Women have not achieved emancipation, say activists

Friday November 15 2019

Trained. Students from several schools march

Trained. Students from several schools march during the pass out of 2,290 students from 13 secondary schools that completed one-week training in patriotism on November 11. Authorities in Luuka District have introduced topics on sexuality in patriotism education and training with an aim of fighting teenage pregnancies and child marriages. PHOTO BY BY TAUSI NAKATO 


Women activists have asked government to fulfil its commitments towards addressing the plight of women in society.
The activists claim that women at the grassroot are yet to achieve full emancipation, 25 years since the endorsement of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
The platform sought to remove all the obstacles to women’s active participation in all spheres of public and private life through ensuring their full and equal share in economic, social, cultural and political decision-making.
“At the moment, very few women in violent marriages go to police family unit to report such cases. Others are told that you cannot report your husband to police,” Ms Peace Kyamureku, the executive director of Rural Women and Youth Fund Uganda, said.
She was one of the women activist who constituted part of the delegation that went to Beijing, China in 1995, said.
Ms Kyamureku said although most of the recommendations were adopted during the making of the 1995 Constitution, there are still some gaps.
She attributed the delayed implementation of the Beijing recommendations to meagre resources, favourable policies and negative cultures.
“We have gone back to the olden days of Idi Amin where he had promoted people with no much education but had money, but this time we have unemployment. Parents say why should I send my child to school, especially if the child is a girl. Why should my girl go to secondary school when she is not going to get a job?” she lamented.
Ms Kyamureku made the remarks during a consultative meeting organised by the National Association for Women’s Action for Development (NAWAD) at Lweza in Wakiso District on Wednesday..
The executive director of NAWAD, Ms Patience Muramuzi, said: “We call for improvement among women at the grassroot because almost all society challenges such as land grabbing, displacement of families, mainly affect women. Women in agriculture are not supported not even in compensation.”
She added: “Our culture puts all the duty of household on women and girls, on land and agriculture – women have no right, they lack support to take care of the families, the maternal services are not there.”
Dr Florence Kyoheirwe Muhanguzi, a senior lecturer at Makerere University School of Women and Gender Studies, said it is important for government to address issues affecting women.
“A number of interventions ranging from legal, policy and institutional have been put in place. These are significant achievements that cannot be avoided in education where access has increased, in terms of parity at 50-50, we know that we have achieved in decision making,” she said.