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Issue 3, October 2013


The Gai...
MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: The Gains for Women of Uganda


UGANDA WOMAN October 2013



Providing Food Security...
MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: The Gains for Women of Uganda




Published by;
Ministry of Gender, Labour an...
Mothers, Daughters
All Women everywhere
Stand up and embrace
Your role today.
We are the pro...
MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: The Gains for Women of Uganda

Message from the Hon.
Minister of Gender,
Labour and Social
Message from the
Hon. Minister of
State for Gender and
Cultural Affairs
Dear Readers!


take this opportunity to welcome...
MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: The Gains for Women of Uganda



t is with great pleasure that I welcome readers ...
By Kenneth Ayebazibwe
The Uganda Woman Magazine
is a bi-annual publication of
By Kenneth Ayebazi...
MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: The Gains for Women of Uganda

Congratulatory Message to
the Rt. Hon. Speaker Rebecca
Cover story

By Jane S. Mpagi


s 2015, the ye...
Cover Story

Goal 2: Achieve
universal primary
Target 2.A: Ensure that, by 2015,
children everywhere, boys and g...
Cover Story

Target 5.B: Achieve, by 2015, universal
access to reproductive health 	
5.3 Contraceptive prevalence rate
Cover Story

Goal 7: Ensure
Target 7.A: Integrate the principles of
sustainable development i...
Cover Story

Includes a commitment to good
governance, development and poverty
reduction - both nationally and
Market access
8.6 Proportion of total developed country
imports (by value and excluding
arms) from developing countries an...
Women with bumper cassava harvest
	Climate change mitigation which
was missing in the MDGs. People
living in poverty, the...

“I address these
issues with a
gender lens to
motivate women
to engage with
these issues and
to also write”

important pillar, was also left out.

Q: You have been associated with

promoting development focusing

Q: Since your entry into politics, what

If we maintain the current peace in the
country, we shall have more lo...

The Minister deliberating with her colleagues in Parliament
has played a key role and I
applaud it. However, th...
Providing Food Security
for a Living: The Story of
Josephine Okot
By Hilda Twongyeirwe


s. Josephine Okot is a graduate...
Year Prize 2007 – Small and Medium
Enterprise Category, Best Exhibitor
Source of the Nile Agricultural Show,
Oslo Business...
The Hunger Project
Contributes to Food
Security and Poverty
By Daisy Owomugasho


he Hunger Project (Global) p...
Woman with a harvest of avocados
have been adopted in the epicenter
communities including; planting of
early maturing and ...
Improving Gender Relations
in Coffee Farming Households
for Sustainable Development
By Fortunate Paska


ganda has made ...
Gender Equality: a family grows coffee together
farmers to enhance gender equity in
their homes.

inequalities that may ex...
Adult Literacy Enhances
Socio-economic Development
By Alphonse Ejoru


iteracy is the ability to read, write
and calcula...
has been registered in improving
adult literacy levels especially among
women. Nationally, adult literacy rates
among wome...
Advancing Universal
Primary Education in
Public Schools
By Staff Writer


s. Scholar Ndyagambaki was
born in 1955 to Oli...
Her first posting was to Namugongo
Girls’ Primary School in 1978.
In 1979 she was transferred to St Jude
Nagulu. It was a ...
Achieving UPE –The
Gender Dimension
By Margaret Kasiko
Right from attainment of independence
in 1962, Uganda has continued...
Enabling Equal
Opportunities for All
By Christine Atuhairwe Karya


qual opportunities for Ugandan
women will be achieve...
Ugandan Women Make
Strides in Decision-making

By Agripinner Nandhago


he women of Uganda have always
organized themsel...
Decision-making: UWOPA members at work

women elected to Parliament followed
by 51 in 1996-2001, 74 in 2001-2006,
102 in 2...
Making a Difference
in Children’s Lives
By Staff Writer


r. Sabrina Bakeera-Kitaka was born
in Nsambya Hospital but she...
Dr. Sabrina Bakeera-Kitaka with children (above), and with conference participants(on previous page)
With her fellow pedia...
Child Survival
in Uganda: The
Progress Made
By Rukia Nakamatte Mbaziira


he Government of Uganda
committed it...
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013
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Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013


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Uganda Woman Magazine October 2013

