President Museveni speaks to a group of police officers who were awarded medals during the International Women’s Day celebrations at Malukhu playgrounds in Mbale District, yesterday. PHOTO BY DAVID LUBOWA
By FRED WAMBEDE & YAHUDU KITUNZI
President Museveni has cautioned men against beating their wives, referring to the act as primitive.
Mr Museveni said while his government has introduced programmes aimed at empowering Ugandans and improving their livelihoods, the government will start channelling wealth creation resources, especially through women.
“An economically empowered woman cannot be battered by her husband. But the men need to be informed that beating a woman is a sign of cowardice and being primitive. I have lived with Janet for 49 years but I have never even pushed her,” the President said.
He was speaking as chief guest at the national International Women’s Day celebrations, which took place at Malukhu playground in Mbale Town yesterday.
The day was held under the theme, “Celebrating 25 years of the 1995 Constitution: Milestones on promoting Gender, Equality and Women’s empowerment in Uganda”.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) condemns all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation. The UN states that violence against women and girls violates their human rights and hinders development.
According to the UN, sexual violence is widespread across the globe with women making up 47 per cent of homicide victims worldwide intentionally killed by an intimate partner.
Mr Museveni said NRM government has provided a conducive environment for the emancipation and empowerment of the women.
“The NRM government decided to create special positions for women at different levels as one of the steps to end the historical discrimination against women,” he said.
He added that the NRM government also introduced free education, improved healthcare and access to water and infrastructural development.
“When you bring water near the homestead, the beneficiaries are for the girlchild because she will no longer have to fetch water from far-away wells,” Mr Museveni said.
He added: “In the army and police, we stopped discrimination against women during recruitment. We recruit anybody who is fit”.
The chairperson of National Women’s Council, Ms Faridah Kibowa, appealed to the government to impose harsh penalties on defilers and rapists in bid to contain the increasing sexual violence cases in the country.
Ms Kibowa said recent statistics indicate that 60 per cent of women and girls experience gender-based violence of different forms ranging from physical, emotional, sexual and economic, among others.
“The police crime report of 2019 reveals that more than 17,581 sex-related crimes were registered of which 6,454 were taken to court and only 920 cases secured conviction,” she said.
She added that the government should also increase funding of child and
family protection unit of police and family court to efficiently
address issues of gender- based violence.
Ms Rosa Malango, the UN resident coordinator, said the elimination of violence and other harmful practices against women can accelerate economic growth.
Mr Julius Kakeeto, the Post Bank managing director, applauded government for the introduction of Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (Sage) programme.
“These funds are essential in supporting the elderly people to live dignified lives and they will be transferred to them through our bank,” he said.
Meanwhile, one week of activities to mark the Women’s Day were characterised by drama as Ms Lydia Wanyoto, the chairperson of National Resistance Movement women’s league, and Ms Connie Galiwango, the woman Member of Parliament, Mbale District held parallel meetings and activities. Both are eyeing the seat of woman MP come 2021 General Election.
Ms Wanyoto, who formerly served as MP for
the East African Assembly, organised a seven–day ideological training of
a section of women leaders from NRM woman league and women council
executives across the country at Nyondo Core Primary Teachers College in
Several leaders in the country attended the training sections including former vice president, Dr Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, the Minister of Energy and Mineral development, Ms Mary Gorretti Kitutu, Mr Frank Tumwebaze, the minister of Labour and Social Development, the NRM secretary general, Ms Justine Lumumba and the second deputy Prime Minister, Mr Kirunda Kivejinja, among others.
The pass out ceremony was presided over by President Museveni on Saturday. The President gave each participant Shs500,000. They were more than 1,000 attendees.
Ms Wanyoto also organised a trek on Kaguta Road, a route which President Museveni used to escape from Amin’s soldiers in 1973 after they attacked him and his colleagues, Martin Mwesiga and Kazimoto, who were shot dead in Maluhku Estate, Mbale Town in the house plot 49. The NRM secretary general, Ms Justine Lumumba was the lead trekker.
She also spearheaded the cleaning of Mbale Town, Mbale regional
referral hospital and other neighbouring health centres, among other
Ms Galiwango, a wife of the director finance and administration in the NRM party, Zubair Galiwango, also organised a meeting for a section of women council leaders across the country on Saturday. It took place at Proteria Hotel.
The meeting was attended by the State Minister for Labour and Cultural Affairs, Ms Peace Mutuuzo.
She also held a number of radio talk shows with former minister of Energy, Ms Irene Muloni, carried out mobilisation activities, and run radio announcements, among others.
Ms Lumumba applauded President Museveni for empowering women in the country.
“The NRM government has put up policies that have propelled women to the top positions in this country,” he said.
Ms Lumumba, however, requested the President to ensure that health centre IVs are equipped in order to improve maternal healthcare.
Ms Wanyoto said women are the foundation and pillar of NRM party. “We are the NRM warriors fighting to keep this party into power and to support its growth,” she said.
Source Daily Monitor.