number of hospitals and Furthermore, many young girls lackcontribution by development partners, knowledge about their sexual life while When a baby fails to come out duringamong others. others are married off in exchange for the time of birth and presses the pelvic wealth. When these young girls get an bone with its head, it causes tissueMeanwhile, indicators from the 2006 unwanted pregnancy, they resort to damage in the private parts, this willHousehold Demographic Survey show abortions and at times they use crude create a hole causing urine and faecesthat out of every 100,000 live births methods including bicycle spokes to pass through the abnormal path. The435 mothers are dying annually. Uganda which they insert in their birth canal, problem is common among young girlswill need to reduce its mortality rate others take un-prescribed drugs and whose pelvic bone is still inadequate tofrom the above figure to 131 deaths some die in the process. hold the pressure. This problem hasper 100,000 live births by 2015 if it is been faced by women from the timeto meet the Millennium Development Apart from the afore-mentioned of immemorial but women who livedGoal (MDG). maternal health decay, mothers are in the early 1960’s and 70’s feared to faced with another serious complication disclose it fearing stigma from theThe general health of the people has called Obstetric Fistula. Obstetric community.remained poor in the last five decadesalthough currently a lot of success hasbeen registered in the area of maternalhealth especially in the mother-to-child HIV and AIDS prevention.Accordingly, most babies are being bornfree from the virus.Since 1997 the Government has beenfocusing on family planning becausemany women are dying due to childbirth related complications which havenot been managed well. The death ratefor both mothers and babies has beenrising as a result of mothers failing toaccess health facilities either due to lack Shawn Makumbi Photoof information about them or as a resultof culture. For instance some womenprefer to give birth at home out ofcultural considerations. Rural woman attends to a sick child in Apac Hospital42 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • WOMEN AND HEALTHOther problems related to maternal much in cases of complications such ashealth include HIV and AIDSinfection which usually worsens the over bleeding and high blood pressure. Health indicatorshealth of mothers who do not seekhealth care. What mothers must know Mothers should attend antenatal and post-natal clinics so that health and proposedis that the virus can be easily passed onto the baby and they are encouraged to workers are in position to detect the complications that are likely to priority actionsgo to hospitals to get Anti- Retroviral arise when giving birth. For a normal By Lominda Afedraru(ARV’s) to prevent mother-to-child pregnancy, mothers should visit theinfection. hospital four times while those who experience some abnormalities should Considering reports from the 1987Uganda, just like other countries, is go as many times as they can. to 2006 Uganda Demographicalso faced with infertility issues and Survey (UDS), the total fertility rate7% of couples living in this country Community health centres and in 1987 was 7.3% against 6.9 inare estimated to be infertile. The major district hospital capacities need to be 1995 and 2000, while in 2006 itcause being sexually transmitted diseases strengthened for provision of adequate(STDs) such as gonorrhea, syphilis and services. The trend in areas covered dropped to 6.7.unsafe abortions which may cause the under maternal health seem to be The contraceptive prevention ratespread of infection causing the tubes decreasing, meaning that proposedto block. For some men they have the priority actions such provision of as per 1987 was 5% againstproblem of sperm count and other long-term and predictable financing 15% in 1995 and 23% and 42%women are born with abnormalities in to achieve the MDG targeted goal is respectively for the year 2000 andtheir system. wanting. 2006.Women are further faced with the Another priority action is making sure The number of adolescents girlsproblem of cancer of the breast and that by 2015 access to reproductive getting pregnant was rated atcervical cancer which is the most health is increased by increasing 44% in 1987 against 38% incommon in the country. Cervical cancer contraceptive use as well as reducing 1995 while in 2000 and 2006,is caused by an STD virus called the birth rates among the adolescentHuman Papillma virus which is sexually mothers. adolescent was rated at 32%transmitted. However, this cancer and 25% respectively. Maternalcan be treated if it is diagnosed early. Other areas of action are targeting mortality health indicators showedWomen should go for screening and, the poorest and most marginalized 527, 506,505 and 435 for the aboveonce discovered, seek medical advice. communities, empowering women and respective years against 10,000 families to make timely decisions and live births. For infant mortality rateCervical cancer is now a big issue providing them with social networks.because it has killed dozens of women indicators were 122, 81, 88, and 77including health workers. There is need Others are limited capacity of for the respective years per 1000for Government to acquire screening health facilities to manage abortion/ live births.equipments to be availed to health miscarriage complications, notworkers. This is because currently the forgetting malaria which is a major To address the afore-mentionedscreening exercise is being conducted by contribution to maternal morbidity and challenges;development partners. Women should mortality.also examine their own breasts to detect • targeting the poorest and mostan abnormal discharge and breast marginalized communities,swellings. [Co-authored with Cornelius Magara, empowering women and a Principal Gender Officer with families to make timelyBoth men and women should practice MGLSD and Lominda Afedraru] decisions and providing themthe spacing of children of between threeand five years to enable the woman’s Dr. Olive Sentubwe Mugisa, is with social networks.body to cure properly. To do this, Obstetrician Gynecologist and • Increase access towomen need to adopt different family the World Health Organization contraceptives and reduce birthplanning methods openly, because (WHO’s) Family Health and rates among the adolescentwhen the women engage in family Population Advisor mothers.planning secretly, it usually leads to • Improve the capacity of healthdomestic violence. facilities to manage abortion/Mothers are strongly advised to miscarriage complicationsgive birth in the hands of trained and malaria which is a majorpersonnel and use of traditional contribution to maternalbirth attendants(TBAs) should be morbidity and mortality.minimized because they may not help UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 43
  • WOMEN IN FORCESWomen Make Gains in Armed ForcesBy Annet Kabarungi percent of the total Army. In 1980, department of the Police. Prior to that, university graduates were recruited for matrons used to be employed to searchThe Ugandan Armed Forces have always the first time. and watch over female suspects. Thebeen dominated by men. Women were first women worked in Kampala, thenalways regarded as unable to withstand A number of women have risen in the later at the Jinja Central Police Station.combabt situations. However, 50 Army ranks. There are seven Lieutenant Today female officers are deployed inyears after Independence, the trend is Colonels, 24 Majors, 67 Captains and every part of the country.changing. More women have joined hundreds of Commissioned Officers.the Army, Police and Prisons and Some of these include; Brig. Gen. The first female Cadet Officer wasare managing difficult assignments Proscovia Nalweyiso, Lt. Col. Annet Jane Nankabirwa, who was recruitedeffectively. Nkalubo, Lt. Col. Rebecca Mpagi, Lt. in 1963 replacing the British Women’s Col. Sarah Mpabwa, Lt. Col. Akello, Officer Commanding (O/C) Women.According to the Uganda People’s Maj. Beatrice Kunihira, Maj. Flavia She was recruited after her Senior 6 andDefence Forces(UPDF) Spokesperson, Byekwaso, Maj. Kabajasi, Maj. Christine trained in Britain.Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye, before and Nyangoma and Capt. Suzan Lakot.after the Colonial period, the military Mpabwa and Lakot are also Members of The initial training of the female officerswas reserved for only men. “People Parliament (MPs). did not include weapon training.thought women could not handle On completion of training they werethe harsh conditions of the military – “We have broken the barrier that deployed to handle juveniles, womenespecially the movements far away from existed that women can’t serve in the offenders, criminal investigations,home,” he explains. Army. We are able to do different kinds communication and street patrols. of jobs. We now have a voice,” says Female officers started to train withBut when the rebel National Resistance Mpabwa. weapons in the 1970s, and after someArmy (NRA) came to power in 1986, affirmative action, a good number ofwomen joined the Army. The NRA The situation of the women in the young women were recruited in 1974also started a policy of sensitizing the Uganda Police Force is as different and and 1975. They were deployed ascommunity that women could join as old as Independence. The first eight drivers, in the Police Air Wing and inthe Army. The harsh conditions of the female Police officers were recruited all other Police departments.civil wars – first from 1971 – 1979 in March 1961 in preparation forunder Gen. Idi Amin and then the Independence. The pioneers were: “Conditions for the pioneer ladies wereLuwero Triangle war affected and Kate Ruki, Jane Rose Kisembo, harsh, they had no maternity leave; andforced some women to join the Army. Florence Mboijana, Lilian Karagaire, one had to resign from their jobs andThis was usually after the women had Winfred Nyirankumiriza, Ruth apply afresh to rejoin the Force after aexperienced the death of their relatives Among, Elizabeth Lule and Pauline pregnancy. It was up to the Inspectorat the hands of Government soldiers. Namiraguha. “These ladies took a General of Police to accept you back or bold step to pioneer in the field which not after medical certification that youRecords indicate that in 1986 women was known to be a male domain,” says were medically fit and then thereafternumbered around only 800 in the Assistant Inspector General of Police in one had to undertake a refresher course.UPDF. However, by 2010 according to charge of Welfare, Elizabeth Muwanga.the Centre for Women in Governance A female British Police officer Ms. "Coming back did not guarantee the(CEWIGO), the number had nearly Robinson, from Scotland Yard, had rank you left at. Marriage, too, wasdoubled to 1,566, constituting 4% been assigned to establish a women after submission of application by44 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • WOMEN IN FORCESthe female Police officer and the Police in charge of Administrationintended husband to the Inspector Elizabeth Muwanga, AssistantGeneral, who had the right of Inspector General of Police inapproval,” recalls Muwanga . charge of Human Resources, Jessica Orodriyo, Assistant InspectorToday, there are 154 Cadet Assistant General of Police in charge ofSuperintendents up from one cadet Criminal Investigations Department,in 1963. The recent group which Grace Akullo, Assistant Inspector Brig. Nalweyiso’s Risepassed out had 80 cadet femaleofficers, which is a record. Today, General of Police and Director Interpol for Africa, Elizabeth to Top Army Echelonsthere are 971 trainees at Kabalye Kuteesa and Nabakooba.Police Training School up from 8trainees in 1961. Today, out of the Similarly in the Prisons’ Department, Proscovia Nalweyiso, 58, was among the firstForces’ total strength of 43,668 the first woman entered in 1964. women to join the NRA bush war in 1982.Police officers, 5,265 are women. The Government was encouraging Born in Mpigi, Brig. Nalweyiso, was fromHowever Muwanga notes that the women to train as Prison officers. a large family of 20 children. “We wereForce needs an extra 21,793 women Mary Kaddu who has retired as touched when Kabaka Frederick Muteesaofficers to be recruited. Commissioner, joined and rose was exiled in 1966 and when he died in 1969; through the ranks. “This attracted it was more painful.”The promotion of female officers other women because it is also a civilwas also not as smooth as it was force and friendly,” says Frank Baine,for their male counterparts. Many In 1979, she worked as a junior teacher and the Prisons spokesperson. a typist at a church near Gombe. She joinedreasons are advanced ranging fromdiscrimination, marginalization By the 1980s, over 500 women had the Democratic Party (DP) and was namedand sexual harassment which were joined the Prisons Force; their work the sub-county publicity secretary. Whendifficult to detect. There were no was to handle women prisoners. the general elections were held in 1980, shedeliberate policies to mainstream Now, out of the total prison force was stunned that UPC had won. “A periodgender, notes Muwanga. of 7,304 officers – there are 1,758 of persecution ensued. UPC youth wingers women. Women are recruited on and soldiers were harassing and killing DPToday however, there are four the basis of the proportion of each members and whoever did not support them,”Assistant Inspector General’s woman to a certain number of she recalls. It was this and the death of herof Police (AIGP’s), five Senior women prisoners. If the women relatives at the hands of Government soldiersSuperintendents of Police and prisoners are few, the female Prison that propelled her into armed rebellion.13 Superintendents. There are officers manning them will be fewer,no women among the Senior adds Baine. Life in the bush was particularly tough for theCommissioners of Police or women. “At times we failed to get real padsCommissioners of Police. The top five women Prisons officers are: Assistant Commissioner of during our menstruation periods. With time,Meanwhile, a number of female even the periods stopped coming altogetherofficers are serving on the Prisons, Elizabeth Nanfuka; Senior Superintendent of Prisons, Juliet because of the harsh conditions,” sheinternational scene at UN missions Nantale; Superintendent of Prisons; explains. In 1983, a new unit, the Women’sand Interpol. Allen Natukunda, Stella Nabuyanja Wing was created. She was named its firstThe Police Assistant Commissioner and Prossy Najjuna. commandant.in charge of Publicity, JudithNabakooba, explains that by the Baine explains that the biggest By 1985, the unit was strong and was involvedtime the first woman joined the hindrance to joining the Armed in combat. They were in a unit that attackedPolice, there was no affirmative Forces is lack of sensitization, Mbarara Barracks. She lost five fighters, theaction or special treatment for ignorance and support from the highest number of women combatants in awomen. “Everyone was treated community. He however hints that single battle. Subsequently, they were movedequally. It is what still happens the Armed Forces are sensitizing the back to Fort-Portal until the NRA capturedtoday,” she adds. people to allow more women to join power in 1986. the Forces.The top five female Police officersare: Assistant Inspector General of Annete Kabarungi is a Senior Nalweyiso was promoted to Captain, then to Gender Officer with MGLSD. Major and later to Lt. Colonel by 2000. “When you become a leader, you play more than the role of command. You are also a counselor, a mother and an aunt," she says. For the last 10 years, she has been based at State House as a Senior Advisor. The mother of four recommends women to join the Army. She says the Army is now devoid of sexual harassment and promotion opportunities are open to all. President Museveni inspects a guard of honour of Police women UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 45