  1. 1. In de UGANDA THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA pe nd en ce WOMAN Issue 3, October 2013 MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: The Gains for Women of Uganda UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 1 Ed iti on
  2. 2. MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: The Gains for Women of Uganda 2 UGANDA WOMAN October 2013
  3. 3. C O N T E N T S 11 22 MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: GAINS AND WAY FORWARD FOR THE UGANDAN WOMAN Providing Food Security for a Living: The Story of Josephine Okot 18 Interview with Karooro Okurut 24 Hunger Project Contributes to Food Security and Poverty Reduction 28 Enabling Equal Opportunities for all Improving Gender Relations in Coffee Farming Households for Sustainable Development 30 Adult Literacy Enhances Socio-economic Development 33 26 Advancing UPE in Public Schools 34 Ugandan Women Make Strides in Decision-making UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 3
  4. 4. MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: The Gains for Women of Uganda UGANDA WOMAN 36 Published by; Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, P.O. Box 7136, www. KAMPALA, Uganda. Editor-in-Chief: Pius Bigirimana Managing Editor: Jane Sanyu Mpagi Deputy Managing Editor (Administrative): Elizabeth Kyasiimire Deputy Managing Editor(Editorial): Francis Mondo Kyateka Contributing Editor: Maggie Mabweijano Editor: Pamela Irene Batenga Administrator: Kenneth Ayebazibwe Sub-Editor: Hilda Twongyeirwe Consulting Editor: Ikebesi Ocole Omoding Making a Difference in Children’s Lives 38 Contributors: Hodan Addou, Firmina Acuba, Kenneth Ayebazibwe, Jane Bemigisha, Jolly Beyeza, Alphonse Ejoru, Christine Atuhairwe Karya, Margaret Kasiko, Rukia Nakamatte Mbaziira, Jane Mpagi, Jane Nalunga, Aggripiner Nandhago, Catherine Mbabazi Ngorok, Dennis Obbo, Ikebesi Omoding, Daisy Owomugasho, Fortunate Paska, Hilda Twongyeirwe Layout and Graphics: Paul Wambi Improving Child Survival in Uganda: The Progress Made Printing: World Point Ltd Cover Picture: Women Cabinet Ministers at the helm of Hon. Janet Hon. Amelia Hon. Jessica Alupo Hon. Irene Muloni Kataaha Museveni Nafuna Kyambadde Anne Minister of Minister for Minister of Energy Minister of Trade, Education Karamoja affairs and Minerals Industry and and Sports Cooperatives Hon. Kasule Justine Lumumba Government Chief Whip Hon. Maria Kiwanuka Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Hon. Mary Karoro Okurut Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development Hon. Rose Namayanja Minister of Information and National Guidance Hon. Maria Mutagamba Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities Inside Front: A young woman making a mat: Some women make a living from making and selling mats Inside back: Children posing for a picture with a foreign friend 4 UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 41 Legal and Policy Framework for Improving Maternal Health 43 implementing the Millennium Development Goals Uganda Combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases 45 How Kaleeba’s battle against HIV and AIDS inspires the World 47 Impacting Communities for Environmental and Sustainable Development 48 Women’s Leadership Influences Achievement of Water and Sanitation Target 50 Reducing Bio-diversity Loss in Uganda: Recounting Women’s Participation and Benefits 52 Equitable Land Use for Socio-economic Development 53 Promoting Social Justice for Poverty Reduction 54 Evaluating the MDGs with the Post-2015 Development Agenda in Mind 56 DECENTRALISATION: The Uganda Woman Experience 58 MDG 8: The Impact on Uganda’s Development
  5. 5. UGANDA WOMEN’S ANTHEM Chorus: Mothers, Daughters All Women everywhere Stand up and embrace Your role today. We are the proud mothers of our Nation The Backbone without which it can never stand We wake up, wake up We wake up at the crack of dawn And feed the nation with our brains With love and joy we care For our baby Uganda. Mothers, Daughters All Women everywhere Stand up and embrace Your role today. Step by step with tender care We nurse her we mould her at home and in school Leading, leading Spearheading her identity, production and development In Government and Profession Name it woman is there. Mothers, Daughters All Women everywhere Stand up and embrace Your role today. We call on you women of Uganda Wake up if you’ve not yet embraced your role Wake up, wake up Beside our men lets play our role In solving all our nations needs In every walk of life To develop Uganda. Mothers, Daughters All Women everywhere Stand up and embrace Your role today. UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 5
  6. 6. MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: The Gains for Women of Uganda Message from the Hon. Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development Fellow Ugandans! I t is with great pleasure that I embrace this opportunity to congratulate you on this very important occasion to commemorate 51 years of Uganda’s Independence. This day is worth celebrating because it is an excellent opportunity to take stock of the achievements of Uganda and lay strategies for the future. As we take stock of Uganda’s performance in relation to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), I take this opportunity to thank the NRM Government for championing the socio-economic and political transformation of this country. In the same vein, I wish to appreciate all Ugandans and especially women, for their contribution towards the transformation of this country. I believe that with your diligence and commitment, we have the potential to transform Uganda into a middle income country. The articles in the 3rd issue of the Uganda Woman Magazine detail Uganda’s efforts towards ensuring that women benefit from the various sectors. However, one should note that there are various challenges that need to be addressed. In the next 49 years, we should work towards achieving total emancipation of all women and girls. We should work relentlessly for a Uganda that will be free of child marriages, early pregnancy, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, HIV and AIDS, among others. We should also work towards ensuring that no mother dies during birth or due to pregnancyrelated causes. I am convinced that given the current momentum of our struggle for total emancipation, we shall achieve our goal. I 6 UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 take this opportunity to thank the Development Partners and Civil Society Organisations for the financial and technical support during the implementation of the targets relating to the MDG’s. I call upon you to strengthen this partnership with Government so that we achieve better results by 2015. Finally, I wish to thank the authors of the stories and the editorial team for a job well done. I call upon the readers to enjoy and digest the stories. I wish all the women and men of Uganda, and all our friends, pleasant Independence Day Celebrations. For God and my Country Mary Karooro Okurut (MP) MINISTER
  7. 7. Message from the Hon. Minister of State for Gender and Cultural Affairs Dear Readers! I take this opportunity to welcome you to this Independence Issue. As a country, we are still basking in the glory of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Independence which we marked with great jubilation and a sense of accomplishment as a nation in 2012. At that time, we took stock of the milestones for Ugandans during the post-colonial era. The achievements were several; ranging from advancements in democracy, leadership, education, employment, business and above all, recognition of women’s contribution to the development of our motherland. My Ministry through the Uganda Woman Magazine applauded the women who pioneered various causes and opened the doors for many other women to follow. As Minister responsible for women, I take this opportunity to appreciate these women once again and reiterate that their efforts to empower the women of Uganda will not only be remembered but will continuously be a source of inspiration for women and for all Ugandans. At this juncture, I would like to sincerely thank H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda, for his continued support to the empowerment of the Women of Uganda. The conducive environment that the NRM Government has provided over the years has enabled the women in Uganda to participate in, implement and benefit from various interventions, including those geared towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Overall, Uganda has made great strides in its journey to achieve the Millennium Development Goals because the core agenda of the NRM Government is premised on achieving social, economic and political transformation for all. I believe that we are on the right path of achieving our vision of “a transformed Ugandan Society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country within 30 years”. As Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, we take great pride in our contribution to the achievement of the MDGs. We have led the way in guiding all stakeholders on how to mainstream gender in all development initiatives. It is no wonder therefore that some of the most commendable progress has been made under MDG 3 which is about Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. I call upon all Ugandans to read this issue and get information about the gains for women. I would like to thank all the contributors to the three issues of the Uganda Woman Magazine. Your articles are an indication of your dedication to exposing and documenting the achievements made by Uganda especially for the benefit of women. In the same vein, I wish to thank our readers whose enthusiasm has grown with each issue. Your zeal indicates genuine interest and support for women advancement, gender equality and social justice. Finally, I wish to appreciate the UN Women and Department for International Development(DFID) for the support towards various programmes including producing the Uganda Woman Magazine. I invite the general public to read and make comments about the Magazine so that we can serve you better. For God and my Country. Rukia Nakadama Isanga MINISTER OF STATE FOR GENDER AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 7
  8. 8. MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: The Gains for Women of Uganda Editorial I t is with great pleasure that I welcome readers to Issue Three of the Uganda Woman magazine. I have just joined the Social Development Sector and I am inspired by its diverse mandate. The scope of the Ministry is broad, covering the lifecycle of a person from childhood to old age. Gender and women’s empowerment is a cross-cutting issue in all the functions of the Ministry. Therefore, this magazine is a useful platform through which the Ministry can share its aspirations, good practices and information on gender equality and women’s empowerment in particular. The Government of Uganda has been instrumental in implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and through the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, it has ably provided the direction on gender mainstreaming in all aspects of development with the intention of alleviating poverty and addressing other development concerns. goals have been translated into action and action into out comes as the indicators in poverty levels, education, water and sanitation, health, and employment show. Uganda’s future is therefore bright; the country is steadily moving towards middle income status, investment in modernizing agriculture, infrastructure, industry including oil and gas is on the rise. Economic growth is at 5.1% per annum, a positive indicator despite the global economic crisis. Hence, the story of women’s success is a story of success for all of us. These successes should not however make us complacent; challenges exist and for some goals, we are still short of the targets set. For instance, maternal mortality and the HIV and AIDS prevalence is still high. This means that the task ahead is still enormous and we need to rise up to this challenge. The struggle for equality and social justice is for all humanity: boys, girls, men, women, young and old. This struggle must continue until we reach the goals we aspire to attain. This issue provides an insight into the level of achievement in relation to the implementation of the eight MDGs drawn from the UN Millennium Declaration, endorsed by the Heads of States and Governments in September 2000. For Uganda, the pursuit to achieve these goals is firmly rooted in the conducive policy environment that promotes social and economic transformation of communities. The gains made for women in pursuit of these goals have their basis in the supportive policies of all the sectors. What is also evident in the articles is that the policy 8 We commend all our partners who work to uplift the status of women and our communities at large and look forward to a stronger partnership for the benefit of all Ugandans. Pius Bigirimana PERMANENT SECRETARY/ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF UGANDA WOMAN March -September 2013 I wish everyone joyous Independence Day celebrations.
