Fowode e newsletter, july-sep 12


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Fowode e newsletter, july-sep 12

  1. 1. F O R U MF O R WOMEN IN DEMOCRACY FOWODE E-NEWS JULY-SEPTEMBER 2012, ISSUE 5 FOWODE CONGRATULATESALL UGANDANS ON THE 50TH INDEPENDENCE JUBILEE INSIDE THIS ISSUE 4 G Gender concerns in the oil bills F 7 Female MPs Seek Gender inclusion in district budgets 8 Civil Society Position on the Public Finance Bill 2012 Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE) is a non-partisan national women’s organization. Vision: A just and fair society where women and men equally participate in and benefit from decision-making processes. Mission: To promote gender equality in all areas of decision-making through advocacy, training, research, and publications
  2. 2. My Internship Experience at FOWODE In July 2012, FOWODE received interns from Purdue University who had come to acquire hands- on experience with FOWODE’s work of promoting gender equality in decision making. In their three weeks period each of the interns got a chance to experience the working environment in Uganda both at the national level and at the grassroots. In this article Trinity Overmyer shares her three weeks’ internship experiences and how it impacted on her. I relay my experience with FOWODE projects during a three-week internship in July 2012 and how they fit into the greater mission of this organization, as well as how these assignments and experiences relate to where FOWODE is moving in the future. During this period I attended a joint listening in of the 2012/13 national budget speech that was organized by FOWODE for various civil society organizations. I found it interesting that so many NGOs Trinity Overmyer, during a field trip in FOWODE’s districts of operation. gather to listen and discuss the upcoming year’s budget. They I have never been particularly interested in politics or the democratic process, but come together and share information, excitement and seeing the villagers come together to fight for themselves has inspired me to be disappointments over government pronouncements for the next more involved as well. financial year. “Many people in the U.S. think that if Uganda The community members seemed to be taking charge of the clubs and their needs help, they need food, clothes and mission themselves and I think this is what will keep this program going far into mosquito nets. If someone asked me now, I the future. They are pushing to get more training so they can train others. Their would say Uganda is striving to create more ideas about financially sustaining themselves are ingenious. The VBC program is innovative, and more than that, it is effectively furthering FOWODE’s mission of infrastructure, better education and healthcare promoting women’s participation in democratic processes and making for its citizens and better working government governments accountable. officials”.The budget speech was really interesting and informative for me. It My internship coincided with FOWODE’s Leadership building Camp. I was instantlyhelped me learn and think so much about how Uganda does impressed with the professionalism of the young women as they gave speechesdevelopment and where FOWODE fits into that scheme. Many people and seemed to be genuinely working to learn the concepts presented for the the U.S. think that if Uganda needs help, they need food, clothes My time at FOWODE was eye opening. Being able to learn about how they areand mosquito nets. If someone asked me now, I would say Uganda is engaging in women’s issues in Uganda also helped me to look at Uganda’s culturestriving to create more infrastructure, better education and and traditions, not just from a feminist or American lens, but from a humanistichealthcare for its citizens, and better working government officials. one. I got to spend time with the staff that explained the culture to me and shedBy infrastructure, I mean roads, access to clean water, access to light on some of the differences in Uganda that I did not previously, and systems to check and balance those in positions of power. Although the programs are amazing, FOWODE’s staff is really the greatest asset.That budget speech helped me think about things more deeply, such They are dedicated to the women’s movement; it was apparent in the way theyas, “Yes, growing more tea for export will bring in more for the gross talked about their projects and where they wanted to see the organization go innational product, but people also need to keep growing food to feed the future.the population.” Or “Taxing alcohol does raise money for thegovernment, but how will that negatively impact rural farmers who I got a feel for what it would be like to work for a non-profit organization fullgrow the products that make the alcohol?” Not to mention that time. In the end, I appreciated that there was a lot to learn in such a short and Igovernment was to raise the tax on cosmetics, which seems trivial, am excited to continue following FOWODE’s work in Uganda.until you realize that these taxes only impact women, who areexpected to wear makeup in the workplace.Whereas in Uganda issues, such as better roads, seem to beconstantly on the budget, year after year without improvement,America seems to flip flop continually about what projects are Left: Lauren Coleman with VBC members in Gulu districtimportant. One day insurance companies are mandated to coverbirth control; the next Planned Parenthood is getting