“When women are elected, they forget others, they start speaking like men and also start condemning fellow women that they are lazy..."
KAMPALA - It’s now 24years since Uganda participated in the Beijing meeting in 1995, however much has not been achieved according to Women activists.
On the 50th anniversary of the UN in September 1995, a ground-breaking Fourth World Conference on Women was held in Beijing, China, attracting activists and representatives from around the world.
There, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was adopted, paving way for a world where women could exercise freedom of choice and live within their rights. The former Vice President Dr Specioza Wandira Kazibwe led the Ugandan women delegation.
This was revealed during a consultative meeting organized by the National Association for Women’s Action for development(NAWAD) to assess the progress made and challenges encountered in implementing the actions.
Speaking during the workshop, Peace Kyamureku, who was part of the delegation that went to Beijing said Uganda has had some achievements like the introduction of Universal Primary Education and USE to keep girls in school and the introduction of a National Gender Policy to address inequalities at all levels. However, the challenges are still so many that are hindering women to achieve their rights.
“Women funding is still an issues and technology has marginalized women, they do not have smartphones to access information, those who receive mobile money do not know how to read the amount, they have to call other people to read for them and when they want to get the money, they get taxed,” said Kyamureku
She also noted that women in big positions do not support fellow women instead they use problems affecting women at grassroots to promote their agendas.
“When women are elected, they forget others, they start speaking like men and also start condemning fellow women that they are lazy. When they get into power, they never come back to the Constituency they just come back to attend funerals and weddings,” said Kyamureka.
Elliot Orizalwa, the director of women and girl’s civil society, said women cannot celebrate the Beijing anniversary because a lot has not been achieved.
“Celebrating is okay but we need to know that most women have not benefitted. Women still do not make decisions even those in parliament never address issues, they just speak for themselves, others prefer talking to fellow women during weddings while looking for votes. They do not care about the problems the women at the grassroots go through,” Orizalwa said.
Dr. Florence Muhanguzi, a lecturer at the School of gender at Makerere University, noted that cultural norms are still hindering women from achieving their rights.
“Government has provided a conducive environment for women to go to school, but one of the biggest challenges is the ineffective implementation of the laws in line with women issues. Different ministries need to sensitise communities about women and girls’ rights,” said Muhanguzi.
She noted that in order to address issues of women, it is very important to engage women in power and those in places of influence especially those in the political space to front women issues for solutions.
Women who work in air-conditioned board rooms were advised to go at the grassroots and work with other women that are doing something positive to change their communities.