  9. 9. ISSUE 2 ONLINE READERSHIP By Kenneth Ayebazibwe The Uganda Woman Magazine is a bi-annual publication of By Kenneth Ayebazibwe the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. The publication is a 60-page glossformat premium publication featuring the state of women achievers in Uganda. The Uganda Woman Magazine is an independent publication that is reader-focused and managed by a highly skilled editorial team with extensive experience in magazine and newspaper publishing. Five thousand copies of the magazine are printed per issue and distributed to various stakeholders in the country. In addition, the Magazine is uploaded on the Ministry website and on its Facebook page. The digitally delivered edition has extended readership to those who live outside the print distribution area and made the Magazine global. Patience This information is awesome! I am in the beginning stages and pages of this Magazine and this is going to be a tremendous help in advocating for Women’s Rights! Thank you again…this is definitely a post that I can refer back to over time. Thanks, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development Uganda Woman Magazine can be accessed online: www. The Second Issue of the Uganda Woman Magazine reached an online global public of 925 people. It generated 320 comments on both the mail system and facebook. The magazine was also shared with 5,000 stake holders on email. To download a copy of the magazine, go to Uganda Woman Magazine 2013LR(1).pdf. Sampled Comments Patrick Wow. This is quite an extensive publication. Thanks for taking all that time out to provide us with all of this useful information. Facebook has proven to be a very useful social platform for sharing content and spreading the word and I’m sure all of this content will be a huge contributor to the success of the rest of us doing gender related work. Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development Facebook is a great place to be – thanks Patrick for being part of the Ministry! Aaron This is one seriously great resource! Have bookmarked this for future reference. Chris Talk about comprehensive, what a great compilation of info in one place. Thank you to everyone that contributed to the insights on the Magazine. This is an incredible resource, Ministry! Ian Wow! This is an awesome Ugandan magazine to connect women at the roots. Thanks for putting it together – I’ve already downloaded and picked up a few great ideas from some of the articles. Kenneth Ayebazibwe is the E-Resource Centre Manager in the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) 9
  10. 10. MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: The Gains for Women of Uganda Congratulatory Message to the Rt. Hon. Speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga from the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development The Right Honourable Speaker of the National Parliament of the Republic of Uganda, Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga. It is with utmost pride and honour that the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development wishes to congratulate you for having been elected to the illustrious office of the presidency of the Commonwealth Women’s Parliamentary Association (CWPA). That you emerged winner in a tightly-contested race of the Women’s Parliamentary Association of the Commonwealth of 54 member countries is testimony to the faith and confidence of the Commonwealth in your leadership. Indeed, for Uganda, it is a moment of admission that the Honourable Members of the Parliament of Uganda were right-thinking when they elected you as the Speaker of Parliament. 10 UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 Your new position is a clear indication of the NRM Government’s commitment to women’s empowerment in all spheres. You are a role model to the women and girls of Uganda and an inspiration to the attainment of equality, empowerment and development in Uganda. As you steer the CWPA in the next three years, Ugandans and the whole Commonwealth community, will be attuned to the diligence you will bring to the Association. We are confident that you will endorse gender sensitive policies and export Uganda’s commitment to the empowerment of women and girls in the Commonwealth. WE WISH YOU THE VERY BEST IN THIS NEW ASSIGNMENT
  11. 11. Cover story MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: GAINS AND WAY FORWARD FOR THE UGANDAN WOMAN By Jane S. Mpagi A s 2015, the year set as the target for full attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) draws closer, the world at various levels is on the alert. While some are focusing on increasing efforts to attain the targets, others are evaluating the extent of attainment. Yet, others are centred on the unfinished agenda, emerging issues and even the missing elements that should be incorporated into the Post2015 Global Development Framework. The MDGs, which contain eight goals, 21 targets and 60 indicators, present the ideals of the Millennium Declaration which was the outcome of the Millennium Summit of UN Member States in September 2000. The Summit acknowledged the challenges facing humanity and established a framework for global partnership to reduce extreme poverty, promote inclusive development, human rights and improve standards of living. Goals, Targets and Indicators The internationally agreed framework of 8 goals and 21 targets was complemented by 60 technical indicators to measure progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. These indicators have since been adopted by a consensus of experts from the United Nations, IMF, OECD and the World Bank. Each indicator below is linked to millennium data series as well as to background series related to the target in question. Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger Target 1.A: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day 1.1 Proportion of population below $1 (PPP) per day 1.2 Poverty gap ratio 1.3 Share of poorest quintile in national consumption Target 1.B: Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people The MDGs focus on improving human capital and increasing social, economic and political rights with the majority focusing on increasing basic standards of living. The targets and indicators on the human capital focus on health care that is; reducing child mortality, HIV/ AIDs and tuberculosis and improving reproductive health and education. For infrastructure, the focus is on increasing access to safe drinking water, energy, 1.4 Growth rate of GDP per person employed 1.5 Employment-to-population ratio 1.6 Proportion of employed people living below $1 (PPP) per day 1.7 Proportion of own-account and contributing family workers in total employment Target 1.C: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger 1.8 Prevalence of underweight children under-five years of age 1.9 Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 11
  12. 12. Cover Story Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education Target 2.A: Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling 2.1 Net enrolment ratio in primary education 2.2 Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach last grade of primary 2.3 Literacy rate of 15-24 year-olds, women and men Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women Target 3.A: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015 3.1 Ratios of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education 3.2 Share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector 3.3 Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament Goal 4: Reduce child mortality Target 4.A: Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate 4.1 Under-five mortality rate 4.2 Infant mortality rate 4.3 Proportion of 1 year-old children immunised against measles Goal 5: Improve maternal health Target 5.A: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio 5.1 Maternal mortality ratio 5.2 Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel 12 UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 Pupils at their school housing, modern information and communication technology, sustainable agriculture practices and preserving the environment. Socio-economic and political rights focus on empowerment of women, increasing political voice, access to public service and security of property. The MDGs also emphasise the role of developed countries in supporting the developing countries as captured in Goal 8. As 2015 approaches, there is a consensus at the global level that the MDGs have managed to galvanize commendable efforts to meet the needs of the poorest in the world. In Uganda, several analyses have been done to establish if the country is on track in relation to the MDGs. These include; National Household Surveys, Demographic and Health surveys and other relevant reports on the implementation of the commitments on population and development. Uganda’s commitment to empowerment of women and elimination of inequalities between men and women dates way back before the MDGs. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Uganda was the first African country to involve women in political decision-making through Affirmative Action policies. It established structures for women (the Ministry and Women Councils), developed the National Gender Policy, adopted a gender mainstreaming strategy for all sectors and, most importantly, promulgated a gender sensitive Constitution. This was in addition to the Affirmative Action Policy in favour of women and girls on entry into public universities. The country has managed to meet the target of MDG 1 by reducing the percentage of the people living under extreme poverty from 56% in 1993 to 31.1% in 2006 and 24.5% in 2012. However, the majority of the 7.5 million people who live below the poverty line are the vulnerable groups such as widows, children, youth, and persons with disabilities, older persons and ethnic minorities. Within these categories, women and girls are disproportionately affected. Furthermore, as a result of the Government’s conducive policies, several women have entered into wage employment in the public and private spheres. Yet, the challenge of the unemployment rate which stands at 4.2 % and the gender-based biases during recruitment and at the workplace still exist. Also, food security measured by caloric
  13. 13. Cover Story Target 5.B: Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health 5.3 Contraceptive prevalence rate 5.4 Adolescent birth rate 5.5 Antenatal care coverage (at least one visit and at least four visits) 5.6 Unmet need for family planning Goal 6: Combat HIV/ AIDS, malaria and other diseases Target 6.A: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/ AIDS Women and men display their land certificate intake has improved over the period, though it is still below the required standard set by the World Health Organisation. This affects the health of women and children. The progress in the implementation of MDG 2 in Uganda is commendable because by 1990, 34.7% of the girls and 24.3% of the boys were not attending school. However, after the successful implementation of the Universal Primary Education initiative, the enrolment rate in primary school increased to 83% for both boys and girls, thus attaining gender parity at this level. It is important however to address the challenges that lead to high dropout rates which affect girls more than boys. Perhaps, one of the country’s best performance has been recorded under MDG 3. Uganda has made significant progress towards achieving the goals as monitored by the trends in the three key targets namely; improved ratio of girls to boys in three cycles of education, share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector and increased proportion of seats held by women in National Parliament The ratio of girls to boys in schools has increased tremendously. Gender parity has been achieved at primary level and the ratio of girls to boys stands at 0.84 and 0.79 for secondary and tertiary levels. The share of women employment in non-agriculture sector has increased, although the majority are in the informal sector with a percentage of 71% compared to 64% of men. There has been increased number of women representation in political processes and public life. The proportion of women in the Parliament has increased from 24% in 2001 to 34% in 2011, thus attaining the critical mass of representation of 30% set out in the 6.1 HIV prevalence among population aged 15-24 years 6.2 Condom use at last high-risk sex 6.3 Proportion of population aged 15-24 years with comprehensive correct knowledge of HIV/AIDS 6.4 Ratio of school attendance of orphans to school attendance of non-orphans aged 10-14 years Target 6.B: Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it 6.5 Proportion of population with advanced HIV infection with access to antiretroviral drugs Target 6.C: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases 6.6 Incidence and death rates associated with malaria 6.7 Proportion of children under 5 sleeping under insecticide-treated bednets 6.8 Proportion of children under 5 with fever who are treated with appropriate anti-malarial drugs 6.9 Incidence, prevalence and death rates associated with tuberculosis 6.10 Proportion of tuberculosis cases detected and cured under directly observed treatment short course Mother and child: Ensuring child survival UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 13