defunded Below: Racheal Tobias dancing withentirely. Although we were included in many staff meetings, the big community members in Kabale districtbudget meeting was the most insightful for me as an outsider inUganda. I got to see in detail how the government makes priorities.It was also really great for Julius Mukunda, the FOWODE SeniorProgram Director to come speak with us after the budget wasannounced to explain things and answer questions.My time in the field was the highlight of my internship;it was aninvaluable experience. I visited Kibaale district one of the districtswhere FOWODE implements her programs. I was able to see adifferent side of Uganda than the busy city of Kampala. I got to seethe road conditions for myself; only then could I really understandwhat the grassroots Village Budget Clubs that FOWODE supportswere up against, and how their struggle with infrastructure issuesreally affects their lives on a daily basis. Even after all of myresearch, I only had a true picture of the clubs after I visited a groupof them and was able to watch the process unfold. I will say againhow impressive this program is, and how impassioned theparticipants are. Not only do the VBCs bring real, measurablechanges to the community and government, but the membersbecome empowered and are changing their own lives as well. FOWODE E-NEWSLETTER 2
  3. 3. Community group mediates on illegal healthcare payments i.e. immunization, antenatal care and family planning services. The other resolution was to refund money to all women who had paid for Village budget club members in Kisiita Sub County in Kibaale the immunization cards that day, even those who had earlier been stopped illegal payments made at Kisiita Health Center III for denied the service were called back and their children were antenatal cards, child immunization cards and family planning immunized. services A formal report on this incident was subsequently presented to the Kibaale District Health Officer by the village budget club members In September 2012, Kisiita Village budget club members a grassroots urging his office to intervene. They made three follow up visits to community group mobilized by FOWODE to monitor service delivery for assess if changes were being implemented. On the first visit the improved gender accountability monitored Kisiita Health Centre III to women complained they were being neglected by health personnel, examine the quality of service delivery. Being an immunization day, the this necessitated the Village budget club members to approach the center was busy; however they met the health center personnel and also sub county chief asking him to talk to the health center personnel held discussions with patients to review their levels of satisfaction with about their conduct. By the third follow up visit there were more the services provided at this Health Center. During these interactions the than 90 clients who had brought their children for immunization, no club members learnt that women in this community always pay a fee to mother had paid any money and the personnel were working well. acquire child immunization cards, antenatal cards and family planning An official response is yet to be presented to the Village budget club services. In fact on this very day, many mothers had been turned away members from the District Health Officer but the change witnessed and their children had not been immunized because they did not have at the health center where women and children access free health Ugshs 1000 for an immunization card. This forced the members to services suggests that district and subcounty leadership took action immediately contact the Kibaale District Health Officer who affirmed that on the concerns of the community presented by village budget club such payments are the members then these are free With that assurance,unauthorized becausecontacted the in government members. charge of Kisiita Health Center to explain why they make services women pay for free government services. In response, the in As told by TinnerAreeba, FOWODE Field Officer Kibaale District. charge stated that although this was a common practice at the heath center, it was never endorsed by authorities of the health center. He further noted that staff collected money from patients but never declared it to the authorities. In order to resolve this issue, the Village Budget Club membersquickly organized a meeting with the personnel at the health center and two resolutions were made in this meeting. One was that the health center immediately stops charging these illegal fees so that every woman and child visiting this health center receives free health services “Pregnant women were required topay Ugshs 500 for an antenatal card while those who brought childrenwere required to pay Ugshs 1000 for a child immunization card’The VBC member below displaying the child health cards Mother’s registering with VBC members to claimwhich the mothers had bought . the money paid for an immunisation card from the Health centre personell. FACT: Women in Uganda when pregnant are required to have an antenatal card, which contains proof that a physician has seen them throughout their pregnancy. FOWODE E-NEWSLETTER 3
