By Jumah Nsubuga
As Uganda prepares to join the rest of the world to commemorate the International Women’s Day on 8th March, women members of parliament have spoken out on this year’s celebration theme.
The national celebrations will be celebrated in Kumi district with the THEME “partnership of men and boys for empowerment of women and girls in Uganda”.
The women MPs say that this year’s Theme is unique because it brings men on board to empowering women matters.
Ntungamo district woman MP Naome Kabasharira said that celebrating the women’s Day has come at the right time when Uganda has just enacted the law on Homosexuality. “This day has also come at a time when we are experiencing a high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in Uganda. The Theme for this year’s celebrations will bring together men and women in the fight against HIV/AIDS since it opens up for men and boys to feel that they are partners in the fight against HIV/AIDS” She noted.
She added that, this day is very important since many women have been empowered in decision making levels internationally.
“At least women have been involved in different positions in decision making although we are not empowered economically which is very important and critical for women. Even rural women should be empowered economically for a great change as far as social-economic development is concerned” Hon Kabasharira said.
She however urged government to look at areas that can empower women economically by creating avenues for them.
“I also urge government to provide modern materials for agriculture to women to generate their house hold income to uplift their income. Government should also give women education especially girl child because majority of young girls drop out from schools for early marriages”.
On maternal Health, she said that “Uganda is still facing a high rate of maternal mortality. She added that government should provide facilities to women to prevent the high maternal mortality rate.
Meanwhile Manafa district woman MP Sarah Nitarisire said that, “celebrating this Day is worth it because is the Day women celebrate their achievements politically, socially and economically. It is also the Day to remind government the commitments/promises it has made towards women”
Elsewhere Koboko district woman MP Margret Babadiri saluted NRM government for empowering women. “Before NRM government took over the power, only two women were participating in politics especially in parliament but ever since, we are now 136 women in parliament. We have also been allowed to engage in businesses. We now urge the government to create a women fund to enable women development themselves like what government has done to the youth and PWDs.
The money provided by government to women through national council for women is little to uplift the developments of women. Women in Uganda need a special fund with no interests to develop themselves”. She added.
Butambala district woman MP Mariam Nalubega said that Women’s Day signifies the progress of women. “We have come from far in the whole world. We have a success in some sectors like education where girls have excelled than boys. We have also excelled in businesses among others although we still have many challenges like maternal mortality which is a threat to all women in Uganda”. She said
Women’s Day is celebrated internationally, aiming to raise awareness of the challenges, struggles and continuing inequality faced by women worldwide.
It celebrates women’s history, highlighting key events, milestones and achievements, and aims to further promote and raise awareness of women’s rights and to achieve equal opportunity status in all walks of life.