  14. 14. Cover Story Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability Target 7.A: Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources 7.1 Proportion of land area covered by forest 7.2 CO2 emissions, total, per capita and per $1 GDP (PPP) 7.3 Consumption of ozone-depleting substances 7.4 Proportion of fish stocks within safe biological limits 7.5 Proportion of total water resources used Target 7.B: Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss 7.6 Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected 7.7 Proportion of species threatened with extinction Target 7.C: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation 7.8 Proportion of population using an improved drinking water source 7.9 Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility Target 7.D: By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers 7.10 Proportion of urban population living in slumsb Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development Target 8.A: Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, nondiscriminatory trading and financial system 14 UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 Women in a goat rearing project Beijing Platform for Action. MDGs 4, 5 and 6 form the core of the MDG Framework because a healthy population is the foundation for sustainable socio-economic development. Although it is unlikely that Uganda will achieve the targets under these goals, the steady progress that has been attained so far should be acknowledged. Maternal mortality rates reduced from 505 in 1995 to 435 per 100,000 live births in 2011. Infant mortality and under 5 mortality reduced from 89 to 54 per 1000 live births between 2001 and 2011 and from 158 to 90 per 1000 live births during the same period, respectively. Furthermore, there was slow but steady improvement in contraceptive prevalence rates from 15% in 1995 to 30% in 2011. Also, antenatal, post-natal care and child immunisation improved slightly. Though prevalence rates of HIV infections reduced tremendously in the 1990s from 18% in 1992 to 6.4% between 2002 and 2009, there was an increase in the rates to 7.3% in 2011. HIV infections have continued to exhibit a female face particularly that of a young woman. Environment conservation and women empowerment are intrinsically related. Bio-diversity loss, lack of access to safe water and sanitation negatively affect the women’s livelihoods. Due to persistent unequal gender division of labour, women and girls especially in the rural areas and peri-urban areas are responsible for collection of firewood and water for home consumption. By 2010, according to the National Development Plan, bio-mass accounted for 92% of the total energy consumed, while hydroelectricity and solar energy contributed to only 1%. This situation clearly shows slow progress on the MDG target on reducing bio-diversity loss. Access to improved drinking water sources increased from 57% in 1999/2000 to 68% in 2005/2006, far short of the target of 89% by 2015. Other indicators under this goal, such as sanitation and improving the living conditions of slum dwellers, which have strong bearing on women’s livelihoods, have not progressed substantially. In as much as most of the targets under MDG 8 call upon the countries of the North to take leadership to exercise flexible financial and trade regimes towards the developing countries, there
  15. 15. Cover Story Includes a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction - both nationally and internationally Target 8.B: Address the special needs of the least developed countries Includes: tariff and quota free access for the least developed countries’ exports; enhanced programme of debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) and cancellation of official bilateral debt; and more generous ODA for countries committed to poverty reduction Women holding tree seedlings are also targets which the countries of the South should have implemented. For example, one of the indicators is about making available the benefits of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) in cooperation with the private sector. In the last decade, Uganda has witnessed a proliferation of ICTs, especially mobile phones and to some extent, the use of computers. There are visible gains for women resulting from use of ICTs. For example, some women have benefited in terms of ease of communication. Some women use ICT to source markets for their produce and information for business, while others own telephone booths as businesses. There is also an increasing number of young girls taking up ICT as a profession. Despite these gains, anecdotal evidence is emerging to the effect that family conflicts and domestic violence could be a result of these technologies being used in a society that is still predominately patriarchal. From the above account, it is clear that the women of Uganda have made some gains from the implementation of MDGs although some challenges still persist. The analysis on the implementation of the MDGs, shows that Uganda has made commendable progress in attaining the targets in MDGs 1, 2 and 3. However, there are targets that have not been met and are unlikely to be achieved before 2015. Achieving targets in MDGs 4, 5 and 6 still remain a challenge. It is important therefore to initiate the discourse for the Post-2015 Development Framework with the intention of positioning women’s rights and gender equality issues. The opportunities and justification for this are embedded in the Constitution and in Uganda’s Vision 2040 which is “a transformed Ugandan society from peasant to a modern and prosperous country within 30 years.” It is critical that we ensure that the next Development Framework builds on our successes and addresses constraints in the implementation of MDGs. As the National Machinery responsible for Gender and Women Empowerment, the Ministry suggests that national proposals for the Post-2015 Global Development Framework should include;  Tackling of the root cause of food crisis and nutrition insecurity. Uganda is one of the countries in subSaharan Africa which depends on women’s labour for food production. Actions to prioritise the critical role that women play in food security should be prioritised. Target 8.C: Address the special needs of landlocked developing countries and small island developing States (through the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States and the outcome of the twenty-second special session of the General Assembly) Target 8.D: Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries through national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long term Some of the indicators listed below are monitored separately for the least developed countries (LDCs), Africa, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States. Official development assistance (ODA) 8.1 Net ODA, total and to the least developed countries, as percentage of OECD/DAC donors’ gross national income 8.2 Proportion of total bilateral, sectorallocatable ODA of OECD/DAC donors to basic social services (basic education, primary health care, nutrition, safe water and sanitation) 8.3 Proportion of bilateral official development assistance of OECD/DAC donors that is untied 8.4 ODA received in landlocked developing countries as a proportion of their gross national incomes 8.5 ODA received in small island developing States as a proportion of their gross national incomes UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 15
  16. 16. Market access 8.6 Proportion of total developed country imports (by value and excluding arms) from developing countries and least developed countries, admitted free of duty 8.7 Average tariffs imposed by developed countries on agricultural products and textiles and clothing from developing countries 8.8 Agricultural support estimate for OECD countries as a percentage of their gross domestic product 8.9 Proportion of ODA provided to help build trade capacity Debt sustainability 8.10 Total number of countries that have reached their HIPC decision points and number that have reached their HIPC completion points (cumulative) 8.11 Debt relief committed under HIPC and MDRI Initiatives 8.12 Debt service as a percentage of exports of goods and services Women going to dig in the garden Target 8.E: In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries 8.13 Proportion of population with access to affordable essential drugs on a sustainable basis Target 8.F: In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications 8.14 Fixed telephone lines per 100 inhabitants 8.15 Mobile cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 8.16 Internet users per 100 inhabitants Woman in her banana plantation 16 UGANDA WOMAN October 2013
  17. 17. Women with bumper cassava harvest  Climate change mitigation which was missing in the MDGs. People living in poverty, the majority of who are women, are disproportionately affected by climate change. Women, especially those in rural areas, are responsible for providing food, fuel and water for households. Also, in cases of natural disasters which are becoming common in the country, women tend to be affected most due to their roles and responsibilities in the households as well as their disadvantaged position in property rights.  Introduce a target on elimination of gender based violence which affects girls and women more than boys and men. Studies in Uganda have shown that the number of cases related to gender based violence, particularly domestic violence, rape and sexual violence against the Girl-child is on the increase in some regions of the country. Violence against women and girls is an impediment to development.  Address the time poverty of women which is crucial for sustainable development. Women in Uganda work for more than 16 hours a day. The unequal and heavy burden women carry in sustaining the care and well-being of members of the household and communities, affects their participation in the productive economy, making development unsustainable.  Broaden the targets so as to address women’s rights. The Ugandan experience indicates that gender inequality should be addressed through a twin-track approach where on one hand, gender is mainstreamed, and on the other hand, there is direct targeting of women specific issues. Accordingly, gender equality should be deliberately mainstreamed in all goals and the goal on gender equality and women’s empowerment should be maintained.  Social protection measures such as cash transfers, provision of meals in school and social health insurance should be included. This is because achieving targets does not necessarily translate into equity in provision of services. The percentage of population left out of the targets, still live in intergenerational poverty, and should be targeted to avoid exclusion. The Millennium Development Goals and targets come from the Millennium Declaration, signed by 189 countries, including 147 Heads of State and Government, in September 2000 (http://www. ares552e.htm) and from further agreement by member states at the 2005 World Summit (Resolution adopted by the General Assembly - A/RES/60/1, http:// ws.asp?m=A/RES/60/1). The goals and targets are interrelated and should be seen as a whole. They represent a partnership between the developed countries and the developing countries “to create an environment - at the national and global levels alike which is conducive to development and the elimination of poverty”. Jane S. Mpagi is the Director for Gender and Community Development in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 17
  18. 18. INTERVIEW “I address these issues with a gender lens to motivate women to engage with these issues and to also write” Hon. Mary Karooro Okurut is the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development and the Woman Member of Parliament for Bushenyi District. In an interview with Uganda Woman, she speaks about her impact on the gender discourse as an author Question: Hon. Minister, would you like to give The Uganda Woman Magazine a short profile of yourself. development since the Millennium started? Answer: The major part of my working life started at Makerere University, Department of Literature where I taught from 1981 to 1993. From 1996 - 1999 I served on the Education Service Commission. In 1994, I decided to join politics. I contested for the Constituent Assembly but did not make it. From 1994 to 1996, I was Press Secretary to the Vice President, Dr. Specioza Wandira Kazibwe. From 1999 to 2004, I served as Presidential Press Secretary. My background in communication skills, has been one of the driving forces behind what I have been doing. I joined mainstream politics in 2004 when I stood for Woman MP Bushenyi District and won. In 2011, I was appointed Minister for Information and National Guidance. And here I am today in a Ministry that I consider key to women’s empowerment and emancipation. Goals [MDGs] defined the global development discourse putting development issues into perspective and streamlining partnerships among key development partners and development workers. Q: Can you please share with readers your perspective on Uganda’s 18 UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 A: The Millennium Development In Uganda specifically, there has been significant progress in almost all the areas of the MDGs. More women have come into the decision-making space, there is Universal Primary Education and Universal Secondary Education, Uganda has registered significant progress in the fight against HIV and AIDS, malaria and child mortality. As a developing nation, there are still challenges, but of course the Government continues to set the agenda and develop new strategies to address these areas as detailed in the Vision 2040 which I encourage all of you to read. It is global knowledge that His Excellency, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the National Resistance Movement Government [NRM], laid the foundation for women empowerment, when the NRM Government took over the reigns of power in 1986. Then, the woman issue was put on the national agenda, and like the President said, Government called out the name of “Woman” in public, thereby giving her visibility. Since then, the woman of Uganda has been on a forward march. I take this opportunity to thank His Excellency, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the National Resistance Movement Government, for the affirmative action that has released the creative energy of women. This potential would not have been realized under the past oppressive regimes. I take note that some critical areas were left out of the MDGs. For instance, we all know that Culture drives development which is the reason it has been described as a Fourth Pillar of Development, yet the MDGs were silent about it. The Creative Industry, another
