Uganda Securities Exchange (USE), in partnership with Capital Markets Authority (CMA), have joined 65 stock exchanges globally in an event dubbed ‘ring the bell’ to address and promote gender equality in the business environment.
Speaking during the fourth annual ‘ring the bell for gender equality’ ceremony under the theme ‘women’s role in finance and investment,’ Mr Paul Bwiso, the USE chief executive officer, said the securities exchange being a partner to the Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE), promotes the initiative to highlight the need for gender equality among the listed companies, regulators and investors in the country.
“As the exchange, this bell ringing ceremony creates awareness of the pivotal role the private sector can play in advancing gender equality to achieve the United Nations sustainable development goal 5,” Mr Bwiso said.
Breaking down the value of women in business, he said the female gender has a very high purchasing power, so if supported, would boost investment in the stock market, thereby increasing the index because of sustained growth.
Ms Jacqueline Musiitwa, the executive director of financial sector deepening Uganda, noted that policies that favour women are present but require implementation.
Despite the female population of Uganda being 51 per cent, only 35 per cent are represented in Parliament. This, Ms Musiitwa, said is still highly lacking.
“The statistics in Uganda, however, speak volumes. On the legislative front, we have made progress. But it is not enough. We still have to grapple with social norms and cultural practices that reinforce the subordinate status of women and downplay their contribution to the general pool of growth,” she lamented.
Few women in administration
In a panel discussion lead by Ms Getrude Wamala, a partner at Sebalu & Lule company advocates, women decried the low count of females in the administrative positions, citing the current state of only three Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) out of 20, being female.
They shed light and dismissed the stereotype of women being each others’ enemies, saying it is not true and that they are only competitive, just as men are.