  • WOMEN IN CONFLICT MANAGEMENTWomen in Conflict ManagementBy Betty BigombeGertrude Adong was fleeing for her lifethrough the tall savannah grassland inNorthern Uganda in 1989 when theLord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebelscaught her. For the next two yearsshe was their sexual slave. She carriedtheir belongings and had to kill fellowabducted children on orders of hercaptors.By the time she was rescued two yearslater, she had a child with a rebel“husband” who was forced on her. Herrescue came when a group of localwomen pleaded with some of theirrelatives involved in the rebellion toreturn home. At least 2000 abandonedthe rebellion. Then again, hundredsmore were abducted and forcefullyconscripted into rebel activity. Theabducted children on the other handwere forced to torture and kill fellowchildren and adults alike.The consequence of the war was adevastated society reduced to living ininternally displaced camps (IDPs); adestroyed culture and social fabric ofthe Acholi community; a large numbersof widows and orphans; and, other Women with mutilated mouths and ears(top) and with mangleddistortions. hands(bottom), a result of the conflict in Northern Uganda.The war did not only affect the Northern Scientific and Cultural Organisation the culture of peace which includeregion but rather it destabilized the (UNESCO)’s Women and Culture of tolerance, respect, consideration forrest of the country because resources Peace programme. neighbours and the inviolability, respectthat would have been spent on social for human rights and equality.programmes had to be channeled to The studies pointed to the fact thatending the war. It had many dimensions: in African tradition, peace did not The chance for the utilization of women’spolitical, social, economic and mean absence of active conflict but is potential in conflict prevention,humanitarian. This therefore called for a complex combination of well being, resolution and management in Ugandadurable solutions including the much harmony and tranquility. Promotion presented itself in the late 1980s whendisregarded women’s skills in mediation of this kind of environment falls under President Museveni decided to appointand conflict prevention. the ambit of the women who are the me woman minister for Pacification of custodians of culture. the North and North East.Some studies conducted in six Africancountries on women and peace building The findings indicated that women Adong’s rescue was testimony of thein African traditional societies gives an play a crucial role in conflict ability of the women to contributeindication of their positive contribution. prevention, resolution, peace building to conflict prevention and resolutionThe studies were carried out between and consolidation, through teaching in Uganda. Despite the evidence of1996 and 2001 in Burundi, Cameroon, children to behave in a particular way what these simple women could do,Tanzania, Central African Republic, and constantly intervening in situations nothing much has been done to tap theNamibia, Somalia and Tanzania, to redirect community perceptions. potential of women to prevent or helpunder the United National Education, They emphasize the basic pillars of resolve conflicts. Even internationally,46 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • WOMEN IN CONFLICT MANAGEMENTthe percentage of women in conflict and lament. They are very instrumentalprevention and resolution is very in conflict resolution. They quietlylow probably because society has not mediate, between individuals, groupsrealized the values women bring to the and families to ensure that conflicts aretable. prevented or do not get worse though society refuses to acknowledge theirI had been assessing the situation before role.my appointment as minister. I enlistedthese simple women’s help at resolving Though more women have venturedthe conflict in the North. I knew that into conflict prevention and resolution,women have the skills needed in conflict there is no conscious and deliberatemanagement and therefore they should effort to make women concretisebe involved before, during and after their efforts. The few women who areconflict situations. involved in conflict management are usually responding to donor demands.Accordingly, women should not be It is common to hear someone say, "Weseen only as victims. During conflict, have one or two women and thereforethey hold the families together, even we are gender balanced," even withoutwhen they sometimes get blown by land thinking if the women involved canmines. The only reason that the potential bring to the table issues that benefitof women is not being utilised is the society. It should not be a token genderchauvinistic attitudes of society. There is balance.need to break through the chauvinisticattitudes towards women which lead The UN Security Council Resolutionsociety to disregard the crucial role in 1325 calls for inclusion of women A woman with a chopped-offmanagement. in conflict resolution, so that their hand unique ability at peace keeping can be The “wives” of the rebels who returnedIn 1988 when I was sent to the North in tapped into. They bring empathy to from the bush say that they benefittedan attempt to find a peaceful resolution the situation and show understanding from Amnesty but the package wasto the conflict, I was greeted with especially to the women victims. not enough for their resettlement andhostility. This was at the height of the transition. One of them, AgriphineAlice Lakwena’s rebellion of the Holy In peace negotiations, women, usually Akello complained: “We came backSpirit Movement. consider social issues like water, with the children, but all the emphasis education, health and other things is on the men, who in the first placeThe rebels interpreted it as an insult from that benefit society in general while were responsible for putting us in thisMuseveni to send a woman to handle a the men will negotiate about positions situation.”male domain while the people from the and economic benefits to themselves.area said it was lack of seriousness on the The effects of conflict do not end with Their situation can impact societypresident’s part. Both groups noted that active conflict but live on long after with negatively. Psychologists say thatif Museveni had actually wanted the war women and children who mostly bear because they feel they have not beento end, he would have sent a man, not the brunt. They are in better position to helped enough, some of these youngme whom everybody perceived as a girl. think out ways of preventing conflicts. women can get depressed and getMeanwhile, I was able to make a flashbacks of their ordeal. This can makebreakthrough, sowing the seed for the In the North, wives of the former rebels them unleash their anger and frustrationmore internationally pronounced, Juba returned with the rebel’s children and on their defenceless children.Peace Talks between the Government have to deal with a lot of issues, materialand the LRA. and psychological. If listened to, they According to testimonies of some of would provide helpful ideas on how to them, this has already happened as theyIn 1991, I reached out to women, avoid conflict. attack, mistreat and neglect the childrenand asked them to talk to their sons, they see as part of their problems and abrothers and husbands to come out of The women have complained that reminder of their lives destroyed by thethe bush. The women did exactly that though women form a big portion of children’s fathers.and over 2000 fighters gave up rebellion society, they are not directly involvedand returned home. This is the time that in programmes designed to mitigate [Co-authored with Collin Mwijuka,Adong returned. I signed a personal conflict situations and the aftermath. Acting Executive Director of theguarantee that they would be pardoned They cite the Peace Recovery and National Women’s Council and Anneand rehabilitated if they came out of the Development Plan (PRDP) for the Mugisa]bush. Northern Uganda, which they say is well intended, but does not specifically Betty Bigombe is the MinisterThere is a tendency to look at women address women’s issues and does not of State for Water and a formeras helpless bystanders as conflicts go on address their involvement either. negotiator in the Northern Ugandaaround them. Women do not sit back war UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 47
  • WOMEN IN THE MEDIAThe Journey of MediaWomen in Uganda women benefited from the scholarshipBy Margaret Sentamu-Masagazi scheme and have since been promoted at their places of work.Has Uganda’s 50 years of Independencetranslated into a better media for women A good number went abroad in the latein access, information utilization, 1980s and early1990s for courses incoverage or influence? How easy has Journalism while others studied locallyit been for women to pursue a media at the UMI and Mukono Christiancareer? Have they been in position to University. Others benefitted fromcontrol or own a media outlet? What courses organized by Uganda Medianeeds to change? Women’s Association (UMWA).Up to the immediate post- UMWA was established in 1983 as theIndependence period, women were Federation of African Media Womenstill absent as newsmakers or media (FAMW), to change the women’s accessreporters. Progress for Ugandan women to information/media, utilization of thein the media has been long and slow in Margaret Sentamu-Masagazi media, influence national policies andcoming. After 1962 and in the 1970s programmes and their upward mobilitythe few to crop up included: Airidah the women could and would not listen within and outside their journalismNyanzi, Caroline Kizza Kizito, Felister to. profession. Elizabeth