  19. 19. INTERVIEW important pillar, was also left out. Q: You have been associated with promoting development focusing specifically in the field of Gender, Media and Education. What are your most significant achievements in regard to promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women? A: Being a communications specialist, my most significant achievements have first of all been as a wordsmith. I have written and published novels, short stories, children’s fables and a play. In almost all my literary works, I address issues of gender. For instance, in my novel, The Invisible Weevil, I created a protagonist, Nkwanzi, and the woman Liberator, Mama, with the purpose of repositioning women on the social, political and military landscape. In Child of a Delegate, I created Hero for many reasons one of which was to show that girls are capable of making it whatever the circumstances. The Curse of the Sacred Cow, also has strong decision making women characters. While at university, I wrote and directed a political play, The Trial of Thomas Sankara, and it was such a big success. My writing has motivated other women to write. FEMRITE, the organization I founded in 1998 is testimony to this. These women have been able to bring home major literary awards. It is important for Ugandans to know these women writers. writing. As a columnist, I comment on all social and political issues. As a woman, I address these issues with a gender lens which has motivated women to engage with these issues and to also write. Q: More and more women like yourself are actively involved in politics. As a Minister and Member of Parliament, what is your view of this trend on the future of Uganda? A: This is a very encouraging trend and it confirms that Uganda is on the right track, politically. This trend has demystified politics and taken it to another level where both men and women have equal opportunities on the political terrain. At the risk of sounding a cliché, the future can only be brighter, with more young women in major political and decision-making positions. This will, no doubt, create a more gender-responsive community with more young women like Hon. Susan Nakawuki, Hon Mariam Nalubega, Hon. Proscovia Alengot and Evelyn Anite, among others, taking on the political mantle. Q: You have been Uganda’s major and most consistent woman columnist. Do you think that has influenced gender positioning in the country? And how do you manage to keep your column going? A: How do I manage to keep it going? How come men are never asked that question? That stereotyping which separates women from men is what sometimes causes women to be complacent. It reminds me of when I had just started writing political pieces. People said it was my husband who was writing them for me! They waited for my pen to go silent. Today, I am still UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 19
  20. 20. INTERVIEW Q: Since your entry into politics, what If we maintain the current peace in the country, we shall have more local and international investors in the country. The discovery of oil created a new chapter for Uganda. The Government has put in place relevant establishments which are addressing issues of oil, there should not be any panic. has been your major contribution to women empowerment? A: I joined politics on women Affirmative Action ticket. It gave me the opportunity to work with women, closely especially those at grass-root level. I have mobilized a modicum of resources for girls to meet their basic necessities in order that they remain in school. Recently, I offered 150 mattresses to girls who had excelled in the 2012 Primary Leaving Examination in order to motivate others to perform better. I have offered bicycles to women councilors to enable them travel through villages easily. If men can ride to ease their life, why not women? I have mobilized women to form development groups and I offered some of them sewing machines to enable them generate their own income. One of the major challenges causing gender-based violence is lack of economic stability. Women must get economically stable in order for them to determine their future. An economically empowered woman cannot, for example, be locked up in an abusive marriage. She will leave the marriage with no fear of the future. Q: One of your major personal achievements is promoting women in the literature sector. Most of these women have won regional and international literary awards. However, their works have not been considered for inclusion on Uganda’s literature syllabus, a situation that has created imbalances in the literary landscape. What is your comment? A: It is a literary tragedy. As a country, we need to embrace the fact that creative works are not born out of a vacuum. Literature is inspired by true life. Ugandan women, not being part of the literary curriculum, means that Ugandan children are suffering the misfortunes of listening to, and reading only one story. Ugandan women therefore need to take interest in the 20 UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 Q: How do you advise women to position themselves to take advantage of the opportunities available in the oil and gas industry? curriculum development process in order to understand it better and thus be able to influence change. It is long overdue. Ugandan women cannot afford to be complacent in this regard. I know that our works are taught in universities and schools outside Uganda, which is very good for the country, because writers are cultural ambassadors. The same needs to be done here at home. Q: Uganda has a Vision 2040 and we have discovered oil. How do you envision Uganda in the next 10 years? A: Vision 2040 is very important for the country. We all, therefore, have a duty towards realizing the parameters that it sets. For instance it talks about education, energy, creating employment through industrialization and much more. Currently, the country aims at funding 80% of its budget through domestic revenues. Vision 2040 refocuses our attention to our nation and how we can build it from within. If we remain on track, as I am sure we shall, Uganda is headed for a brighter future. A: I encourage women to take up all study opportunities in the sector and to read a lot about the sector in order to understand what is going on in there. One of the major challenges women face is self-censorship. Many women, and sometimes some men, decide they are not good enough. Women should be encouraged to step forward and seek opportunities without being intimidated. It should be up to the employer to decide whether one qualifies or does not qualify for a particular job. Women should have interest in the oil sector in order to ensure gender mainstreaming in the sector. Q: Hon. Minister, what in your view are the pertinent challenges to women’s development in Uganda and how should we mitigate these challenges? A: There are several challenges to women’s development. I would like to however, sum them up as two major issues; education and economic muscle. We cannot talk about empowerment and emancipation to uneducated and poor women. For instance, if all the girls in Kapchorwa received quality education they would, themselves, kick female genital mutilation [FGM] out of their lives. The women who are battered by cruel husbands would not wait for anyone to tell them about women emancipation, if they had economic muscle. They would live independent lives. The other salient challenge is society’s attitude. Affirmative Action
  21. 21. INTERVIEW The Minister deliberating with her colleagues in Parliament has played a key role and I applaud it. However, there is need to review its current nature in order to repackage it in relation to the current challenges. Q: Finally, As Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, what is your dream for the Ministry? A: If my wishes could come true, I would want to see an end to the following; unemployment among the youths, child and human trafficking, child marriages, child labour and female genital mutilation – in short, an end to gender-based violence. Members of the Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE) exemplify the leadership potential of women that the NRM Government has fostered UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 21
  22. 22. Providing Food Security for a Living: The Story of Josephine Okot By Hilda Twongyeirwe M s. Josephine Okot is a graduate of Makerere University Business School. She attained postgraduate trainings at Purdue University, Havard Business School and recently at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She holds a Masters Degree in International Business from Washington International University. Josephine Okot was inspired to support women early in her childhood when most of the young friends she played with had their fathers killed during the turbulent period of the 1970’s. “I observed then, how women, including my own mother, were single-handedly providing for their families’ well being,” Okot reminisces. Since childhood, she saw women fending for their families during the civil war, heading households, and contributing most of the agricultural production in Uganda. “As l got older, l got to understand that women were the primary producers of Uganda’s food output (70 - 75%) and yet they had little or no control over productive assets including land.” She thus became acutely aware that this lack of control remained the root cause of gender poverty coupled with limited opportunities to access credit, agricultural support services, market information and educational opportunities. In 2004, Ms. Okot founded Victoria Seeds Limited. She was motivated to capitalize on the market opportunity for agriculture inputs because she found out that crop yields in fields were well below the farmers’ potential, sometimes only 1/4 of the actual output being realized. She attributed this under performance to limited availability of improved seed, crop protection products and extension services. She was also driven by the desire to make a difference in the lives of rural women in Uganda. 22 UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 In 2008, Ms. Okot was awarded the MDG3 Torch Bearer for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women. This award was in recognition of her company’s commitment and efforts to empower rural women and to lobby for innovative financing options that take into account women’s limited control and access to productive household resources. In addition to this award, Victoria Seeds Ltd, has received numerous other prizes; the YARA Prize 2007 for a Green Revolution in Africa, Investor of the
  23. 23. Year Prize 2007 – Small and Medium Enterprise Category, Best Exhibitor Source of the Nile Agricultural Show, Oslo Business for Peace Award 2009, 2009/10 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year and Share Holder Value Champion, 2011 First Prize Small and Medium Enterprise Award, 2011 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship. 2012 Women Achievers Award and Uganda Responsible Investment Award, Best Seed Company 2013. The role of Victoria Seeds in the context of food security has evolved and today, the organization makes contributions to key policy issues. Ms. Okot spends considerable time providing policy advice to the Government as well as other development partners, such as the World Bank, DFID, UN Women, USAID and others involved in food security issues. She was a member of the Presidential Investor Roundtable and key player in harmonizing seed policies and laws in East Africa. Victoria Seeds Ltd grew from humble beginnings with a workforce of 5 people into Uganda’s Leading seed house, employing over 120 people with an annual turnover of three million kilograms of quality seed. The company markets over 94 varieties of vegetable, cereal, legume, oil and pasture seed in the domestic and export markets of South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. “Our product base has also expanded to include crop protection products and fertilizers.” Ms. Okot notes that Victoria seeds has over time moved from focusing only on business survival and financial returns into growing the business to develop communities in their area of operation as a way of giving back to the society. Furthermore, the organization works with and trains small holder farmers who are in its supply chain. These farmers totaling 900 (of whom 70% are women) are responsible for the output of Victoria Seeds and are also beneficiaries of the same. “I do not take credit for any of those achievements. All the glory goes to Jehovah God who gives me courage Woman with bumper ground nuts harvest and the wisdom to face and overcome business obstacles successfully.” I also acknowledge my late Father Justin Okot, for inspiring me to be confident and believe in myself although he died when I was only 6 years old. Hilda Twongyeirwe works with Uganda Women Writers Association (FEMRITE) Josephine’s success tips to women entrepreneurs  Have Self confidence - Always believe in yourself! Follow your dream through and do not wait for others to validate it;  Only venture into a profession or a business that you are truly passionate about so that no matter what obstacle comes your way, you will overcome it with a smile;  Stay focused on one enterprise, never diverting resources from it until your goals are achieved. Investing hard work and energy in one enterprise always pays in the long term;  When you make mistakes, learn from them and move on but do not quit because life rewards those who persevere;  Create a cadre of team players/managers who share your vision and surround yourself with advisors who are smarter than you – this means investing in human resource as your most valuable asset;  Keep training to get new ideas and energy. There is no age limit for learning. Always find time to read and be informed about your industry trends regionally and globally; and  To grow your business, find a financial partner willing to support your growth and committed to see it succeed. If you are not satisfied with one financial partner move to another immediately because delay could lead to failure. UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 23
