Rosa Malango, United Nations Resident Coordinator said; “we need to enhance the role of women in leadership, and to have more proportional representation of the women in key positions because there is just a lot they can offer.”
A high level meeting for ministers of gender in the Great Lakes Region endorsed a proposal to implement 30% female representation at all leadership positions in the region.
This would still be short of the 50% target envisaged in global conventions to create gender parity and to give equal opportunities to men and women.
Rosa Malango, United Nations Resident Coordinator said; "we need to enhance the role of women in leadership, and to have more proportional representation of the women in key positions because there is just a lot they can offer."
"We have to continually keep encouraging women to take up leadership positions and to have the African woman increasingly play a role not only to forge their personal destiny but also that of their nations and continent," said Malango at Protea Hotel in Entebbe.
UN resident coordinator, Rosa Malango who also doubles as a UNDP resident representative
She called women to be aggressive, seek leadership at community and other local based positions as well as the higher positions.
The three-day meeting discussed women economic empowerment, education, sexual and gender based violence and child marriages, but the most important was involvement of women in leadership so they can play an equal role to cause peace and security and end injustice in the GLR.
Through the ‘equal involvement', the countries can improve women emancipation and because ‘women best understand their challenges', lead to remarkable reductions in GBV, teenage pregnancies and child marriages, and the persistent FGM and poverty in the region, said Malango.
She said: "Women need a platform to speak, to be heard, and to lead."
Said Djinnit, UN special envoy for the GLR, called the ministers to speak with "one voice" when promoting gender parity in the region.
He said: "We need to provide girls and women with leadership skills to increase number of women in decision making positions."
He called the ministers to implement protocols, agreed upon at the meeting, to combat sexual and gender based violence.
At the meeting, a number of women shared painful testimonies relating to how they have been sexually abused, partly because of an ‘imbalanced and unfair' environment dominated by men.
Peace Mutuuzo, state minister for gender and culture, chronicled dilemmas the Ugandan girl contends with, ranging from biased social constructs, to other physical and emotional challenges like forced marriages.