  4. 4. The Gender Concerns in the Petroleum Sector management bills The increasing public awareness of the economic potential of the discovery and exploration of oil and gas in Uganda led to the adoption of the National Oil and Gas Policy in Uganda in 2008. The Policy provides for passing of appropriate laws to give effect to Article 244 of the Constitution of Uganda and to facilitate the implementation of the Policy. of the performance of the petroleum sector Government tabled two bills before the 9th Parliament of Uganda in February 2012 indicating actions taken to deliver on various namely the: commitments of government to theFACT: 1. Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill of 2012 (Bill No. achievement of gender equality and the 1); and empowerment of women in the area of 2. Petroleum (Refining, Gas processing and Conversion, Transportation and education and training; Storage) Bill, 2012 (Bill No.2). employment; access to informationForum for Women in Democracy commissioned a Section 25 authorizes the Board to appoint and othergender audit to ensure that the rights of women and Committees to which it can forward any matter for productivemen are equally protected and ultimately all people scrutiny and deliberation. The principle of equal resources;of Uganda are able to enjoy the benefits accruing opportunity for men and women should be upheld leadershipfrom the exploration, development and production of under Section 31 which provides for the appointmentoil and gas in Uganda without subjection to any form of staff and other officers of the Authority andof discrimination. The audit highlights the key gender Affirmative action measures should be undertaken and decision making etc as required underissues and gaps in the 2 bills and gives where necessary to ensure equality of opportunity for the National Development Plan, Uganda’srecommendations to improve the bills for the equal employment within the Authority particularly at Vision 2025, the Millennium Developmentbenefit of all. decision making levels. Goals (MDGs) and key human rights instruments signedat regional andLand ownership and Petroleum rights, Functions of the Authority international level.FOWODE recommends that Section 5 of Bill 1 should One of the functions of the Authority articulated underbe aligned with Article 237 of the Constitution of Section 11 (2) (i) is to ensure that licensees uphold The National Oil CompanyUganda which states that “Land in Uganda belongs to laws, regulations, rules and contract terms. This There is no provision in The Bill No. 1 whichthe citizens of Uganda and shall vest in them in should be interpreted to include adherence to laws, linkstheNational Oil Company to theaccordance with the land tenure systems provided regulations and rules that enable the government of Authority. For purposes of protecting thefor by law.” This means that government shall Uganda to meet its commitments to gender equality interests of the State and the shareholders –exercise petroleum rights on the land on behalf of and women’s empowerment through the operations of majority of whom should be Ugandans – thethe citizens of Uganda for their full benefit. the Petroleum Sector. Authority should have powers to check andTherefore, that part of the provision which refers to ensure that the operators of the company“.... held on behalf of the Republic of Uganda” In fulfilling its functions of protecting the health and promote the principles of equality, equity,should be replaced with “... held on behalf of the safety of workers and the public, the Authority should fair competition and non- discriminationcitizens of Uganda.” take into account the differentiated impact of petroleum activities on the health and safety of Opening up of new areas for petroleumAppointment of the Board of Directors for the women and men and also children. Monitoring the activitiesPetroleum Authority impact on different population groups and workers When assessing the impact of petroleum with special needs like pregnant women or activities in new potential areas for licensingBill No. 1 authorizes the Minister of Petroleum to breastfeeding mothers would enable the Authority to are undertaken. It is recommended that suchappoint the Board of Directorsand the members with develop appropriate regulations as well as give assessments should take into account genderthe approval of the Cabinet. In order to achieve this directions to Licensees on such actions to take to considerations and analyse the differentiatedgoal and to have a more objective process of secure the health and safety of such workers. impact on men and women in the areas andappointment for the members of the Board, it is the implications the activities will have onproposed that the Minister appoints the members Powers of the Minister their health, food security, and a wholewith the endorsement of Cabinet and approval of The Minister has power under Section 14 of Bill range of human rights.Parliament. It’s also important that oversight role of No.1to give directions to the Authority and suchthe National Assembly in the Petroleum sector is directionshave to be gazetted. To avoid abuse of Given that Sections 48 of Bill No. 1 andentrenched in the 2 bills to scrutinize key power in the office of the Minister in charge of Section 12 (2) (d) of Bill No. 2, give theappointments in the sector. Petroleum and to secure the independence of the public, interested parties and those who will Authority in its operations as provided for in Section 15 be most affected a right to share their viewsAlthough Section 18 (3) provides for at least two of the Bill, a schedule should be included in the Bill to in writing with the Minister. It iswomen to be on the Board, it is recommended