By Gloria Nakajubi
Students from various universities want the affirmative action policy reviewed saying it is only increasing the gender inequality gap in the country.
The youth argued that you cannot agitate for women emancipation when you want the female to be favoured, which makes them the lesser sex, lowering their self-esteem and hoping to always be helped to attain what is deemed only for men.
“The Constitution stipulates that all citizens are equal but how are we going to achieve this equality if certain groups of people are favoured against the others through such policies like the affirmative action?” Kennedy Kasozi of Uganda Christian University (UCU) Mukono wondered.
This was at a convention organised by Action for Development (ACFODE) and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung at Nob View Hotel Ntinda last week that drew participants from over ten universities.
The debate’s main theme was “Uganda at 50: Promoting youth activism for Gender Equality and Good governance.”
“We women can actually attain those best grades without being given the 1.5 points we are always offered because this makes some girls relax since they know they have free points to count on,” a female participant from Kabaale National Teacher’s college pointed out.
Fagil Mandy, the chairman Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) who was also the Chief Guest, said the youth who constitute 70% of the population need to be engaged “in such constructive activities that can cause a fundamental change to this nation other than having them party all their weekends away.”
He added that the youth need the necessary knowledge, skills and mental capacities to make them more productive.
Such debates, he said, reveal the “great potential of the youth that has not been fully tapped.”
Fagil hailed Kampala City Council Executive Director Jennifer Musisi for being a perfect example of women emancipation in the current Uganda.
“I wish we had like 50 Jennifer Musisi(s) in this nation; it would help us achieve great structural and institutional changes much faster than the rate at which we are seeing these changes today,” Fagil said.
The Executive Director ACFODE, Regina Bafaaki said: “with the results from these debates we can proudly say our efforts were worth it and we know that since their inception in 2010, a seed has been sown and it will germinate into influential change makers in this nation.
The Chief Judge at the debate, Isabella Akiteng, advised the youth to continuously engage in such productive debates since they are the basis of true activism if they are to participate in the transformation of this nation.