Despite efforts to promote equality, men still dominate places where decisions are made leaving women on the sidelines
The United States Ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac has requested government to involve women in decision making processes.
Malac says such a move would highlight the plight of women and encourage their participation in nation-building.
Malac made the remarks on Wednesday while officiating at the closure of the 23rd residential training in alternative and transformative leadership camp 2018, organised by Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE) at Foyer De Charite in Namugongo.
"There are people who do not want women to be in places where decisions are made that affect us, our children and families, communities and that affect the future of the country," Malac noted.
She said that despite efforts to promote equality, men still dominate places where decisions are made leaving women on the sidelines.
A total of 45 young women from 20 districts benefited from the training with skills in leadership, feminism and entrepreneurship among others.
Malac commended FOWODE for training the young women, stressing that this helps to build an army of strong and resilient women to push for women's needs, change their economic status in communities and the future of the country.
"We need to be shoulder-to-shouldrer to make progress in deciding what we want with our lives. We have power and we must find ways to overcome those obstacles," she said.
She explained that countries which do not educate and give economic opportunities to half of their populations will not succeed over the long term.
"It is like playing a game with one hand tied at the back, with one foot tied with it; it will not work. So how do Ugandans raise their voice collectively, to say we need our rightful place?
We are not talking of necessarily the political arena although politics is part of every society," Malac noted.
She said women must be visible in the political arena because it is where all decisions are made.
"We must be present not just as tokens or just because we are women. We must be part of the decision making process. We must have a say in those things that affect us and affect our lives. So we need to be involved in politics and all other aspects of society because we are more at the grassroots level right from our families," she noted.
She said all women must continue to work together and network to achieve their goals.
The FOWODE executive director, Patricia Munabi Babiiha, said the training was aimed at raising strong women leaders with integrity who can promote a leadership of accountability and good governance to change the country.
The coordinator of the camp, Juliet Luutu Barasa, said the training is aimed at ensuring that women's participation in decision making is paramount in presenting the issues of girls and women at all levels right from their lower communities.
She noted that since 2004, FOWODE has been training young women leaders on transformative and alternative leadership.
"We realised that we have a leadership in the country but the communities continue grumbling due to incompetent and self-centred leaders. We want to see the leadership that evolved through this training can impact the lives of people by responding to issues of social injustice and governance that happens from the community to national level," she explained.
Suzan Abello Okae, one of the beneficiaries said after the training that she managed to start several projects in Nsambya supporting women who drop out school through equipping them with various entrepreneurial skills.
Okae is the founder of Comfort Africa Program that helps children and young women.