that indicate specific areas where the Minister can give recommended that information on thethe provision should be to have at least 3 competent such directions. The specific areas in this case should impact assessments should be provided infemale members since Uganda today is aiming at include possible directions intended to promote equal appropriate formats that make it accessiblerealizing gender parity in all decision making opportunities for men and women in the petroleum to different categories of people andstructures and public bodies. sector. population groups. The law should obligate the Minister to collect views of the peopleIt is further recommended that Section 18 (5) Board Annual Report and communities that are mentioned in thewhich outlines the proven experience for the Under Section 42, the Board of Directors is required to impact assessment reports as the mostmembers of the Board should include experience in present an annual report to the Minister who vulnerable. This is to ensure that theundertaking gender analysis, planning and subsequently submits it to Parliament. It is processes of collecting views are inclusive ofprogramming. recommended to make it mandatory under Section both men and women in the communities 42(2) for the Board Report to include a gender analysis that will be most affected by the proposed petroleum activities. FOWODE E-NEWSLETTER 4
  5. 5. The Gender Concerns continued…. Gender issues and gaps in the Petroleum (Refining, Gas Processing and Conversion, Transportation and Storage) Bill (Bill No.2) Submission of an application for a license The regulations on the application for a license under Section 9 of Bill No. 2 shouldCitizen Participation and access to information cadre of employment in the Petroleum sector who place an obligation on the Minister and theIn order for citizens to participate effectivelyand will most likely be women. The rights of workers in Authority to take into account gender issuesmake informed decisions, there is need for a the sector should be protected from the onset and right from the time of assessing themechanism to make information available and licensees in breach of labour laws should be duly applications for a license to operate inaccessible to different population groups so as to directed to comply or face the consequences of the midstream petroleum activities. This willraise people’s awareness and consciousness about law. give the government of Uganda an opportuneactivities in the Petroleum Sector. There is also moment to set standards to be met by allneed to take into account their different roles, Oil and gas exploration, development and applicants in order to achieve specific gendercapacities, levels of education and exposure and production plus the midstream activities is male targets and commitments to ensure that thetheir vulnerability to the impact of the petroleum dominated. Thus it is imperative that government application processes are gender responsive.activities on their health, safety and livelihoods. sets clear equity principles to address the need for women and men to access employment in this In the Regulations that are to be developedThe displacement of persons/ communities/ sector. With the support of women to access higher by the Minister under Bill No. 2 as providedacquisition of Land education at university level and scholarships for for under Section 10 (1), the requirements toMajority of women do not own land (titled land) but those taking science based disciplines, there should specify gender mainstreaming targets as parthave interests in the land they use for agricultural be a deliberate effort to get more female students of the plans of the applicants should beproduction or for matrimonial purposes. These in courses relevant to the petroleum sector in order included.interests have to be protected by law and where to make them competitive. Technical trainingcompensation is to be made the interests of women should target both men and women and this should It is also important for the applicants tohave to be assessed and duly compensated. In case be the standard policy in the Authority and also indicate in more specific terms the benefitsof government acquisition of land on which the directed by the Authority for all licensees. that will accrue to women and men as aowners have a matrimonial home, the man and result of their operations in this sector. Forwoman have to be fully informed and both of them It is prudent that Oil companies bidding for example they should indicate their Corporateinvolved in the process leading to the compensation contracts to sign a statement of commitment to Social Responsibility Strategy and how it willor resettlement. Women in most rural communities gender equity and also incorporate commitment to benefit different population groups in thein Uganda have access to land through their spouses gender and equality as criterion for equality communities where their operations will beor male family members. These realities should be criterion for scoring bids on oil operations that are based.taken into account when compensation and put to public tender. In addition, it would beresettlement decisions are being made. worthwhile to integrate gender equity outcomes As part of government’s obligation to fulfill with key milestones in the overall human resource the citizen’s right to information speculatedFemale headed households must be recognized in plan for the Authority and the licensees. This