  24. 24. The Hunger Project Contributes to Food Security and Poverty Reduction By Daisy Owomugasho T he Hunger Project (Global) predates the establishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by over 35 years. Its mission: “To end hunger and significantly cut poverty in all its forms.” In line with this, the Hunger ProjectUganda has pioneered women-centered strategies and is advocating for their widespread adoption in the country. In its 14 years of existence, the Hunger Project Uganda (THP-U) has registered remarkable success in managing community-based programs in areas of food security and hunger, grass root mobilization and empowerment of women as producers of food. To date, THPU has successfully established 11 epicenters in Mpigi, Wakiso, Kiboga, Kyankwanzi, Mbarara, Kiruhura, Iganga and Mbale districts. THP-U has utilized three critical elements that, when combined, empower people to make rapid progress in overcoming hunger and poverty. By mobilizing people at the grassroots level to be self-reliant and empowering women as the key change agents, it has encouraged the forging of partnerships with local governments. Through its multi-pronged approach, called the epicenter strategy, its interventions have contributed to the improvement of people’s welfare through: food production and security; health and 24 UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 Fighting hunger: a woman selling potatoes at a market nutrition; literacy and education; community mobilization; women empowerment; public awareness, advocacy and alliances; water, sanitation and environment; and, monitoring and evaluation. About 651,000 people currently benefit from this strategy to end their own hunger and poverty. In various trainings, communities are sensitized in food production and security using best agronomic practices, food storage, diversification in production, growing various crops, fruits and vegetables and, the use of improved seed and fertilizers. THP-U has trained 75% women in the epicenters districts in better farming methods. Since 2009, it has conducted over 400 trainings, serving over 15,000 partner farmers, the majority of whom are women. Over 16,000 households have trained and received high-value pests and disease-resistant cassava varieties. Over 3,500 agriculture trainers of trainers were instructed to build the capacities of low-level farmers using the knowledge and skills acquired through the food security trainings. Also, over 28,000 kilogrammes of improved seeds have been distributed to farmers and a valley dam for agricultural production constructed in Kiruhura District. As a result, best farming practices
  25. 25. Woman with a harvest of avocados have been adopted in the epicenter communities including; planting of early maturing and high yielding seed varieties, post-harvest handling and storage and collective marketing, green house farming technology in Kiruhura and drip irrigation system in Mbale. Eighty-five percent of our partners have sufficient food in their homes; the level of malnourishment among women in epicenter communities was at 4% compared to the national average of 12% in 2008, while 3% of children were underweight compared to 36% at the national level. In the area of Health services, 78% of partners have attended HIV and AIDS counseling sessions and 53% have been tested. Health-seeking behavior stands at 82%; immunization of children is at 80%; the rate at which pregnant mothers seek ante-natal classes is 70%, while, 72% of the households have at least one usable mosquito net. In literacy, about 30,000 village partners, 80% of whom are women, are literate through Functional Adult Literacy (FAL) classes. Over 3,651 children attend epicenter nursery schools enabling early childhood development. Moreover, nine epicenters have got rural banks and official recognition by the Government with women occupying over 75% of leadership’s positions. This is so because 84% of women in these areas have shares in the village THP-U banks and other financial groups in the communities. In these banks, 340,245,592 shillings has been mobilized as savings; 1,980,172,500 shillings accessed as loans, while over 9,219 rural partners have accessed credit. This has enhanced women economic empowerment. In the area of sanitation, hygiene and environmental sustainability, THP-U has increased access to safe water averaging 65%; an average of 52% of the households have planted a minimum of 200 trees, and latrine coverage has also improved with the highest in Mbarara at 78% and the lowest being Kiboga at 42%. Completing the MDG cycle in 2015, will give the opportunity for refocusing these THP-U’s achievements. Smallholder farmers need be empowered to move from subsistencebased to market-oriented production and use more improved technologies in production. There should be deliberate efforts to involve the youth into farming and, creating market access and value-chain additions which increase agricultural productivity should be prioritised. Also, partnerships with the Government and the communities remain critical to end hunger and poverty in communities and realize the dream of transformation, poverty alleviation and wealth creation. Dr. Daisy Owomugasho is the Country Director of The Hunger Project-Uganda UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 25
  26. 26. Improving Gender Relations in Coffee Farming Households for Sustainable Development By Fortunate Paska U ganda has made impressive progress in reaching its MDG targets. Between 1993 and 2006 the population living below the poverty line has already declined by 25% and the share of those suffering from hunger has reduced significantly (Millennium Development Goals Report for Uganda 2010, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development) Regardless, Uganda still suffers from widespread poverty, a phenomenon which is partially exacerbated through striking gender-based inequalities. Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung Africa (HRNS AF), is a foundation that promotes sustainable development and currently works with small-holder coffee farming families and communities in the districts of Masaka, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi, Mityana, Mubende, Luwero, Nakaseke, Nakasongola and Kasese. Through the establishment of commercially focused farmer organizations, participating farmers have been able to gain access to essential services such as extension, value addition and to markets. Thus, project farmers have been able to enhance their competitiveness and increase their incomes, but it was quickly realized that these benefits might not be reaching all members of the household equally. As experience has shown, women’s contributions to coffee production, such as field activities, picking, drying and sorting, are often not sufficiently recognized in coffee-farming households due to gender-related power imbalances. At the same time, women are frequently overburdened with work: on top of their participation in cash crop production, the responsibility for growing food crops, child-care and household chores also rest upon their shoulders. In addition, they are generally not informed about the proceeds from coffee and are not involved in decision-making on how to spend the income. These unequal gender power relations within the homes have negative influences on both household livelihoods as well as coffee quality. According to the women, the fact that their efforts go unrecognized often makes them feel demotivated and may lead to poor picking and poor care during the drying process. Furthermore, since this is often the only way they can get access to coffee income, some women have been reported to “steal” coffee from their own farms to sell it to middlemen. Woman noting points on coffee-growing at a workshop 26 UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 HRNS AF encourages farmers to adopt coffee-growing as a family business with all members benefitting equally from proceeds. In 2010, a household approach was introduced, to encourage
  27. 27. Gender Equality: a family grows coffee together farmers to enhance gender equity in their homes. inequalities that may exist in their homes. Couple seminars are held and farmers are introduced to participatory gender analysis tools such as activity profiles and access and control matrices. These are used to expose existing gender inequalities. Accompanied by separate group discussions for women, men and youth, as well as subsequent collective discussions, this approach allows farmers to discover and define these inequalities for themselves and decide together on potential means of action for addressing them. Already, HRNS AF has been able to register positive change in participating. Women are increasingly involved in decision-making processes and feel that their their contributions are valued and recognized, resulting in increased motivation to improve productivity of their family farm enterprise. Furthermore, the importance of women and men working and planning together for the benefit of the entire family is specifically highlighted. At the end of the training, couples who express commitment to adhere to these principles of gender equality in their own households can voluntarily register as change agents. After receiving further training, the change agents assume a strong role in sensitize communities and encourage their colleagues in the community to address gender “Previously, my husband never involved me, never revealed the amount of money from the coffee sales. Excluding me from knowing how much money he got from coffee would hurt my feelings and I would be de-motivated to work on the coffee garden. I used to fake sickness during the months when we would be weeding and harvesting coffee to avoid working on the garden where I do not benefit. After sensitization on joint planning and joint decision making, my husband now informs me about the proceeds from coffee sales and we plan together to address family needs. I am now happy to work on the coffee garden and this has resulted in increased production. We used to produce approximately 10 bags of coffee per season but now we have reached 30 bags per season. The income obtained from coffee is being used to pay school fees for our children.“ - Ssemuju Herman and Nassali Rose of Butalaga DC Masaka, 2012 Furthermore, the more balanced distribution roles and responsibilities inside the home reduces women’s heavy workloads. Coupled with better collaboration and decision-making over the use of funds, it has also enabled some women to engage in their own income generating activities. Approximately 18% of women reported having started their own businesses to further contribute to household incomes during an HRNS AF survey 2012. These businesses included setting up vegetable gardens, salons, small restaurants and retail shops. Survey results also indicated that food security improved in the households where gender equity principles were adopted. Fortunate Paska is the the Gender Expert Hanns R. Neumann Stiftang UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 27
  28. 28. Adult Literacy Enhances Socio-economic Development By Alphonse Ejoru L iteracy is the ability to read, write and calculate in a meaningful and useful way depending on the level and situation. It is part and parcel of basic education and a fundamental human right for individuals, families and communities. Acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills requires sustained learning and application in daily life. Literacy contributes to strengthening capabilities of individuals and families to benefit from existing opportunities. As a basic ingredient of women’s empowerment, literacy facilitates women to take control of their lives. Currently, adult literacy services in Uganda are provided mainly through the Functional Literacy Approach (FAL), Regenerated Freirian Literacy through Empowering Community Techniques (REFLECT), and to some limited extent, Family Basic Education (FABE). FAL emphasizes integration of basic literacy and numeracy with practical application of skills for personal, family, social, economic, political or cultural purposes, while REFLECT promotes Women in a functional adult literacy class problem solving through creative thinking and active participation to solve common problems. The FABE approach promotes synergies between formal and non-formal adult basic education by strengthening parental support to meet educational needs of their children through improved communication between the parents, children and teachers. Uganda has increasingly put considerable commitment to adult literacy as one of the strategies for poverty eradication and development. This has been demonstrated by inclusion of adult literacy service provision in its poverty reduction strategy, the Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP); the National Development Plan (NDP) 2010-2015, as well as Sector plans - the Social Development Sector Investment Plans (SDIP 1and 2) , National Adult Literacy Strategic Investment Plan and National Action Plan for Adult Literacy. Since 1991, considerable progress Trends in Adult Literacy Rates in Uganda by Sex Literacy Rates for the Population Aged 18 Years and Above by Sex 1995/96 1999/00 2002/03 2005/06 2009/10 Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Total Total 75 48 61 77 51 63 80 59 69 80 58 69 81 61 71 Urban 90 79 84 93 82 87 91 84 87 91 81 86 Rural 72 43 57 75 47 59 77 54 65 78 53 65 Central 83 70 76 84 71 77 86 79 82 85 75 80 Eastern 70 40 54 74 45 59 74 47 60 74 50 61 Northern 76 34 53 71 27 46 78 42 58 82 40 59 Western 70 44 56 76 55 65 79 64 71 78 54 66 Source: Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) 28 UGANDA WOMAN October 2013
