By Francis Emorut
Oyam South MP Betty Amongi has called for setting up of rooms for girls to change sanitary pads during their menstruation periods to curb high school dropout for the girl child across the country.
Amongi who was addressing district leaders from Kole, Oyam and Apac said the specific need of girl child when she is her periods should be met by affording her room where she can change in order to keep her at school.
“District leaders should ensure that they put sanitary rooms in schools where girls can change when they are in menstruation cycles,” Amongi said.
The lawmaker who is also the chairperson of Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) implored the district leaders to incorporate both men and women issues when they are planning for the district in terms of budget.
“Take cognizant of woman and man you are planning for. Both voices must be heard and their specific needs must be brought in the planning process,” she said.
She was speaking during the national gender accountability forum at Protea Hotel in Kampala aimed at promoting good governance and accountability at local levels.
The legislator rapped men who don’t want their women to do family planning to curb population growth saying such men should be educated about the importance of family planning.
She was responding to concerns raised by the district leaders who said they were finding it difficult to sensitize the men on family planning because they control their women.
“Some women want few children but the men control them,” Anne Alum, a district councilor for Kole district said giving an example of a woman who has 12 siblings.
Amongi advised the politicians to package their information properly to bring men on board.
“Package your information in a convincing manner so that the men come along and move with us (women),” she said.
The executive director of Action for Development, Regina Bafaki appealed to women councilors to continue advocating for 50/50 representation for leadership positions.
trueAnne Alum a district councilor for Kole district making her remarks during the gender national accountability forum at Protea Hotel in Kampala. PHOTO/ Francis Emorut
“You must make sure that gender equality of 50/50 representation becomes a reality and it’s possible,” Bafaki told participants.
“Gender is a development issue we can’t afford to sweep it under the carpet.
She commended the district councilors for coming up with ordinances and bylaws that have reduced domestic violence in the three districts.
Josephine Ahikire, a lecturer at the department of Women and Gender Studies Makerere University underlined the importance of enhancing gender accountability by holding policy makers and implementers accountable.
Richard Makumbi, a board member of Action for Development emphasized the need to invest in research and make research findings simple to understand for informed policy formulation.
“Invest in research so that we can make decisions from the informed point of view,” Makumbi said.
The forum attracted members of academia, district speakers and councilors as well as civil society organizations.
MP asks for special sanitary pads changing rooms