would Under Section 12, it should be included intheir own right and their interests in land acquired build into women’s benefit plans, quantifiable the Regulations that the Minister andby government for purposes of oil and gas training and employment outcomes. Authority shall use community basedexploration, development and production or other approaches to get information to themidstream activities regulated under Bill No. 2 are Childcare for women working in the sector different categories of affected people andfully compensated without prejudice to their All licensees should have employment policies that communities and ensure that they arestatus. Single women and men as well as widows enable male and female employees to have a well- involved in this process. This should be doneand widowers should be allocated land for balanced life - work and social life balance. The in addition to publishing the notice in theresettlement in their own right. Government has to right to maternity and paternity leave should be official gazette and in a newspaper with wideinterpret carefully the provisions on compensation protected and the minimum standards articulated circulation. The Petroleum sector being quitefor land taken up for oil and gas exploration to in the Employment Act of 2006 adhered to including technical the obligation placed onensure that women and children in polygamous the maximum hours of work. Most working places of government, the Authority and Ministryunion are not disadvantaged. the Companies engaged in oil and gas exploitation concerned is quite high to ensure that no are far from other essential service centres. person is disadvantaged due to use of genderLabour issues Therefore, child care facilities should be provided blind approaches in implementing theBill No.1 makes provision for the establishment of as a standard requirement for any licensee. provisions of the Oil and Gas Policy as well asthe Petroleum Authority in Uganda. The law should the Petroleum Bills.oblige the staff of the Authority to promote equal Monitoring and Evaluationopportunities for men and women in the sector. The Authority should ensure that the mechanismsCompliance with labour laws is critical to ensure for monitoring and evaluation the petroleum sectorthat the right to equal pay for men and women for enables both women and men to participate by “It is Crucial that every billwork of equal value is upheld by all key taking into account their differences in roles, tabled in Parliament is subjectedstakeholders in the sector. The Authority should capacity to engage and the extent of the impact on to a Gender Audit”have a strong Inspectorate to ensure that licensees their lives and public interests. The Regulationsdo not exploit workers especially those in the lower developed under the two Bills should facilitate the Authority to fulfill this obligation. . The two bills have been in Uganda’s Natural Resources Parliamentary Committee which has also been receiving submissions from different stakeholders including FOWODE FOWODE E-NEWSLETTER 5
  6. 6. LAUNCH OF 89.5 SPEAK FM IN PICTURESABOVE: FOWODE board and staff as well as 89.5 SPEAK FM staff teamed up toclean Gulu Town before the launch of the radioBELOW:Patricia MunabiBabiiha, the FOWODE ED, addressing the audience in Guluduring the launch of 89.5 SPEAK FM in Gulu ABOVE: FOWODE Staff hosted in the 89.5 SPEAK FM studios LEFT: Hon. Santa the Chief Walker leads the walk in Gulu Town ABOVE :FOWODE Board members, 89.5 SPEAK FM Staff with the Chief Guest Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga 89.5 at SPEAK FM Radio in Gulu RIGHT: 89.5 Speak FM Staff entertaining the crowd during the launch of the radio in Gulu FOWODE E-NEWSLETTER 6
  7. 7. NEWS IN SUMMARY Training in Gender responsive budgeting andLaunching 89.5 SPEAK FM in Gulu resource tracking for the Agriculture sector Julius Mukunda, FOWODE Senior Program Director during the CSBAGRt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament of Uganda, FOWODE Board members Training.during the launch of the 89.5 SPEAK FM in Gulu FOWODE on behalf of the Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG)To mark its 1 year anniversary, 89.5 SPEAK FM in Gulu a radio conducted capacity building trainings for CSBAG members from Kampala, Pallisa and Soroti districts in gender responsive budgeting andstation affiliated to Forum for Women in Democracy was officially budget tracking for the agriculture sector. Participants were takenlaunched by Rt. Honorable Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, the Speaker of through; the Local Government budget cycle, how to analyze genderthe Parliament of Uganda. The launch was preceded by cleaning of issues in the agriculture sector, rights based approach to public serviceGulu town by FOWODE and 89.5 Speak FM and road drives around delivery in relation to the agriculture sector, budget concepts as wellGulu town. as the Public Expenditure Tracking [PETS] tools for agriculture. Moving gender equality to the forefront of Developing FOWODE’s new strategic Plan local development interventions in AfricaKey stakeholders from across Africa convened in Sierra Leone inSeptember 2012 for a consultative meeting on the joint programinitiative of Gender Equitable Local Development (GELD). The meetingheld under the theme “Fostering Gender Equitable Local Developmentin Eradicating Poverty in West Africa” was an opportunity to mobilizeaction for women’s empowerment through continued