The country is slated to hold LC elections starting November 21, in 60,000 villages
(Left to right) Norwegian Ambassador Susan Eckey, keynote speaker Maria Lena Vonka, Janat Mukwaya and Rosemary N Ssenabulya having a chat during the leadership conference at Kampala Serena Hotel recently. Photo by Tony Rujuta
Taking up more leadership positions is the only way women can increase their voice to effectively push for their interests, gender minister Janat Mukwaya has said.
She noted that women need to stand for local council (LC) positions to increase the number of women leaders to influence decisions.
The country is slated to hold LC elections starting November 21, in 60,000 villages.
"LC elections can increase the number of women in leadership massively. With 60,000 LCs, we can mobilise as women and vote for our own to take up these positions," she noted.
Mukwaya made the call while addressing women leaders at the opening of the sixth annual Women Leadership Conference organised by the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) at Serena Hotel in Kampala.
She said with only 40,000 women elected in various positions, it can make a great difference.
"The country's planning starts from villages to the top. These are the most influential positions in development and policy formulation. This is a big advantage we should not miss out," Mukwaya noted.
She said women leaders need to use the available space, to empower other local women to become leaders at lower levels.
She noted that over 100 Women MPs in Parliament is already big achievement, but only needs to be converted into a big voice.
However, Mukwaya also cautioned women leaders and corporates against neglecting their motherly role because of work, saying they must balance the two.
The Norwegian Ambassador to Uganda, Susan Eckey said leadership plays a big role in development among women.
"Women still face challenges of discrimination, isolation and cultural bondages. We can break this trend with more leaders," she added.
She said the Norwegian Government is committed to supporting the girl child and women in Uganda to uplift their plight.
The keynote speaker an entrepreneur from Norway, Maria Lena Vonka said networking is very key if women want to be successful.
"Make connections and believe in yourself. I always believed in myself and tried to create meaningful connections which have helped me. I resolved to employ more women than men in my company to lift their status. That is what leadership means," she added.
The FUE executive director, Rosemary Ssebunya said through various partnerships they have managed to empower women through initiatives that are geared towards increasing the number of women in top leadership positions.