EOC to assess local governments on gender and equity compliance

Gender, Labour and Social Development Minister Betty Amongi (left),  Equal Opportunity Commission chairperson Safia Nalule Jukko (centre), and other officials during the launch of the Annual State of Equality Opportunities in Uganda FY 2022/2023 report in Kampala in November 2023. Photo/Shabibah Nakirigya 

What you need to know:

  • Equal Opportunities Commission is mandated to eliminate discrimination and inequalities against any individual or group of persons on the ground of sex, age, race, color, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion, health status, social or economic standing, political opinion or disability, and take affirmative action in favor of groups marginalized on the basis of gender, age  and  disability.

Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has embarked on assessing local governments on gender and equity compliance, the administration said on July 9. 

Speaking to the media during the capacity building training for district planners from central region in Kampala ,the EOC Chairperson, Ms Safia Nalule Jukko said that under the Public Finance Management Act  (PFMA), EOC is entitled to assess the country’s program plans and budget to ensure there is gender and equity compliance.

“The exercise has been done at the national level with government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) but according to the enquiries we need to start from the grassroots,” she said.

She added that due to limited funding, they have not been doing the assessment at the local government levels but this year all the districts will be assessed.

“We cannot have the exercise successful before sensitising the district planners’ on gender and equity planning and budgeting because they are very key in development at district level,” she said.

She added that local government are the first institutions which are in touch with the communities and if they are left out it means the beneficiaries will also miss out .

“Government has come out with different programs but majority of the marginalised people have missed because of poor planning and lack of gender and equity compliance,” she said 

Ms Nalule also noted that there is affirmative action in Parish Development Model where 30 percent goes to the different interest groups but some local government leaders  have misallocated  the  funds .

“These people should know that before the assessment their plans and budget call for gender and equity compliance but some of them are ignorant about it,” she said.

Mr Gideon  Mugulusi the President  of Uganda Planer’s Association who also doubles as the Buyende district planner said that whereas  they have a duty to identify priorities of the district,  they are challenged with  guidelines which are issued by different sectors.

“When you look at National Development Plan III and Program based budgeting are totally different yet they all focus on development. We find it hard to plan for both ventures,” he said. 

Mr Mugulusi added that as planners they recommend the two documents to collaborate so that they identify the activities to be put in the budget, report and get assessed.

“Departments are still issuing independent section guidelines yet the government changed from projects to programs which caters for several projects,” he said.

He also urged the central government to come up with one hermonised implementation guidelines for all the planners to select priorities and  implement them.

EOC is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament to effectuate Article 32(3) and Article 32 (4) of the Constitution of Uganda.

EOC has the mandate to assess all MDAs in gender and equity compliance and after issue a certificate which affirms the Finance ministry to pass their budget frame work paper.

Equal Opportunities Commission is mandated to eliminate discrimination and inequalities against any individual or group of persons on the ground of sex, age, race, color, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion, health status, social or economic standing, political opinion or disability, and take affirmative action in favor of groups marginalized on the basis of gender, age  and  disability.