investment ingender equitable planning, and renewed institutional commitments toraising the gender equality agenda in decentralization systems in WestAfrica. In this meeting, Patricia Munabi the Executive Director forForum for Women in Democracy shared the organization’s experiencesand evidence that developing women’s skills increases both theirparticipation in decision-making processes and access to resourceswhich further enhances gender equality and social justice.The key outcome of this meeting was a common agenda through whichparticipating governments and organizations can use the Gender FOWODE embarked on a process of developing a new strategic plan toEquitable Local Development model to meet women’s priorities in local guide her actions for the next strategic period 2012/17development planning.Women’s Conference during the Farm Power Training of Women Councilors in GenderWeek Based Violence FOWODE conducted trainings on Gender based violence in Lira, Nebbi, Pallisa, Kween, Kitgum, Gulu, Masaka, and Mbarara districts in July and August 2012. The training was empowering especially on the aspect of gender based violence. Several women councilors shared that engagement on this particular topic was indeed new to them as it opened their eyes to the reality of the challenges within their communities. The trainings triggered the councilors into action with the formation of women caucuses and action plans. It is hoped that the trainings will yieldHon. Sarah Kataike and Hon. Jacqueline Amongin during the Farm fruitful results with regard to the councilors’ ability to effectivelypower Women’s Conference legislate in the councils and play a significant role in the control ofIn partnership with other key stakeholders, FOWODE under the Food gender based violence.Rights Alliance, as part of its efforts to amplify the voice ofsmallholder farmers, organized a dialogue which provided a platformfor women farmers to share and learn together with the policymakers on the challenges they face in food production. As a keyoutcome from this engagement, a women farmers’ statement ofaction was produced and presented to policy makers during theNational farmers Forum by a woman farmer. FOWODE E-NEWSLETTER 7
  8. 8. Female MPs seek gender inclusion in district budgets IN SUMMARY: THE APPEAL: Women legislators have recommended an increase in the budget allocation by government to finance gender activities at the district level as a way of checking gender inequalities. MP Rosemary Nyakikongoro (R) consults fellow legislators, NamukwayaBugembe (C) and Evelyn Kabule (L) recently. Women legislators have asked government to allocate more resources to the districts to finance gender activities as a way of checking gender inequalities. PHOTO BY GEOFFREY SSERUYANGE , Daily MonitorWomen legislators under their umbrella association, the “There is also need for capacity building for technical Ms. Grace Namara, the area MP, said governmentUganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA), and people because they must also be in a position to utilise must create a special budget line to finance genderthe Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE), have the little resources that they have to plan for gender activities to empower the women and improve onappealed to government to allocate more resources to activities,” Ms. Nyakikongoro added. their house hold incomes.districts to finance women activities as a way of checkinggender inequalities. Kyenjojo District Woman MP Flavia Rwabuhoro Kabahenda Lyantonde Town clerk Martin Ssentongo admitted said there must be inclusiveness and effective that gender activities were not being prioritised dueThe legislators, during a tour of Lyantonde District, participation of women in every development agenda. to the limited budget.supported by FOWODE in August 2012, to ascertain howgender mainstreaming activities are being financed at the FOWODE’s Program Officer for Gender Budgeting, Esther “We have to maintain roads and collect garbage sodistrict and municipality, noted that since the districts Nabwire said they are working hard to ensure that women, by the time we think about gender, the money iscannot generate enough revenue, government should youth and children, who are the less privileged, get better over,” Mr. Ssentongo said.allocate more resources to ensure that gender activities education and access health facilities.are prioritised. The outgoing RDC, Ms. Ida Bikorwenda, said“Since most districts cannot raise enough locally The municipality leadership noted that whereas budgets women’s representation in leadership positions atgenerated funds, government should send adequate have been drawn to cater for women, youth and children, the district has remained at a small percentage asresources to fund activities for women, youth and there is limited funding to implement their activities. women were not being trained to be on an equalchildren. The money being sent to districts is conditional footing with men.and the Ministry of Gender budget is also limited,” said Ms “There is also need for capacity building for technicalRosemary Nyakikongoro (Woman, Sheema), also UWOPA people because they must also be in a position to utilise “We are having a few women in leadership andvice chairperson. the little resources that they have to plan for gender when it comes to budgeting, they do not have the numbers to negotiate for a decent budget,” Ms. activities,” Ms. Nyakikongoro added.The legislators noted