Uganda yesterday joined the rest of the world to mark the International Women’s Day with a call to give the girl-child better opportunities in leadership and life.
Celebrated under the theme: ‘Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world,’ the day came one year after coronavirus was declared a global pandemic.
Important to note is that when the world was beaten into lockdown as a means to check the fast spreading virus, women suffered more. Students were sent back home, businesses were closed, health facilities were hard to access, and the world literally shut down.
The effects were heavier on the informal sector, which employs many urban poor, majority of them being women and youth, according to the Uganda National Bureau of Statistics (Unbs).
At the start of implementing lockdown measures, this newspaper published pictures of women vendors being beaten by security officers in downtown Kampala for displaying merchandise when all else was supposed to be home.
In subsequent interviews, the women said the lockdown measures hadconstrained their only means of survival. We hope not to get back there.
Today, we pride in the fact that as a media house, we stand with women in all their endeavours to make a better living whether in business, workplace, farming or in leadership.
It is why, starting yesterday, the Nation Media Group Uganda, is partnering with International Hospital Kampala and UMC Victoria Hospital to create awareness about Fibroids. During this month, the two hospitals will offer free and discounted tests and screening of fibroids to women.
Also, we wish to reiterate that all stakeholders should aim to achieve the goals of German women’s rights activist Clara Zetkin, who tabled the idea of International Women’s Day at the 1910 International Socialist Women’s Conference in Copenhagen.
Her vision was that the world should celebrate, recognise and remember women and the accomplishments they have made to society; while uplifting them.
We wish to ask the government to honour the August 19, 2020 Constitutional Court landmark judgment in which it was pronounced that the government’s omission to adequately provide basic maternal healthcare services and emergency obstetric care in public health facilities, violates the right to health, the right to life and the rights of women as guaranteed in the Constitution.
This is because Uganda’s maternal mortality rate is at a high 343 per 100,000 live births, meaning 15 women die each day from pregnancy and childbirth-related causes.
To all women out there, the world is full of opportunities for you. Take them, and have a wonderful future.