Okwenje, one ofMuganwa, Mary Kafureka and Irene the co-founders of UMWA reminisces:Zikusooka. Also, Harriet Namwebya; It was only in the late 1970s and in the “My vision was to develop a large andwho worked as an information officer 1980s that a steady growth of the media strong pool of women professionals inin the Uganda News Agency; Betty was realised. Even then the media in the area of communication with specialMatovu, Margaret Mbaziira and Eva Uganda did not seem to offer much focus on the mass media.Lubwama, who worked with the to the population as it was largely Government-controlled. It was men “Our concerns then were: the negativeUganda Argus; and, Fatuma Alloo from who were in leadership and influential portrayal of women in the media,Radio Uganda. positions, therefore determining who stereotyping, the lack of access toOthers were: Joyce Mbabazi Gunura, would work in which position and information by the majority AfricanIrene Kabole, Jane Kenyi, Edith what would be published. This was women which kept them marginalizedLubwama now at Central Broadcasting evident even in the Uganda Journalists and left behind. We were aware alsoCorporation (CBS) and the author. Association (UJA) which was male- that this media situation was veryThere was also the late Margaret dominated. much a part of Africa’s developmentDdumba. problems originating from its Colonial This continued till the liberalization heritage, lack of economic power and itsMost of these were news anchors and policies of the 1990s that triggered off distorted values.”programme producers. They were a proliferation of FM radio stationsassigned to the so-called “soft” areas which currently number over 250; UMWA has since run programmesassociated with their assumed domestic 12 television stations and numerous impacting on the professionalroles such as: family life, child and newspapers, up from one radio station qualifications of the women mediahealth care, marriage values and leisure. one television station and a few professionals. To-date over 90 womenThe “hard” news areas were reserved for newspapers. media practitioners have benefitedmen. from professional studies or exchange As lecturer in Journalism at Uganda programmes abroad, while others haveWomen’s access to information Management Institutive (UMI) got on-job training.and ability to utilize the media was between 1989 and 1996, I notedlimited due to traditional norms that glaring gaps between the two genders. UMWA’s efforts in encouraging anddiscriminate against women. Their In a class of 16 only 3 were women. I securing scholarships for upcominglow literacy levels limited them from sourced scholarships from the Konrad women journalists to pursuereading the available information Adenauer Foundation, the United professional training is evidenced in thematerials. In cases where the channels Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) increased in-take percentages at UMI’sof communication, such as radio, and Freidrich Ebert Foundation and School of Journalism as 33% (1990) towere available in the home, the men this enabled young women to pursue 63% (1994); and Makerere Universitycontrolled these by determining what diploma and degree courses. Up to 50 keeping a constant percentage of 53%48 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • WOMEN IN THE MEDIAduring the same years.Inside the media houses and associations,UMWA battled with managersto ensure the incidences of sexualharassment stopped, and that whentraining opportunities, promotion, ortaking on leadership positions came,women were treated as equal to men.However, a study, “The Role of theMedia in Creating Images of Women inthe Uganda Mass Media”, by Dr. GorettiLinda Nassanga, the first Director and UMWA PhotoHead of Makerere School of MassCommunication, in 1994 establishedthat, less women were joining schools of A Mama FM anchor at the studioJournalism and ultimately the same, oreven fewer women taking on journalism Mama FM officially launched in August and Rehabilitation for Women’sas a career. Despite that, women joining 2001 is a unique women-owned radio Development (TERREWODE), doingthe profession increase every year, many station, the second in the world and work with women who suffer obstetricof them becoming formidable news first on the Continent. Mama FM was fistula.anchors, producers, technicians or founded and managed by women mediacolumnists. practitioners under UMWA. Others are: Evelyn Igela, whose NGOAlthough the women’s representation is located in Eastern Uganda and Joyce In its eleven years of existence, Mamaat management levels in both The Ilukori who started a Community Based FM has been able to demystify theMonitor and The New Vision was a Organization (CBO) serving women at media by taking the services closer tobare 1%, at the editorial level and on the grassroots level. the underprivileged people in particularUganda Television, at zero by 1994, the women, and enabling them to The number of women in both the printthe situation has changed with an speak out. It has provided internship and electronic media has increased inaverage of 30% women’s representation and membership services to numerous absolute terms, but the ratio to men isat management level in both print and women who now occupy high ranking more or less the same. Despite havingelectronic media. positions in Government and private women ministers of Information, suchIn terms of women’s access to companies. Notable among these are the as Kabakumba Matsiko and Maryinformation through the media, the current Public Relations Officer of the Karoorro Okurut, this political levelsituation is improving. However, Uganda Police, Judith Nabakooba; and representation is not reflected in themost of the media is in English and Sarah Nakibuuka, the Communications media management arena.is concentrated in urban areas thus Officer of Private Sector Foundation Consequently, there should be researchconspiring against women who form of Uganda. These were some of the 24 on women and the media to establishover 80% non-English speakers and Mama FM pioneer staff. the relevant information for womenrural residents. In response, UMWA The Other Voice (TOV) is an advocacy and how they prefer to access it. Also,does not only conduct live broadcasts and publicity tool for women and gender the improved image of the woman infrom locations nearer to the rural equality programmes. It was founded in the media can be realized if regularwomen, but has established radio 1998 and has since contributed to the surveys are done, discussed and actedlistenership groups for the women progress of the Women’s Movement. upon. Furthermore, networkingand strategically selected men to listen Aside from building knowledge and among women NGOs would enhancetogether and discuss issues therein. experiences of women and publishing the sharing and dissemination ofTo deal with the false images against the them on a monthly basis, and later information.women in the media, and increase their quarterly through The New Vision, Then, structural reforms in both trainingvoices therein, UMWA founded and TOV has scored highly in fighting for institutions and media houses are a mustrun two media outlets: Mama FM and the rights of children, workers and for the improvement of the women’sThe Other Voice, a newspaper. minority groups. representation and presentation in theIn terms of ownership and control of Media women have gone beyond media and for taking services closer tomedia, women have come a long way. the box and founded NGOs that the people.Out of over 250 radio stations, twelve work to promote the status of andtelevision stations, ten dailies , and a few rights of women, children and other [Co-authored with Sarah Muwanga]magazines, women own less than 10% marginalized people. There is Sarahof these, but this is laudable compared Kisolo who formed Media and Rural Margaret Sentamu is the Executiveto the 1960s when they owned none. Development; Resettle Mutambi, Director of the Uganda MediaNow, Radio One and Two are owned by who founded the Coalition on Health Women’s Association (UMWA)]Mrs. Maria Kiwanuka, the entrepreneur, Promotion (HEPS); and Alice Emasu, ofrecently appointed Minister of Finance. The Association for the Re-orientation UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 49
  • WOMEN IN SPORTSThe Advance of WomenSport in UgandaBy Wangwe MulakhaUganda has been at the world sports stagesince the 1954 Commonwealth Games inVancouver, Canada – eight years beforeIndependence. Two years later TeamUganda made a debut at the OlympicGames in 1956 in Perth, Australia. Sincethen the Uganda flag has flown at allOlympic and Commonwealth gamesexcept the 1976 Montreal Olympics.Uganda has since won a total 19 gold, 19 The Arua Gazelle mark which won her a title in 1978 insilver and 33 bronze since 1965. because of good structures. “We used Algeria still stands.Ruth Kyalisiima, Judith Ayaa, Constance to be spotted from regional schools’ Dorcus Inzikuru, Annet Negesa,Rwabiryagye, Joyce Aciro, Margaret competitions. I emerged from such Catherine Webombesa, Nambawa andBisereko, Evelyn Adiru, Helen Alyek, competitions in 1968 at Bugembe. By Grace Birungi are the new comers.Christine Kabanda, among others, have 1973 I was on the national team to Inzikuru stormed the centre stage inthrust Ugandan women onto the highest Lagos.” She won a bronze in long jump, 2003 when she won Uganda’s onlystage by winning medals and setting and with Kyalisiima, was drafted on the medal, a silver medal, at the Abuja Africarecords. Africa team to the 1978 World Athletics Games in 5000m. Since then InzikuruAt the All Africa Games, whose first Championships in West Germany. has never looked back. In 2005, at thecompetition was in 1965 in Congo Alyek is a retired Superintendent of World Athletics Championships, inBrazzaville, Regina Awor and Teddy Police (SP), who in 1997 was awarded Helsinki, Finland, she ended Uganda’sNakisuyi returned with two bronze a scholarship to the International 33-year wait for an athletics world title.medals from high and long jumps, Association of Women Police (IAWP) She won the inaugural women’s 3000mrespectively. training in Dallas, Texas, after she had steeplechase, in a time of 9:18.24 (the created the Ugandan Police Family sixth best performance ever) and aAt the Africa games in Nigeria, in 1973, $60,000 cash prize. She had earlier wonUganda put up an improved performance. Protection Unit (CFPU) in 1995. She gold in the 5000m in the World JuniorChristine Anyakun, 800m; Peace Kesiime, Championships in Santiago, Chile, in1500m; Rwabiryagye, javelin and the 2000.4x400m relay team picked gold medals. Inzikuru became Uganda’s second goldKyalisiima came on the stage in 1978 and medalist at a world event after John Akiidominated the sprints for two decades Bua, who won a gold medal at the Munichwhile Kabanda was queen of the jumps. Olympics in 1972.Kyalisiima’s celebrity status got her on thepostal stamps in 1984. In the same year, Inzikuru made more history in 2006 atshe was crowned Uganda Sports Press the Melbourne Commonwealth Games inAssociation (USPA) Sports Personality. Australia. She won gold again in the same steeplechase event to earn the nickname,Kabanda, a former long jump and sprint Ruth Kyalisiima in a the “Arua Gazelle”.specialist says, “We controlled the Eastern commemorative stamp in 1984Africa region and had an impact on the The Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF)Continent. The year 1976 could have churned out Negesa at the time Inzikurubeen our best had Uganda not pulled comments that “I am proud that the unit appeared to fade out. On her debut inout of the Montreal Olympics due to the that I started with one table and two chairs 2010 at the World Junior ChampionshipsSouth African apartheid saga.” is now spread to all Police stations, with in Montcon, Canada, Negesa raced to officers who are skilled in handling cases 800m bronze. In May 2011, she won twoKabanda, now a business woman, set of violence against women and children.” gold medals – a double in a spell of onea long jump record of 6.17m in 1981, year - in 800m and 1500m at the Africaonly broken recently by Sarah Nambawa, Alyek holds a diploma in Education and Junior Athletics Championships. Negesawho leaped 6.36m during the 17th Africa Sports Sciences from Mainz University, demonstrated she was more than a juniorChampionships in Nairobi in 2010. Germany. She was the first woman Police when she won the 800m to pick gold inNambawa is also an African champion in officer from Africa to attend the IAWP in Maputo, Mozambique. The 19-year oldtriple jump (13.49m). recognition for her effort in establishing Kyambogo University student clocked the CFPU.Kabanda explains that Uganda achieved 28.19 minutes to win the National Cross Alyek is still ranked. Her 45.90m discus50 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • WOMEN IN SPORTSCountry senior race, and break steadily progressing to compete with thethe 20-year old national record of best. This earned her the name “Super Lady”.2:00.88 set by Edith Nakiyingi in Each season, she improved her strategy, andItaly in 1990. cars. She has driven the Subarus N4 GC8 and the more powerful N10. Muwonge, aSusan Muwonge, 36, is the latest to teacher by profession, was inspired by fellowstorm the sporting stage. Last year women drivers such as Rose Namayanja,she became the first woman to win Rose Lwakataka and Leila Mayanja, but hasa national motor rally championship surpassed them all.anywhere in the world. TheFederation of International In netball, another sport where Uganda hasAutomobile Association (FIA), always reigned supreme in East Africa, the Shethe motor rallying body sent her a Cranes, the national team, won a gold medalcommendation for her global feat. at the All Africa Games in Mozambique. TheMuwonge opened a new chapter as Ugandans defeated a strong Tanzania teamchampion in a game that had been by 52 goals to 42. Earlier they had shockeddominated by men. South Africa and Botswana during the Susan Muwonge preliminaries. Aidah Nalongo was the star inShe started rallying in 2005 and hassince participated in every season, the1970s and 80s when Uganda dominated the East African region. Sporting Honours Gold In rugby, Uganda women are ranked No. 2 2011 800m Negesa, Maputo 2:01.81 in Africa in the 7-a-side - a testimony that 2010 Nambawa 13.95 -2.6 Nairobi African Championships the game is on the rise. The Uganda Rugby 2006 Inzikuru 9.19.51 Melbourne Commonwealth Games Union (URU) and Uganda Women’s Rugby 2005 3000m Steeple Chase Dorcus Inzikuru 9.18.24 Helsinki Association (UWRA) are working towards World Athletics making it the Number One women’s sport. 2000 Inzikuru 3rd IAAF World Athletics 9:21.80 Monaco The She Cranes 15-a- side captain, Christine 2000 Inzikuru 16:21.32 World Juniors in Chile Kizito, emerged the 2007 women’s Most 1999 3000meters Webombesa 9:41.30 1st World Youth Valuable Player (MVP) while Alia Adania, 1978 Constance Rwabiragye Javelin 47.50m All Africa Games 1973 Peace Kesiime 1500m 4:38.7mins All Africa Games a secondary student, is the best upcoming 1973 Christine Anyakun 800m 2:09.5 All Africa Games player. 4x400 relay 3:45.42.1mins (Ayaa, Mary Musani, Anyakun In soccer, Uganda has twice competed in the and Ongiya) All Africa Games Africa Biennial Women Championships at Joyce Aciro Shot put 14.47 (National Record) qualifiers stage once in 2000 and in 2012. Silver This year after 1-1 draw in the first leg against 2003 5000m: Inzikuru 16:42.9 All Africa Games Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The 2002 Inzikuru 3rd African Championships 15:54.22 She Cranes lost in the return leg in Kinshasa. 1982 Kyalisiima 400mH 57.10 Brisbane, Commonwealth Games 400 meters Ruth Kyalisima 54.49 1978 All Africa Games In golf, Ugandans have dominated the event 100m Hurdles. Kyalisima 13.92 (National Record) since 1976 to win the Uganda Ladies’ Open Discus Alyek 45.90 (National Record) Championship. The reknowned golfers Bisereko Pentathlon 3788 are: Dorothy Ongom, Monica Ntege, who has won over ten titles between 1973 and Bronze 2007. Others are Faith Okello, Alice Kego, 2003 5000m Inzikuru 2003 Afro-Asian Games M. Turyamubugana, Norah Mbabazi, G. 1999 Birungi Johannesburg 2:01.76 Obua and Jasper Kamukama. The 2010, 1999 Mildred Senyondo Table Tennis, All Africa Games 2011 champion is UPDF Corporal Flavia 1999 Mary Musoke. Table Tennis, All Africa Games Namakula. Namakula won the Kenya 1973 Budesia Nyakecho 100m Hurdles 15.29 1973 Africa Games Women Open in 2009. 1973 Kabanda Long Jump 5.73m Africa Games In the 2004 Athens Olympics, weight lifter, 1973 Nyakecho 100m Hurdles 15.1secs Africa Games Irene Ajambo, did the Snatch and finished 1970 Ayaa 400m 53.77 Edinburgh, Commonwealth Games second in the Clean and Jerk portions. She 1987 Evelyn Adiru 1500m 4:17.87 Africa Games 1965 Awori High Jump 1.56 Africa Games had the lowest total across the entire sport, 1965 Nakisuyi Long jump 5.22 Africa Games regardless of weight class. She is commended Rwabiryagye Javelin throws 45.52 for managing to surpass her listed entry total 4 x 100 metres Relay 46.77 of 140.0 kgs. In the 69 kg category, Ajambo 4 x 400m Relay 3:34.41 (National Record) made 150.0 kg (60.0 kgs Snatch, 90.0 kg 4 x 400 metres Relay 3:39.94 Clean and Jerk) to finish 9th overall. New Vision Photos USPA Personality Award In 1996, Uganda’s Nadunga Kyakobye drew 2011 Susan Muwonge, Motor Rallying the short straw in Olympic table tennis, 2005 Inzikuru, Athletics becoming the first woman to face the Chinese 2002 Inzikuru, Athletics world singles champion, Deng Yaping. 2000 Inzikuru, Athletics She also competed in the 1992 Barcelona 1998 Webombesa, Athletics Olympics. 1995 Railway Handball Club 1993 Musoke, Table Tennis Wangwe Mulakha is a Consulting 1984 Kyalisiima, Athletics Editor with The New VisionHellen Alyek UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 51