that due to inadequate funding, the Bikorwenda said.districts do not prioritise funding women, youth andchildren activities. The Gender Concerns in the Petroleum Sector management bills cont… Under Section 13 (2) when the Minister requests for the the licensee to comply without any further delay or else drawings and specifications of the main physical and face the consequences provided in Bill No. 2.Health and The above notwithstanding no female employee should technical features of the facility and a decommissioning Safety be discriminated or dismissed due to her pregnancy plan these should include the health and safety features status by a licensee unless on the doctor’s that respond to the needs of different categories of No pregnant women should be employed under Section recommendation to protect her life and that of the employees – men and women as well as those 65 in operations of a license which endangers her health unborn child. appropriate for persons with disabilities where and the health of the unborn baby. This should be a applicable. standard employment requirement both under Bill No. 1 All other matters raised in relation to Bill No. 1 above and Bill No. 2 and where she is exposed to any hazards are applicable to Bill No. 2 in as far as they are Section 20 (3) should be made mandatory for the the company shall be liable to meet all her health care applicable to ensure that women’s empowerment and Minister to inform the licensee when there is non- expenses. This condition should be clearly spelt out and gender equality commitments are fully realized through compliance with or breach of the conditions of the female employees should have the responsibility to the petroleum activities undertaken in Uganda. License particularly when it affects the health and inform the licensee immediately they confirm their safely of the employees or a particular group of pregnancy status so that all necessary precautions are employees and the public interests. The Minister should taken or redeployment is undertaken. also have the power to impose conditions on FOWODE E-NEWSLETTER 8
  9. 9. Civil Society Position on the Public Finance Bill 2012Public Finance Bill 2012 accounting bodies submit their budget estimates of revenue and expenditure to the Ministry of Finance on behalf of the President, during the budgetwas tabled in Parliament and is currently before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs preparation stage which is laid before Parliament bycommittee. the minister. Parliament is not given a chance to scrutinize and make recommendations for amendments on issues of allocative and operational efficiency. This could leave room for leakages, wastage and abuse. Although operations of autonomous institutions are monitored by the Auditor General, it’s more of a post mortem rather than a preventive approach. Different institutions have handled their funds in different ways which is irregular. For example Makerere University until about 3-4 years ago spent the money collected without approval of Parliament. This is in breach of the Constitution which stipulates that all money collected by any government institution should not go to the consolidated fund except with the approval of Parliament to channel through specified fund. Stakeholder participation The 1995 Constitution empowers citizens to CSBAG Members attending a meeting to review the Finance Bill. The lead facilitator was from the International participate in policy processes, therefore, Civil Budget Program. CSBAG has held a series of review meetings and consultations have on the Public Finance Bill 2012 Society Organisations (CSOs) have a right to with ministry of Finance and the Parliamentary Budget Office. From these engagements a position paper has been participate in the development process including but developed not limited to the budget processes. In light of theseIn order to strengthen the public financial management The regulations should therefore require the minister to constitutional obligations for citizen participation; theand regulating revenue management in the oil sector, indicate how the CFR shall be harmonized with the NDP Public Finance Bill 2012 should spell out specificthe Public Finance Bill 2012 was drafted and tabled in or vision 2040 if passed.The timeframe within which the roles, responsibilities and time/spaces forParliament. If enacted, the Bill 2012 will repeal the CFR is to be presented to Parliament as per Section 6 (5) participation by CSOs and other stakeholders in itsPublic Finance and Accountability Act 2003 and the is unrealistic. implementation, review and overall management.Budget Act 2001. While the proposed bill offers a greatbenchmark for remarkable public financial management, While the CFR is approved by Parliament, the bill In as much as, CSOs welcome the proposal of the CFRa number of concerns as highlighted below have arisen proposes deviations from the set objectives to be under Section 6(5) which states that the minister shallthat the Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group deems approved by cabinet as per Section 7(1) and a report on within one month of the commencement of the firstcritical. the deviations to be submitted to parliament later as per session of parliament, using the appropriate means Section 7(3). Not only are these serious contradictions cause the Charter of Fiscal Responsibility as anAddressing gender and equity issues but since the MPs are representatives of