Delivering his speech during the function, Archbishop Odama thanked the Family desk at the Uganda Catholic secretariat for spearheading the formation of the National Catholic Women’s Council, which he said would enhance the stability and general welfare of the family.
The Catholic Church has continued to demonstrate its commitment to women by launching the first ever national women's council. It was launched by the Chairman of the Uganda episcopal conference (also the Archbishop of Gulu), the Most Rev John Baptist Odama during a grandiose function that took place at Hotel Africana on Tuesday (November 6).
The Uganda National Catholic Women's Council comprises elected Christian leaders from all the 19 Catholic dioceses in Uganda. Florence Kevin Kwesigabo, the national programmes coordinator at the family desk of the Lay apostolate department of the Uganda episcopal conference, explained how the council was formed.
"Since 2011, we have been running a campaign against domestic violence all over the country. Relatedly, we encouraged Catholic women to elect leaders, in accordance to the structures of the Church. The women subsequently elected their leaders, right from the grassroots, that is, the small Christian communities, commonly referred to as Bubondo, up to the diocesan level," she said.
Members of the council's executive include the Chairperson, Mary Assumpta Gidudu (from Lugazi Diocese), Sarah Apadet Okumu (Vice-Chair, from Tororo Archdiocese), Gorette Kugonza (Secretary, Fort Portal Diocese), Dorothy Balojja (Vice-Secretary, Masaka Diocese) and Irene Labwot (treasurer, Gulu Archdiocese).
The others are Sophie Mbonigaba (Kabale Diocese, Mbarara Ecclesiastical province), Harriet Mulumba (Kiyinda-Mityana Diocese, Kampala Ecclesiastical Province), Sarah Akello (Kotido Diocese) and Anne Lumumba (Gulu Ecclesiastical Province).
Delivering his speech during the function, Archbishop Odama thanked the Family desk at the Uganda Catholic secretariat for spearheading the formation of the National Catholic Women's Council, which he said would enhance the stability and general welfare of the family.
"We the Catholic Bishops of Uganda highly value this organisation. It is a treasure to the human family. There is no human family without a woman. A woman takes the primary role in the growth of humanity. Even when someone is dying, it is their mother that they call," said Odama.
Odama later asked the Catholic women to promote the Christian values of love, reconciliation, unity, respect and piety as they ran their campaign for peaceful families. He further urged them to involve the Catholic men in their empowerment campaign arguing that men and women complemented each other. He also encouraged Catholic men to emulate the Catholic women by forming a National Catholic Men's Council.
In her inaugural speech, Mary Assumpta Gidudu pledged to work harmoniously with the Catholic women and the Bishops to strengthen the family institution. She promised to be even more vigilant in sensitising and empowering women to fight domestic violence and poverty.
The function was graced by the Catholic Bishops of Uganda. Development partners from international organisations like Trocaire, Irish Aid, the Danish Embassy and Centenary Bank also graced the function.
The function was also graced by the president of the Uganda National Council of Catholic Laity (and deputy CEO of Vision Group), Gervase Ndyanabo, the Chair-person of the Catholic Parliamentarians, Hon. Lucy Akello, the leader of the opposition, Hon. Betty Aol Ochan and Hon. Peter Okot (Tochi). The function ran under the theme: Merciful Parents, Peaceful.