  • WOMEN IN ENTERTAIMENTHistory of Women inEntertainment in UgandaBy Joanita Kawalya andJoseph WalugembeMore than 40 years ago a musician wasnot taken seriously but as a joker or failurein society. The situation was even worse Artists in a perfomance in the 1970sfor women: they were perceived as sexualobjects whose roles were usually limited to Luzinda and Margaret Kawalya . Kawalya Daughters is one of her works. The song wasback-up artistes. This made women more later joined Afrigo Band. originally organized as an entertainmentvulnerable to sexual harassment, abuse piece for the International Women’s Decade Around 1989 Rachael Magoola and I conference in Nairobi in 1975.and exploitation. joined the Afrigo Band and helped lay theAt Independence, there was a variety of foundation for modern-day band music. Mbowa rose to become a facilitator,music on the local scene, but the bigger Other bands were; Eagles Production and consultant and author on communitypart of it was coming from abroad, mainly Kads Band, which had Prossy Kakunda theatre and theatre for development. SheBritain and Congo. Ugandans developed who sang the famous Akalulu. Jimmy became a representative for Ugandan theatretheir own local music in form of bands. Katumba and the Ebonies came up in the and culture across the world although sheOne of the most prominent bands in place early 1980 with prominent singers like was not recognised for a long time.at the time was the Kampala City Six led Stella Nanteza, Joy Nsubuga and Vicky Other prominent dramatists in the 80sby Israel Magembe and Eclaus Kawalya. Kabali. The bands like; The Mascots, were: Jane Onegi Obel, Elia Lwanga andThis band performed at Independence Mixed Talents employed women like Harriet Busulwa. Obel’s play, The WomenDay celebrations on October 9th 1962. Norah Kasirye, Stella Muyinda and Julie Liberator, advocated for the rights of Ssesanga. Ssesanga later joined The Big women at all levels. Both Lwanga andOther bands included the Cranes Band, Five Band as lead singer.which later evolved into the Afrigo Band Busulwa wrote several short plays thatthat was led by Moses Matovu. It was the Women artistes have moved to a higher showed at the Uganda National Culturalfirst group in the evolution process of this level. They are no longer confined to Center (UNCC).format of music. Louise Bagenda was the song and dance, but are engaged in The then-president, Idi Amin, appointedonly female artiste in the Afrigo Band. She various aspects of the industry, including a woman, Mary Astles Senkatuuka, asbecame famous after her rendition of the management. Women are engaged in minister of Culture and Developmentinternational hit single, My Boy Lollipop, all various types of music forms like; which fostered the work of dramatists.by Jamaican singer, Millie Small (1965- Kadongo Kamu, Afro, R&B, Hip-Hop, Still the majority of writers were men who67). Zouk, and Gospel. Unlike 50 years or so continued to portray women negatively. ago female artistes are wealthier. The turning point came in 1994 whenThe few other prominent women artistesin the mid-1960s included: Margaret Women’s involvement in drama was the Ministry of Gender, Labor and SocialNakibuuka who performed at the New delayed for some time. In the early 1960s Development organized a workshop forLife Bar and Suzaana Night Club. In drama groups did not include women stakeholders in the entertainment industry.1968, she joined the Satellite Band based performers. It was not until the 1970s that This workshop, which was supported by theon Entebbe road. There was Fridah women’s role in drama was realized. This Danish International Agency (DANIDA),Ssonko, who was a back-up artiste in the was after the Government established had the objective to explore the variouspopular Equator Studio. She sung the and promoted a group called the Heart gender issues in the industry. From thenfamous Olupapula si Mupiira. Beat of Africa. It was composed of people on the seeds of a change in mindsets were from different parts of the country, and sown.During the 1970s, Peterson Mutebi and women were the majority. The group wasthe Tames Band employed many women It was in the 1990s when more women formed to enhance national pride and started writing and capturing experiencesas dancers. There was also the Rwenzori unity, preserve valued elements of cultureBand which had female artistes like of fellow women. The establishment of the and promote the country’s image abroad. Ugandan Women’s Writers AssociationHadijah Namale, Margaret Kulubya and The Heart Beat travelled widely across theElizabeth Naggayi. (FEMRITE) helped to increase not only world and gave these women performers’ the pool of women writers but also theirIn the Five Stars Band was Jane Kayanja exposure. voices.who sang, The Centenary Song 1978, Around this time, a female writer, thecomposed by Frank Mbalire, as part of [Co-authored by Sarah Muwanga and late associate professor, Rose Mbowa, Cecilia Ajom, Senior Culture Officer,celebrations to mark 100 years of the emerged. She started the Music, DanceCatholic Church in Uganda. It was MGLSD] and Drama Department of Makererepresented alongside Obufumbo ye Mwana. University in 1971 and was at its helm Joanita Kawalya is a performingKayanja was very popular then. till1991. She did not stop at teaching artiste with Afrigo Band and JosephIn the 80s, were: Harriet Mpagi, now and writing but was a great actress herself Walugembe is the Director of thedeceased, Juliet Kiwanuka, Afuwa and she won many awards. Furthermore, Uganda National Cultural Centre. the women’s anthem titled Mothers and52 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • WOMEN AND SANITATIONEmpowering Womento Get Clean WaterBy Ann Mugisa Improved sanitation includes: connectionIt is only three years to 2015, the year to a public sewer, connection to athe United Nations (UN) has set for septic system, access to a pit latrineall its 193 member states to attain the and a ventilated improved pit latrine.eight Millennium Development Goals Accordingly good sanitation is threatened A scientist tests water(MDGs). MDG 7 is about ensuring by shared, open and bucket latrines. rural areas. Kabirizi notes that the ministry“environmental sustainability” and access has embarked on developing water sources To achieve improved access to water andto clean water and sanitation is under this which include springs, boreholes and sanitation, the ministry developed a waterMDG. gravity flow water schemes. Each water and sanitation gender strategy. The firstIn Uganda, women are the family water strategy was implemented from 2003- source is supposed to serve 5000 people incollectors, users and managers. They 2008; while the second started in 2010 a community.are also involved with household and and will run until 2015. Under these, Piped water is under the Urban Departmentcommunity sanitation activities. women have been prioritized in planning and the rural water supply is mainly and decision making regarding water andThe Minister of Water and Environment, decentralized though the ministry has to sanitation since they bear the brunt ofHon. Maria Mutagamba, has prioritized offer services that the Local Governments inadequate, deficient or inappropriatewomen access improved sources of safe cannot afford. There is some limited piped water and sanitation services.water and good sanitation. Some of water supply in the rural water supplythe programmes include: environment Last September the water and through the gravity glow schemes.protection, ensuring gender equity environment sector performance report On sanitation, Kabirizi says that coverage has improved from 50% in 2001 to 70% last year; it is still less than the national target of 77%. Furthermore, hand washing in the rural area is estimated at 24% which is a 3% improvement from the previous year. In primary schools this access stood at 33%, though many of the schools reported that the hand washing facilities were lacking. Shawn Makumbi Photo The rate of hand-washing after toilet use is much lower than is expected. Only 5.8% of the people had access to hand washing facilities in urban areas. Kampala A woman draws water from a spring well is estimated at only 30%.through active involvement of women indicated that coverage in urban areas In the slum areas, people are resortingin water and sanitation activities right stood at 81% for the year 2010/2011 to open defecation or use of plastic bagsfrom the planning stage, implementation, which is an improvement from 77% in the dubbed “flying toilets” which they dumpoperation and maintenance. previous year and 24% in 2007. into streams for lack of latrines. Samples taken from all final effluent points compliedAccording to Julia Kamara, an official with According to the Commissioner, Rural with the national standards but the reportthe ministry’s Urban Water Department, Water, E. Kabirizi, access to safe water, noted that.the strategy is to empower the women in means water is available within a radiusthese areas. She says that in the urban areas of one kilometer of one’s abode in rural Despite the challenges, by 2006, thethe department carries out grassroots areas and within a quarter of a kilometer population using improved sanitationsensitization and partners with the in urban areas. facilities (i.e. accessing human wastepeople to ensure that they own the water disposal system and hand washing Kabirizi notes that the MDG’sprojects. “At least 50% of the people on facilities). requirement of 75% access by 2015 maythe committees must be women and must not be achieved because of populationtake up key positions like chairperson, [Co-authored with Juliana Kuruhiira, growth. The Uganda Bureau of Statisticssecretary or both,” Kamara says. Commissioner for Culture and Family (UBOS) indicates that the country’sShe adds that the water committees also population is growing at a rate of 3.3%, Affairs, MGLSD]include other vulnerable groups, like the the third highest globally.disabled. For the people such as these, Anne Mugisa is a reporter with The The rural water supply is supposed to New Visionwho cannot afford to connect water to cater for about 28.9 million people ortheir homes, water is provided at kiosks 85.2% of Uganda’s population that live inclose to their homes. UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 53
  • UNFINISHED AGENDATransforming Women’s Lives:the Change we Want to SeeBy Caroline Namagembe situation of the duty bearers who have older women in governance turned perpetuators of injustice andSince Independence, Ugandan women the promoters of violence. Further, Economic empowermenthave made breakthroughs in fields the nature and extent of corruptionoutside their traditional roles as wives, has affected delivery of services and Women are the majority actors inmothers and caretakers. They have impacted negatively on the quality of agriculture and in the informal sectors,contributed to the debate of priority life and especially that of women. Thus, yet they continue to have unequal accessconcerns for national development. it is necessary to: to: ownership and control of land,There are many examples in our history markets, information, and loans (exceptwhere women have been leaders and • Work towards achieving the United microfinance funds). This affects theirinfluenced leadership for the reformand betterment of the country.Doubtless, Government, otheractors and citizens have contributedcommendable measures to thepromotion of gender equality andwomen’s empowerment. Accordingly,women leaders and politicians past andpresent, are applauded for their courageand persistence which will translate intoa better life for the Ugandan girl childand woman.However, despite these achievements,diverse challenges impact on theadvancement of women. The dilemmasfacing women include: keeping women’sissues central in the public debate andaction; consolidating the gains; and,ensuring that women continue tooccupy the democratic and governance Women as the majority need to come together to have equalspaces. access to ownership and control of family resourcesAs we mark 50 years of Uganda’s Nations (UN) and African Union ability to access other productiveIndependence and 101 years of (AU) required 50/50 gender resources and impedes their socio-celebrating the International Women’s parity for all elective and appointive economic advancement. To this end, itDay, it is crucial that attention is drawn positions in the Executive, is critical to:to women’s needs and concerns if the Parliament, Local Government,empowerment of Ugandan women and political parties and other decision • Ensure a specific national budgetarygirls is to be realized. making structures. allocation to women farmers. • Initiate strategies that encourage • Amend the Income Tax Act, toDemocracy and Governance political parties to integrate women provide for incentives and tax in elective and non-elective public waivers for private sector employersIn all the public spheres, the women to positions in the same proportion with a minimum of 30% femalemen ratios do not reflect the population and at the same levels as men. employment at all levels of theirstratum of 51% For example, women • Develop and fund a comprehensive organizational structures.make up only 34% of the people’s civic education programme aimed at • Prioritize female youth employmentrepresentatives in Parliament. encouraging women to participate and progressive increment for in the democratic and other decision funding of youth specific initiatives.Their marginalization in politics and making processes. • Encourage the women to acquireother spheres is compounded by the • Maintain a mix of the youth and the property.54 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  • • Amend the Land Act and other Counseling, Care and Support. system of ownership prevalent in relevant laws, to provide for the co- • Initiate interventions to encourage the North. ownership of matrimonial property men’s involvement in women’s • Involving women in peacekeeping, by spouses. reproductive health and parenthood. conflict resolution and management• Initiate practical actions to address • Increase funding to HIV/AIDS at all levels. women’s access to markets, credit, research and interventions aimed at • Instituting national reconstruction and information. technologies controlled by women, and reconciliation initiatives among• Review the procurement processes such as Microbicides studies and people from all regions and of all at the Local Government level to HIV/AIDS vaccines. political persuasions. enhance the participation of women • Protect women and girls in conflict in the process, for instance, through Education situations. affirmative action. Girls and women have lower literacy Human Rights and the LawHealth levels compared to men and boys. This limits their participation in various Women often face legal discriminationFor all social categories, Uganda’s development processes. Accordingly, and restrictions that inhibit theirhealth indicators are low. Further, the there is need to: participation in various spheres of life.position of women is worse than that ofmen. For instance, about 16 women in • Review the Affirmative Action Government should:Uganda die daily from pregnancy and Policy in the education sector to • Make reforms in the legal regime inchildbirth-related complications, many promote the enrolment of girls order to enhance women’s access toof which are preventable. Only 47% of in Teacher Training Colleges and justice.women attend all the recommended Polytechnics. • Enact gender legislation andantenatal care visits. Also, an estimated • Develop a gender responsive policy develop a policy with focus on the25%, teenage pregnancy in Uganda is and implement regulations for the Marriage and Divorce Bill, thethe highest in sub-Saharan Africa. effective implementation of the Muslim Personal Administration Business, Technical and Vocational Bill, the Sexual Offences Bill and theMost women have limited access to Training Act. National Sexual Harassment Policy.health services yet as caregivers they • Enforce laws and regulations that • Amend and repeal the laws recentlyshoulder the greater burden of caring for encourage girls’ enrolment and declared null and void by thethe sick. There is rampant corruption retention in schools. Constitutional Court.in the delivery of drugs, including • Address barriers to girls’ education • Implement the Domestic Violenceessential drugs for HIV/AIDS patients such as; child sacrifice, sexual Act, Trafficking in Persons Act andand distribution of mosquito nets for harassment, Female Genital the Female Genital Mutilation Act.pregnant mothers and children. Mutilation, early marriages and the • Reinforce Registration of Births and lack of sanitary towels. Deaths to enhance the provision ofTo change the situation stakeholders reliable information on the age ofshould: Peace, Human Security and girls, thus protecting their Sexual• Allocate sufficient resources Dignity Reproductive and Health Rights. for implementing Government commitments under the Abuja Women bear the greater brunt of Challenges related to institutional Declaration on Health, the conflict in both the private and public mechanism hinder effectiveness in African Union Campaign on the spheres, leaving them in a permanent achieving gender equity and equality. Accelerated Reduction of Maternal state of insecurity even when there is There is need therefore to increase Mortality in Africa and the National no war. Moreover, conflict prevents funding and institutional support to the Roadmap on Maternal Health. women from participating in leadership Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social• Increase funding to ensure because of threats to their personal and Development. functional and accessible health bodily integrity. services and improved remuneration Also, Government should put special of medical personnel. This situation calls for: emphasis on supporting women to• Enhance the Public-Private be positioned strategically to enable Partnership on healthcare service • Integrating the UN Resolution them to participate in decision-making provision. 1325 within the Government processes.• Adopt the Uganda Disaster Risk policies and plans such as the Reduction and Management Policy National Development Plan and the Carol Namagembe is the (2009) and the operationalization Peace, Recovery and Development Communications Officer, Forum for of the central coordination center Plan Women in Democracy (FOWODE) on disaster management. • Assessing the land question in the• Integrate components of advocacy context of the war, taking into against Sexual and Gender account; gender, poverty, culture Based Violence, in HIV/AIDS and the communal land tenure UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012 55
  • Women Defy Tradition in PoliticsBook Title: When the Hens apparent for the five women is that they Begin to Crow are all ready to crow.Author: Dr. Sylvia Tamale In the third and fourth chapter,Pages: 248 Tamale discusses gender and politicsReviewer: Hilda Twongyeirwe of Parliamentary representation. She investigates affirmative action politicsWhen did hens crow in world history? and how legislators perceive their roleIn her book; When Hens Begin to Crow, in Parliament. She also analyses theDr. Sylvia Tamale does not present the women’s journey into politics and theirquestion but the statement as a reality. participation in the electoral process. The chapter presents divergent views andTamale chooses a very appropriate analogy perceptions of what fellow women in theto investigate a time in Uganda when electorate have about women in politics.women stood up to demand and take uptheir space on the political arena where In the fifth to the seventh chapter, Tamalethey were least expected. The title came examines the historical evolution offrom a statement that a male observer gender as a social construct and how thatdirected at a female contestant. This bears on gender relations and politics.woman was defying the custom of silence. initiative; it set into motion most of what The author follows proceedings of the followed later. Constituent Assembly and other politicalWhen the Hen Begins to Crow is a nine- spaces and how women in politicschapter research-based book that analyses The second chapter explores biographical progressed from passiveness to gaingender relations from the Marxist Feminist profiles of five female politicians momentum as an interest group and howtheory period of underdevelopment. The representing gender and politics, both they learnt to deal with the intimidatingresearch was carried out in 1996 when at structural and at individual levels. Rules of Procedure in the House.gender equality was the catchword in It is a surprise that Tamale calls theseUganda just as it was in most of the other biographies, “five histories” instead of Tamale emphasises that expectationsunderdeveloped countries. “five herstories,” because it has been of society upon a woman’s conduct in argued that the term history was coined domestic and public spaces stems fromThe first chapter analyses the politics of the notion of material altruism inherent by men to tell their story. The womenUganda right from the pre-Colonial era. in African gender ideology and sex. Her discussed are: Miria Matembe, RhodaTamale’s work is made more authentic research does not stop at Parliamentary Kalema, Betty Bigombe, Cecelia Ogwalby her assessment of various related politics but equally analyses women doing and Naava Nabagesera.writings. Most of these assert that during politics in their constituents, and howthe pre-Colonial era, women were not All these women negotiate their way they respond to the electorate.as marginalised as they are today; they through politics, challenging situationsparticipated as diviners, spiritual leaders that remind the reader of the analogy Chapter Eight brings out theand political advisers; “although their of crowing hens. The responses by these misrepresentation of women politiciansstatus was by no means equal to that of women show the way in which women in the media and concludes that malemen.” in politics empower themselves and politicians are never misinterpreted by the resist gender oppression; and how some press in such a demeaning and patronisingAccording to Tamale, it was a turn of way as is done to them. of them fight to protect and empowerevents during the Colonial era when men fellow women. Tamale quotes Matembe Although this is a research based book,started to engage in economic activities saying that when she fails to help a it does not escape the reader that Tamalewhile the women remained home and woman in trouble, she feels hurt. This is not only an academic but a womanengaged in non-paying domestic work. echoes what woman activist, Dr. Bisi activist. Her intriguing research questionsThis was aggravated by the British who Adeleye of African Women Development lead the women interviewees to statetransplanted their ethnocentric version of Fund, once said at a women’s gathering: where their allegiance lies. That is why inmale dominated politics and an education that if a woman cannot feel the pain of her conclusion in Chapter Nine she statessystem that ignored women’s involvement a fellow woman, then, she is not likely that women legislators must make anin politics. This has caused the women to do anything to improve that woman’s effort to construct a common programmeto rally and challenge the structures of situation. We now understand why for unity against their shared genderdomination. Matembe called for castration of defilers. inequality.In 1946, The National Uganda Council Basing on these “herstories”, Tamale When Hens Begin to Crow gives anof Women was established to fight for concludes that irrespective of the woman’s impression of panic by the cock afterwomen’s rights. Although at that time, social, economic class, religious-cultural realising that the hen was crowing,women tried to stand for office, the background or ethnicity, gender relegates defying the custom of silence. This is asystems were strongly patriarchal and they them all to a secondary status in politics. must read book by anyone interested inalienated the women. She adds that the personal style approaches gender politics.Tamale notes that at post-Independence, that the different women take to negotiatewomen continued to be excluded but their concerns, play a significant role Hilda Twongyeirwe is Coordinator,they kept up pressure on the Government in achieving their goals. Accordingly, a Uganda Women Writers Association,to consider their concerns. In 1962 a radical approach like that of Matembe writer and recipient of National Bookcommission was established to investigate provides a militant edge against which Trust of Uganda certificate for herthe status of women. This was a landmark a moderate approach hinges. What is contribution to children’s literature56 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
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