the people, it is innovation to hold government politicallyAlthough it is the duty of Parliament to ensure that all only prudent that they approve the deviation from the accountable, the one month timeframe within whichgovernment activities address gender inequality, there is set objectives that they themselves approved at the the CFR has to be presented for approval is very shortno mechanism or system and structure in Parliament to enactment of the CFR. notice for any substantial input to be acquired frommake government accountable to gender equality. For all categories of stakeholders. This period should beParliament to take its central role in promoting gender Supplementary budgeting increased to at least after four months ofequality we propose that before parliament debates the commencement of the first session of parliament withannual budget, a certificate of gender equity should be The finance bill under article 21(4) states that a clearly stipulated schedules for stakeholderproduced by the Equal opportunities Commission (EOC) “supplementary expenditure shall be approved where participation in developing priorities of the a recommendation to Parliament demonstrating how there is an unabsorbed, unavoidable and unforeseeableadequately a particular MDA’s plans and budgets address expenditure for which no amount has been Section 8(5) indicates that Parliament shall reviewgender equity issues. This will inform parliament on appropriated”. This is the first step in reducing the and approve the Budget Framework Paper by 1 stwhether or not an MDA’s Plans and Budget should be misuse of supplementary budgeting. However for the bill February of the financial year preceding the financialdebated by Parliament. toauthorize the Minister for Finance upon request by the year to which the Budget Framework paper further accountant general to approve supplementary more Section 11: Annual Budget (1) states that TheCharter of Fiscal Responsibility (CFR) expenditures of up to 10% of the initial approved budget Minister shall, in consultation with other stakeholders, of the votes without a prior approval of Parliament will prepare the annual budget of Government for aThe Charter of Fiscal Responsibility offers measurable lead to abuse of public resources. We therefore financial year. The bill does not stipulate spaces forobjectives against which the minister of finance and recommend that no supplementary budget should be engaging CSOs and other stakeholders in reviewing thegovernment can be held accountable. However, having released without parliament approval. If not, we Budget Framework Papers to provide feedback toexpended resources to enact the National Development proposal that the minister’s approval remains at 3.5% of each sector.Plan which has not been effectively harmonized with the the initial approval budget.Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), the CFRwhich can be likened to the MTEF further threatens the Resource allocationrelevance of the NDP. Resource allocation should prioritize sectors that boost growth and development. Currently heads of self-Weak Elements of the current Public Finance Management that the Public Key Reforms in the Public Finance Bill 2012Finance Bill 2012 seeks to address: Execution of Charter of fiscal responsibility by the Minister to Credibility (Integrity and Predictability) of Budget Parliament. Minimum linkages and significant overlaps in the PFM cycle from Ensure integrity and predictability of the budget by guaranteeing Planning, budgeting, execution, accountability to oversight resources to AOs as Appropriated. Non- Alignment of the Budget to the NDP Establish Criteria for Supplementary budgets Non-Operational Contingencies Fund – Article 157 Operationalise the Contingencies Fund Absence of legal framework for Petroleum Revenue Management Fragmentation of PFM legislation administered by the Minister and Ensure seamless linkages/no overlaps in the PFM cycle FOWODE E-NEWSLETTER 9 Parliament.
  10. 10. VISIT THE FOWODE RESOURCE CENTERThe FOWODE resource center is a ONE STOP CENTER, where you can access information on Gender, Governance, Democracy, and Human rights. You canalso access internet, photocopying and printing services while there. Please visit the FOWODE website, or the FOWODE resource centerat our offices in Ntinda to access the publications below and many more. NEW PUBLICATIONS Where is the money for family planning services in Uganda is an issue brief containing key findings of a Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) conducted by FOWODE to establish funds allocated to Family Planning (FP) services right from Uganda’s Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development (MFPED) through the Ministry of Health (MoH), National Medical Stores (NMS) and Health Centers (HCs) III and IV where family planning services are accessed by women at the grassroots communities. It also contains key recommendations to government for improving the identified leakages The Poor & the Budget is a Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) position paper based on an assessment of the National Budget Framework Paper for FY 2012/13-FY2016/17. It contains civil society recommendations and proposals to ensure that views of the marginalized are incorporated in the National budget for FY 2012/13” The FOWODE library has an online public access catalogue (OPAC) which is powered by web 2.0 technology. To view our e-library visit the following link: