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Uganda woman 2012

  1. 1. 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. 2. 2 UGANDA WOMAN March - September 2012
  3. 3. 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
  4. 4. UGANDA WOMANPublished by;Ministry of Gender, Labour and SocialDevelopment,P.O. Box 7136,www., 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
  5. 5. 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 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
  6. 6. 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
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. 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
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. 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 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
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. 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
  14. 14. 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 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
  15. 15. 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 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
  16. 16. 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
  17. 17. 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 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
  18. 18. 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
  19. 19. 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