  29. 29. has been registered in improving adult literacy levels especially among women. Nationally, adult literacy rates among women aged 18 years and above increased from 48 percent in 1991 to 51% in 1999/2000; to 59 percent in 2002/2003 and to 61 percent in 2009/2010. All regions experienced increase, with central having the highest rate of 70 % in 1995/1996 to 75 percent in 2005/2006, followed by western with 44 % in 1995/1996 and 54% in 2005/2006. The 2002/03 Uganda National Household Survey report associates this increase to contributions by adult literacy programmes in the country. For the last two decades, over 1,500,000 adult learners, more than 70% of whom are women, enrolled in adult literacy programmes of the Government, Civil Society Organisations, Faith Based Organisations and the Private Sector. Learners report benefits from adult literacy programmes in terms of knowledge and skills acquisition and practical use in daily lives. Such benefits include: self-esteem and confidence among peers, family and community, active participation in meetings, writing and reading simple agreements, reading religious books and helping children with their homework. Other benefits include; initiation of group rotational savings and income generating projects to enhance family Woman takes adult literacy class under a tree income and wellbeing, vying for leadership positions in community groups, religious committees and Local Council I. Furthermore, women have gained knowledge and adopted positive attitudes to preventive and protective health practices, family planning, nutrition and, education of children. Although there is general agreement, increasing adult literacy rates is important for poverty eradication and development as a whole, investment in adult literacy is inadequate compared to demand of the programs. Provision of adult literacy services heavily relies on volunteer instructors who, besides their low education levels, are poorly remunerated. Furthermore, there is disparity in access for people in hard-to -reach areas. Also, due to poverty, some women find it difficult to avail time to attend literacy classes and at the same time look for food and income for the family. Then, due to cultural beliefs, some men stop their wives from attending classes which they consider a waste of time. As such women, having learned to read, write and numerate, rarely practice the literacy and numeracy skills acquired and eventually relapse into illiteracy. This is accentuated by the scarcity of reading materials in local languages. Literacy is a right and therefore there is need to strengthen partnerships, collaboration and networking for improvement in the delivery of adult literacy service. Also, the investment in literacy programmes should increase so that support to instructors and development of the relevant instructional and learning materials is sustained. Furthermore, the continuous request to establish an equivalence and qualification framework for learners and designing programmes for learners with special needs, should be addressed. Alphonse Ejoru is the Assistant Commissioner Literacy in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development Woman with her child writing on a black board in an adult literacy class UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 29
  30. 30. Advancing Universal Primary Education in Public Schools By Staff Writer M s. Scholar Ndyagambaki was born in 1955 to Olive and Augustine Rwamutwe and she studied at Mitooma Primary School in Bushenyi and Immaculate Heart Girls School in Rukungiri. She is very grateful to her parents who she says, valued girls’ education, although they were not educated themselves. She never thought she would be a teacher. Her dream was to become a secretary. Scholar Ndyagambaki Girls at school 30 UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 “Although I qualified for Higher School Certificate, I initially preferred to go to Nakawa College of Commerce to pursue a diploma in secretarial studies.” During her vacation she accompanied her friends who wanted vacancies in Shimoni Primary Teachers College (PTC), and out of curiosity, she also applied for a place. She was admitted immediately because of her good results. Meanwhile, her admission letter never arrived until after she had started studying at Shimoni PTC.
  31. 31. Her first posting was to Namugongo Girls’ Primary School in 1978. In 1979 she was transferred to St Jude Nagulu. It was a very small school by then and she got very worried about her own personal development. She applied to Nakasero Primary School but was not taken although her transfer had been approved. Later, she learnt that she did not get the place because she was a married woman. In 1980, she was transferred to Bat Valley Primary School. In 1988, Ms. Ndyagambaki was posted to Kampala Primary School (present day Agha kan) as Deputy Head Teacher. This, she believes, was the turning point in her career. Shortly after she joined the school, there were severe conflicts between the two Moslem sects that had vested interests in the school. Ms. Ndyagambaki was asked to be the Ag Head Teacher in the middle of the crisis. She stemmed off a possible takeover of the school by the warring factions and proved her bravery. Then she was posted to Banda Primary School, a very small primary school with a total number of about 200 pupils only. To improve the school, she appointed Mr. Kalinda Kranmer as chairman of the Management Committee. Mr. Kalinda was at the time the Chairperson of the Education Committee Kampala District and Director of National Curriculum Development Centre. The move was strategic and resulted into the roofing of the school and construction of teachers’ houses. Thereafter, the population of the pupils increased. When she was transferred to St. Jude Primary School, she was prepared for the challenge. The school offered free education for all war victims. Hardly any pupil wore shoes or had a school uniform and there was no lunch. The school community was so laid back and most of the pupils missed afternoon classes because they had to fend for themselves. Some children worked in markets and many dropped out of school. Through negotiation and strategy, Ms. Ndyagambaki eventually managed to make all children and parents embrace the need for shoes, school uniform and A group of adolescent girls The First Lady, Hon. Janet Museveni poses with school girls lunch. Within two years, the school population grew from 800 to 1480 pupils. Also, the drop-out rate reduced as more children completed school. In 1994, she teamed up with three friends to start Mpoma Girls’ private school because she had realized that girls needed special attention during the transition from primary to secondary education. She was Principal of Mpoma and Head Teacher of St Jude when she was undertaking a Masters degree at Makerere University, and she accomplished all these assignments satisfactorily. In 2001, Ms. Ndyagambaki was transferred to Kitante Primary School where she became the first woman to head the school. So far, she has facilitated the building of four teachers’ houses. She observes that; “Teachers need accommodation in order to concentrate on delivering Universal Primary Education [UPE]. You cannot give quality education when you are riddled with financial and daily survival challenges.” She has inspired her teachers to start up income-generating projects and to buy land. She is retiring in early 2015 but before that, she yearns to see UPE transformed and government partnering with teachers and parents to deliver the best education to Ugandan children. “MDGs are not an issue if we all do what we are supposed to do,” she says. In addition to Mpoma Girls School, she co-owns other high-quality schools; Twinkles Nursery School in Kiwatule, Mpoma Boys’ School in Mukono and Pearl Academy in Bushenyi. “Maybe one day I will build a university. UPE is producing many children and they will need more universities,” she says. UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 31
  32. 32. Achieving UPE –The Gender Dimension By Margaret Kasiko Right from attainment of independence in 1962, Uganda has continued to prioritize the attainment of education with a special focus on basic education. This commitment underscores the belief of the country in the important role that education plays in causing the much desired political, economic and social transformation. The adoption of the Education for All (EFA) agenda and the subsequent Dakar Framework of Action (2002) deepened Uganda’s national resolve to implement the Education for All agenda fully and achieve agreed targets by 2015. The commitment is reflected in the elaborate macro-economic and sector reforms that have resulted into the current supportive policy, legal and institutional frameworks for delivery of EFA. To date, UPE remains a flagship program for expansion of access to quality and equitable primary education to all primary school going-age children in the country. The UPE initiative is firmly anchored in both the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and the Education Bill (2008). The country has registered tremendous progress towards achieving the target of universalizing basic education as follows: Enrollment Statistics at a Glance • The total number of primary schools (both public and private) increased by 51.4% from 11,578 (2000) to 17, 524 ( 2012); • Increased total enrolment by 27% from 6,559,013 pupils (3,395,554 boys and 3,163,459 girls) (2000) to 8,317,420 (4,161,057 boys; 4,156,363 girls) (2012); • The Net Intake Ratio (NIR) improved from 69.6% (69% boys; 70% girls) (2000) to 63.3% (63.2% boys; 63.3% girls) (2012); • The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for primary education improved by 12 points from 128.3% (132.4% boys;124.1% girls) (2000) to 116.8% (116.9% boys ;116.7% girls) (2012).; • The Net Enrolment Ratio (NER) in primary schools improved by 10 points from 85.5% (88.8% male and 82.3% female) (2000) to 95.5% (95.1% male and 95.9% female) (2012).; • In 2000, the Gender Parity index (GPI) in primary schools was 51.77: 48.23 for boys and girls respectively. By 2009, gender parity was achieved at 50: 50 for boys and girls respectively. In 2012, the GPI remained at 50:50; • Enrolment of Children with Special Needs increased from 157,416 in 2000 to 199,618 pupils (2012); • Enrolment of orphaned children accessing primary schools increased from 406,659 pupils in 2000 to 1,255,930 in 2012.; • At the secondary level, secondary enrolment increased by 142% from 518,931 (290,176 boys; • 228,755 girls) (2000) to 1,258,084 (boys 662,003 and 596,081 girls) (2011) 32 UGANDA WOMAN October 2013  Expansion of primary school enrolment leading to gender parity. The introduction of UPE led to a substantial increase in the enrolment of children from poor households, which was particularly beneficial for girls, who saw a substantial improvement in enrolment relative to boys, thereby, eliminating the gender gap in primary enrolment that had persisted for long. Gender parity was achieved in 2009. Similarly, the UPE program is responsible for the increase in girls’ enrolment by 31% from 3,162,459 (2000) to 4,156,363 (2012).  Enrolment of girls in secondary education more than doubled during the decade from 228,755 (2000) to 567,688 (2012).  Participation of children from marginalized areas of the country in primary education improved. For instance, in Karamoja sub-region, enrolment in primary education improved from 110,739 (i.e. 54,926 boys; 55,813 girls) (2000) to 137,362 ( that is 76,158 boys; 61,204 girls) (2012).  At secondary school level, enrolment increased from 6,037 (3,820 boys; 2,217 girls) (2000) to 10,347 (that is; 6,330 boys; 4,017 girls) (2012).  The P7 completion rate for girls in primary education improved from 41% (2002) to 66% in (2012). Margaret Kasiko is the Gender Advisor, Ministry of Education and Sports
  33. 33. Enabling Equal Opportunities for All By Christine Atuhairwe Karya E qual opportunities for Ugandan women will be achieved when they enjoy the intended benefits of development enshrined in the MDGs. The UN Millennium Summit of 2000 targeted: eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; achieving Universal Primary Education; promoting gender equality and empowerment; reducing child mortality rates; improving maternal health; combating HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability while evolving a global partnership for development by 2015. The Government in 2007 assented to the Equal Opportunities Commission Act 2007; establishing the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC). Its mandate is the elimination of discrimination and inequalities against any persons on any grounds. It stipulates affirmative action for the marginalized groups. It provides for; the removal of discrimination that impairs the enjoyment of rights and freedoms; access to social services, education, employment, physical environment by all and, participation by all in social, cultural and political activity regardless of socio-economic standing, disability and political opinion. In Uganda the aged, women, children, youth, people living with disabilities, indigenous ethnic minorities and the poor, among others, face discrimination in their endeavours to access, use and or gain control over resources and services. Establishing the EOC was a deliberate effort to erase this inequality and the women of Uganda have made some gains. Women occupy important positions in all the three arms of the Woman entrepreneur with a milling machine Government; the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary. Furthermore, there are more women in the administrative space and law enforcement. On the social front, there has been a concerted fight against gender-based violence in all its forms and gender imbalances due to stereotyping. Also, there is a greater emphasis on enabling women and girls to realise empowerment in various sectors including agriculture, health, education and business, among others. The EOC monitors, evaluates and ensures that all policies, laws, customs and any related activities by any individuals or bodies comply with equal opportunities. It has a national role in disseminating information to promote public awareness about equality issues. It continues to examine laws, customs, policies or any related matters which affect employment and enjoyment of rights by all. In fostering the potential of women, the EOC has authority to prepare, publish guidelines for implementing equal opportunities, hear and determine action against perpetrators who undermine, hinder and obstruct the participation of women in national development. Where women have any concerns which stem from abusive culture and community stereotypes; or anything that impairs their enjoyment of equal rights, they are encouraged to report these matters to the EOC. Ms. Christine Atuhairwe Karya is the Senior Information and Communications Officer, Equal Opportunities Commission UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 33
