President Yoweri Museveni has stressed the need to integrate women’s rights with other issues affecting their communities such as security and wealth creation if women are to be liberated.
“You cannot liberate women without addressing other issues, for example security. How can you protect the women without a strong Army? He observed.
The President was speaking at the national celebrations to mark the International Women’s Day that was held yesterday at Dokolo Technical School in Dokolo Town Council in Northern Uganda. The celebrations ran under the theme ‘Women’s Empowerment in the Changing World of Work’ that was tailored to underscore the importance of women’s participation in the changing world of work for greater opportunities and consequently their empowerment.
The International Women’s Day (IWD) is an annual event that is commemorated on the 8th of March in recognition of the contribution and the different roles women play in the development process.
President Museveni, who was accompanied by the 1st Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Museveni, noted that due to the challenge of security in neighbouring South Sudan many refugees, especially women and children, have been forced to come to Uganda. He said that if such issues were addressed, it would be easier to protect the women and children.
He cautioned against gender segregation and reiterated, “the position of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) from the beginning is that there is nothing women cannot do if you organize them.”
Regarding infrastructure, the President noted that though most roads in the Lango Sub-Region have been constructed, the NRM government will continue to build, expand and strengthen some roads.
“A section of the Kamdini road was bad but has since been repaired but we are going to expand it. After the independence of South Sudan, there are many trailers using the road and it cannot cope with the traffic. He also said that the government will construct a bridge over Amodo swamp,” he said.
On the health sector, President Museveni called upon the people in the sub-region to test for Hepatitis B and HIV to reduce the rampant spread of those ailments
He commended the people of Dokolo district for not reclaiming the wetlands. He used the occasion to caution the people of Lango about hurrying to plant crops because of the recent spate of rain. He advised the people to look out for guidance of the meteorological experts on when they will declare the season as a wet one.
“I do not want you people to copy the bad manners of invading wetlands so that we can get water for irrigation,” he said.
He also urged leaders at all levels to mobilize communities to adopt energy-saving stoves to reduce the rate of deforestation and forest degradation saying this is all behind the severe droughts that the country has experienced.
“I urge all leaders, especially MPs, to mobilize your constituencies to embrace climate smart agriculture, tree planting and agro-forestry and also make use of the extension workers at Sub-Counties and districts,” he said.
The Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, Per Lindgärde, commended Uganda for welcoming refugees from South Sudan.
“As we celebrate this day, let us remember the women of South Sudan. 85% of the refugees are women and girls and the way they have been welcomed to Uganda is commendable,” he said.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Rosa Malango, called upon government to increase the number of women in public institutions. She noted that although women account for more than half of the total labour force, they account for only 37% of the public sector and 29% of the private sector employment.
Through affirmative action of the NRM Government, 37% of Cabinet Ministers and 33% of the Ministers of State are females while the Civil Service has 13 female Permanent Secretaries.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, Deputy Chief Justice, Steven Kavuma, Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwala, Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Uganda, attended the celebrations.
60 Golden Jubilee medals were given out to women who have played a distinguished role in the development of Uganda.
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