Malac urged women to emulate families that have progressed in grooming their girls and women into future leaders
PIC: Kyambadde (third-left) and Malac dancing during the global mentoring walk at Lugogo cricket oval in Kampala recently. (Credit: Photo Ashraf Kasirye)
WOMEN | EDUCATION
KAMPALA - The US ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac, has urged Ugandans to emphasise on mentoring girls so as to help them overcome gender-related stigma and discrimination.
Malac said mothers and women activists should turn their energy from verbally criticising gender inequality to equipping girls with the ability to use their potential.
She made the remarks while officiating at the global mentoring walk organised by Century Entreprenuership Development Agency (CEDA) international on at Lugogo cricket oval in Kampala.
Malac said world over, women are still lagging behind the doors of social, economic, and political inclusion. She however, said stakeholders and leaders are using all measures at their disposal to address the problem.
"In the US, we have women in politics but our numbers in the national congress and other political circles are relatively not big in percentage compared to men just like in Uganda and other African countries." She emphasised.
Malac urged women to emulate families that have progressed in grooming their girls and women into future leaders, proprietors of big companies and businesses.
"Although the bigger responsibility is for leaders, the onus is also on us as community dwellers, parents, religious and cultural leaders to stand up against our problems," she said.
She added that women should be stronger inspirations and examples in the lives of their children, hence teaching them how to access justice and gender equality policies put in place by governments.
The chief guest and trade minister, Amelia Kyambadde,
narrated how cultural taboos and religious beliefs almost cost her the chance to stand as an MP aspirant in her constituency when religious and cultural leaders stood firm to block her aspiration.
"I listened and thanked them for the advice, but followed my instincts and instead turned to action rather than verbal politicking. That is how I managed to beat them," Kyambadde said.
During the function, Rehmah Kasule, the president of CEDA international, called in from the UK to address guests.
She revealed that a similar walk was taking place in London and other 60 countries in the world, while focusing on improving girl-child education and creating more jobs for young people.
"Our new slogan is ‘Empowering one girl at a time'. We shall one day be there. Thank you all." Kasule said.
Other women who shared testimonies included Sarah Bireete, the programs' director at the Centre for Constitutional Governance. She said only 16% of women own land in Uganda against 56% of the men who own registered land titles.
As part of the solution, Kyambadde said the Government is determined to enhance its support for women, especially in the informal sector, so that their lives are uplifted.
"Fortunately, most jobs in the small and medium-sized enterprises sector are occupied by women. Our duty is to push them wherever we can so that they continue surviving while building their families and communities," she said.