By Francis Emorut
Women in northern Uganda have called on Women Members of Parliament elected on affirmative action to serve only two terms and quit.
The women were concerned that women legislators want to cling to a Parliamentary seat for over 10 years. A legislative term runs for five years.
“........About doors being left open this is not happening, there are those women MPs who have super glued on the chair and don’t want to leave Parliament. They should serve for only two terms,” Grace Goro, the vice chairperson of Koboko district said.
Goro was supported by Molly Lanyero the associate director of regional Associates for Community Initiative.
Oyam South MP Betty Amongi (right) talks to Gulu Woman MP Betty Aol (centre) and Nebbi district speaker Fuambe Ida. Photo by Francis Emorut
“How do you expect women to join politics if they are not mentored by Uganda Women Parliamentarian Association (UWOPA)? Lanyero asked adding that two terms were enough for Women MPs to serve.
The women who are in local leadership and running their own businesses were responding to Oyam South MP Betty Amongi who said the door was open for other women to join politics.
“You must work hard to bring more women in leadership positions through mentoring and encourage them to join politics. Leave the door open for others to join politics,” Amongi told women attending regional women in politics conference on Tuesday.
The conference was held at Pearl Afrique Hotel in Gulu and organized by Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE).
The conference held under the theme: “Women and Power: Taking stock and marching forward,” drew participants from the districts of northern Uganda.
It was aimed at providing a platform to amplify and voice critical outstanding issues in the political agenda and to develop a strategy for the integration of women’s agenda into government political and economic processes.
“How many Women MPs are back at the grassroots after they have been voted into Parliament?” Pamela Angwech a councilor at Gulu local government asked.
She said because some Women MPs are not in touch with their electorate is the reason why they should not serve more than two terms.
Gulu Woman MP, Betty Aol who intends to contest for the third term advised fellow women to demand for the review of affirmative action policy if they are not happy for Women MPs to serve more than two terms.
“Those of you who are disgruntled with affirmative action should organize yourselves and make your voices heard by policy makers otherwise I intend to go for third term,” Aol stated.
Amongi who bounced back as a chairperson of UWOPA later clarified that what she meant by leaving door open was not restricted to politics only but economic and social spheres inclusive.
“Even if you are in politics do business aside because with politics it’s about voters and they can drop you any time,” she said.
“What we are talking about open door is broader than politics look at economic, social and political empowerment and fix yourself where you can succeed.”
Amongi who joined politics at the age of 23 said she aims at UN agencies or regional bodies when she completes her two terms as a directly elected MP.