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Society should not judge women as weaker sex - Kadaga

By Paul Kiwuuwa

Added 3rd March 2020 10:05 AM

“When women seek to serve in elective offices, they are subjected to more negative and increasingly gendered treatment."

Society should not judge women as weaker sex - Kadaga

Ocan (L), Kadaga and other women during the launch of the African Women Leaders Network, Uganda Chapter, at Sheraton Hotel Kampala on Friday. Photo by Paul Kiwuuwa

“When women seek to serve in elective offices, they are subjected to more negative and increasingly gendered treatment."

KAMPALA - Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has said much as there has been a major shift in the way society views a woman's role in the public sphere, the society continues to treat women as a weaker sex, which undermines their credibility in building the nations.
 
Kadaga said: "When women seek to serve in elective offices, they are subjected to more negative and increasingly gendered treatment. It is high time the society developed strategies to change attitude of people towards gender equality."
 
 "The higher women get in involved in serving in top executive offices, the more they are subjected to gender stereotypes," she added. 
 
Kadaga said when she first became Speaker of Parliament in 2011, "I remember I went for a radio talk show on one of the radio stations. Some people were mesmerised by a woman being a Parliament Speaker; a man called in and told me that I should not be doing such a job".
 
Kadaga said, women are still facing discrimination at work, citing an incident where female Police officers were transferred from Parliament because they were pregnant.
 
"I directed the Inspector General of Police to bring them back. If I was not in that position, they would be gone. So we need to keep following up on such issues," she said.
 
Kadaga, said this while launching the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN), Uganda Chapter, with a call on women to develop strategies to change attitude of society towards gender equality in Kampala on Monday.
 
AWLN is a ground-breaking movement of African leaders. It is an initiative of African women implemented through the African Union. 
 
It was launched in 2017 and seeks to enhance the leadership of African women in the transformation of the continent, in line with Africa's Agenda 2063 and the Global Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.
 
The UN Women deputy Country representative to Uganda, Adekemi Ndieli, said: "We are all aware of the challenges facing women in Uganda and globally. As we embark on this great journey we must pledge that no one will be left behind."
 
"This platform should comprise of grassroots women, youth and women with disabilities to ensure that we change this narrative around women's equal participation," Adekem added.
 
 She urged women activists to mentor the young women in leadership positions to enable them shape the future of Africa "Africa they want".
 
Adekem added: "The youth need to be mentored in leadership. They need to know how other women in leadership positions were recruited. Due to the male-controlled nature of our society, many youth feel powerless. Therefore, they should be empowered to reach the success."
 
The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament (LoP), Betty Aol Ocan, asked women leaders not to give up in the fight to achieve gender equity.
 
"As women, we always go through different experiences from men. Men are encouraged while women are discouraged," she said.
 
Aol said:  "When  I was appointed   the LOP in 2018, many men, and even women criticised and discouraged  me, saying I would  not manage to run the office. However, I had confidence to serve."
 
"Both men and women make mistakes during work, but sometimes men's mistakes are not glorified as the women's mistakes at the work place." 
 
Dr. Mary Elizabeth Okelo, the founder of Kenya Women Finance Trust and Akili Schools, encouraged women leaders to remain brave and courageous, if they are to achieve 100% involvement of women in leadership. 
 
She said that her experience at school motivated her to become a leader.
 
The Minister of State for Youth and Children affairs, Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, said gender inequality remains a key challenge in development, which calls for deliberate interventions to harness existing opportunities to accelerate gender equity.
 
"According to the global Gender report on harnessing gender equality, Uganda ranks 107 out of 129 countries. The world over is in need of critical transformative leaders, men and women. Leaders who are committed to address root causes of gender equality," she said. 
 

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