  34. 34. Ugandan Women Make Strides in Decision-making By Agripinner Nandhago T he women of Uganda have always organized themselves to advocate for a common cause. Even before the advent of western feminism in the 1960s and 70s, women in Africa and Uganda in particular, played key roles in the independence struggles. Women ventured into unfamiliar territories to pave way for the new generation. It is their hard work, commitment and selflessness that bore the fruits of women emancipation that women are enjoying today. In 1946 women’s councils were formed and these exerted pressure upon the Government then to consider active participation of women in decision-making. In 1956, their efforts bore fruits when the first Ugandan woman Pumla Kisosonkole, was nominated to serve on the Legislative Council (LEGICO). 34 UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 Uganda Women’s Parliamentary Association members in a group photo with the Vice President Hon. Edward Ssekandi Later, other women such as, Florence Lubega, Frances Akello and Joyce Mpanga followed. Women’s emancipation, therefore, has existed in Uganda and is not a Western idea as some people would like to argue. In the words of Pumla Kisosonkole, “Times have changed and are changing very fast and the woman must change with them in order that she does not become the forgotten factor.” Women became more visible in the 70s and 80s with the increasing demands for democracy which coincided with global demands for gender equality. Although the Second Parliament (1967-1971), had one woman and none during the 1971-1979 era, the numbers rose to two between 1979-1980. The turning point came with the advent of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) which coincided with heightened demands for women’s participation in all sectors at the global level. The 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda guaranteed not only affirmative action and fair representation of marginalized groups but also non-discrimination. The women in Constituent Assembly (CA) worked tirelessly for affirmative action and ensured that it was enshrined in the Constitution. They caucused, lobbied their male counterparts and worked with Civil Society Organisations’ for a cause they genuinely believed in and eventually increased representation of women in decision making. The phenomenal increase in the numbers of women at national level was first realized in 1989 with 38
  35. 35. Decision-making: UWOPA members at work women elected to Parliament followed by 51 in 1996-2001, 74 in 2001-2006, 102 in 2006-2011 and 135 in the 9th Parliament. At the moment, the women in Parliament are continuing to build the capacities of other women to ensure that the numbers translate into better quality representation. women Members of Parliament (MPs) lobbied for a maternal health loan to improve maternal health services. In the 9th Parliament women MPs, supported by their male counterparts, lobbied for extra funds to be allocated to the health sector to cater for recruitment of more health workers. Some of the achievements that are recorded include; the enactment of gender sensitive legislation including the Domestic Violence Act, The Female Genital Mutilation Act, Trafficking in Persons Act and amendment of the Land Act, among others. Women parliamentarians also catalysed the increase in funding to sectors that directly affect women, particularly maternal health. However, even with these achievements, women’s participation in politics has not been without challenges. Women have had to contend with low levels of education, inadequate skills to participate in politics and multiple domestic demands. They have also been affected by lack of financial resources and lack of self-confidence due to socialization which does not encourage women to be articulate. To date, there are many women who still forego politics to avoid domestic quarrels and, In the 8th Parliament for example, sometimes when women are in politics, their sexuality becomes an object of attack and public discussion and this de-motivates other women from joining politics. Women politicians can still achieve more if young women are mentored to take up leadership and are capacitated to work with men and other institutions to change the negative attitudes to women’s participation in decision-making. Agripinner Nandhago is the Coordinator of the Uganda Women Parliament Association (UWOPA) UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 35
  36. 36. Making a Difference in Children’s Lives By Staff Writer D r. Sabrina Bakeera-Kitaka was born in Nsambya Hospital but she grew up in the mining town of Kilembe in Western Uganda where her late father worked as a mining engineer; and her mother who is now retired, worked as a nurse at the Kilembe Mines Hospital. Her father, was among the very few Africans to work in a top position in the Kilembe Mines in the early 70’s. Hers, was a privileged upbringing and she and her siblings studied in the best primary school in the area. The Namuhuga Preparatory School for Europeans had every aspect of the modernday international school; a well-equipped library, tennis court,a swimming pool and a squash court. She was however in constant touch with children from the underprivileged families because her father always reminded her and her siblings that these children also needed friends to play with and that being poor did not make them less human. Dr. Kitaka thinks that it was this upbringing that made her respect other people and have a special connection with the underprivileged. 36 UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 Growing up, surrounded by different professionals, made her think that she could be anything. She remembers fondly how as a young girl she used to fancy surgeons. She would collect dead fetuses from a nearby butcher and operate them. She would also line up her dolls and inject them. Often times, she admired the neighbour’s aunt who was an air hostess with Uganda Airlines and dreamed of being one herself. Also, she fancied becoming a lawyer and a judge in order to make big decisions. Other times, she wanted to be a news anchor like the eloquent Lucy Banya. Her focus to become a pediatrician came one morning when, as a third-year medical student, she walked into a hospital room in Mulago and found nine babies lying dead. The sight saddened her a lot and she made up her mind to become a paediatrician. She spoke to pediatricians and they were supportive of her decision. Dr. Plaxedis Kituuka, who is also a pediatrician, was a special inspiration. Dr.Kitaka says, “You cannot be a good pediatrician if you do not have the passion and commitment. Being a pediatrician means that you must speak the language of every child and the language of every mother and I have been able to do that.” Being a paediatrician means learning how to communicate with people from all walks of life, including communicating to babies. It is therefore very disturbing when a doctor is not able to make a diagnosis in the guise of ‘communication barrier’. She has been able to engage with both local and international governments, with hospital leaders, with donors and with policy makers about the state of child mortality in the country and on the continent. “Children are voiceless. As pediatrician, I have to speak for them.” She has attended numerous meetings and conventions and she sits on several committees in Uganda, East Africa, Southern Africa, United Kingdom and the United States, discussing implementation and progress of MDG 4 on reduction of child mortality. Her message is the same: “Whatever can be done in the United States and United Kingdom for child survival, should be done anywhere else in the world for the well being of children.”
  37. 37. Dr. Sabrina Bakeera-Kitaka with children (above), and with conference participants(on previous page) With her fellow pediatricians, they have mobilized citizens and carried out sensitisation campaigns for basic interventions such as immunization, breastfeeding, prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission, and food security. She notes sadly that Uganda is still far behind the indicators. However, she points out that child mortality is not only a government issue but everybody’s issue. Dr. Kitaka is very convinced that Uganda can achieve MDG 4 if all Ugandans put their heart to it and take action now. She believes in service beyond self. It is neither for doctors’ only, nor only government, but for every Ugandan to strive towards achieving MDG 4 and 5. “MDGs should only guide us to do our best. Children are a joy to the nation and they are the leaders after us. We do not want to shoulder the responsibility of creating lost generations,” she said. She however calls upon government to revitalize the health sector in order for the nation to realize not only MDGs but also Vision 2040. Other doctors recognize her contribution and have been very supportive of her work. In 2009, she became the youngest doctor to be voted President of the Uganda Paediatrics Association. Although younger doctors have been voted thereafter, she was the champion and under her leadership, the association scored highly in raising issues of child health. Dr. Kitaka says that her passion to save children directly links into her passion about the health and wellbeing of women. No mother will be happy in an environment that is risky for her baby. Dr. Kitaka attended Mt. St. Mary’s College, Namagunga and completed her medical training at Makerere University. In 2003 through 2007, she was Infectious Disease Fellow through the Accordia program at the Infectious Diseases Institute. She is a member of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation Civil Society Steering Committee, she chairs the Uganda Civil Society Immunization Platform Technical Advisory Group, she is a member of the Uganda National Academy of Sciences’ Advisory Committee for Vaccines and Immunization and has sat on various World Health Organisation Guidelines Writing Committees. Department for Pediatrics at the Makerere University College of Health Sciences. She has taught at Columbia University, the University of Minnesota; the Perinywata Hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe and at the Muhimbili University in Tanzania. She has given various talks in East and Southern Africa. She has done research in paediatric infectious diseases and adolescent medicine. Dr. Kitaka’s passion does not end at saving babies only. In 2003 she and her colleagues launched a teens’ initiative to build bridges between childhood, adolescence and adulthood. This was after they realized that teenage deaths were on the increase, sometimes due to risky behavior. “You cannot delink MDGs because they are all intertwined. Our teenage children are dying of HIV, early pregnancies, skating on dangerous roads, abortion, drug abuse and much more. No one is going to protect our children. We have to do it ourselves,” she says. Through this project, she has made tremendous difference in lives of young people living with HIV and other infectious diseases. She is currently a Senior Lecturer based at the UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 37
  38. 38. Improving Child Survival in Uganda: The Progress Made By Rukia Nakamatte Mbaziira T he Government of Uganda committed itself to reducing by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate. To date, however, one in five children die before their fifth birthday and yet almost all child deaths can be prevented using simple, inexpensive solutions. According to the 2011 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS), the under-five mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 130 and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under-fives’ mortality is 24%. The Government is undertaking a number of interventions to accelerate the reduction of the rate of under-five mortality by two-thirds in the next two years as set out in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets. The Ministry of Health is therefore committed to implementing the roadmap to accelerated reduction of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality. To reduce infant mortality, maternal mortality too should be considered as well. It is evident that in order to improve maternal and infant health outcomes, there is need for a fully functional health care system, 38 UGANDA WOMAN October 2013 availability of life saving commodities and adequate and well motivated health human resource, among others. The findings from the UDHS 2011 indicate that most reproductive health indicators are improving. For example, Infant mortality has declined from 76 to 54 deaths per 1000 live birth and under 5 mortality reduced from 156 per 1,000 live births in 1995 to 152 in 2001 and further to 137 in 2006 per 1000 live births. The Ministry of Health has intensified a number of interventions to help accelerate the progress of reducing child and infant mortality. Scaling up of immunization is being done in a bid to protect children against the immunizable diseases. Immunizing children fully remains the safest way of protecting them against the vaccine-preventable diseases. Currently Government provides vaccines for nine immunizable diseases free of charge. These are; Measles, Diptheria, Whooping Cough, Tuberculosis, Meningitis, Polio, Pneumonia, Hepatitis B and Tetanus. In addition to that, the Ministry of Health, in the months of April and October, undertakes Child Health Days Strategy as a way of taking child health services closer to the people. During these days, outreach programmes are conducted. These services include immunization, nutrition supplementation, vitamin A supplementation, antenatal care, post natal care, de-worming, and health education, among others. Furthermore, child care facilities have been established in all hospitals and health facilities. This has encouraged mothers to take their children to treatment centers. Also, the Government is distributing mosquito nets throughout the country and special attention is being paid on children and pregnant mothers. More still, the Government has rolled out the elimination of Mother-toChild transmission of HIV and AIDS popularly known as Option B+ which ensures safety of babies from their HIV+ positive mothers. This option allows delivery of a baby of HIV and enables the mother to breastfeed without fear of contracting the deadly virus. Despite these interventions, concerted efforts of all stakeholders are required to save children and mothers. Rukia Nakamatte Mbaziira is the Public Relations Officer of Ministry of Health