Biases against women are continuously distracting their progress in management and other leadership positions, women rights activists have said.
In line with the International Women’s Day 2022 campaign theme; ‘Break the Bias’, activists want more efforts directed towards addressing gender inequality.
Priscilla Nabatanzi, a project officer at Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) said that while there are some deliberations made by the government in promoting gender inclusion, only a few are benefiting from the development programs.
“Some of the government programs are ceremonial and benefit other people than the direct beneficiaries of those particular interventions. Sometimes it’s also the system. Uganda is a very corrupt country; people are not having that heart of caring for ‘Ubuntu’ or humanity. We tend to focus on ourselves, families, and stomachs. So, we end up not helping the other person in need,” Nabatanzi said during an online discussion on Friday.
She added that alongside giving them information, it’s equally important to interest women in acquiring skills like tailoring catering among others, for survival.
Bella Nshimirimana, Uganda Refugee Woman of the year 2017 and co-founder of Mirror Group Network, noted that there should be the inclusion of refugee women in programs and that men should support women.
Sharing her experience as an urban refugee, she noted that the support from her husband was vital in empowering her at a time she moved into Uganda as a young mother.
“I reached here in 2011. I didn’t know English and Luganda, I only knew my local language, Swahili and French. I’m happy that my husband could understand that a man and woman, are supposed to support each other. He gave me the opportunity to go back to school so that I can have the knowledge to support my fellow women,” she said.
She added that access to health services among refugee women is difficult because the majority don’t know English or any local language.
Meanwhile, Pimera Sylvia, from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development highlighted some of the government efforts towards breaking the different biases imposed against women that hinder them from prospering.
She noted that strides have been made to have more women in leadership positions.
“And then education-wise, there’s still a lag despite the 1.5 points that we have for girls entering the university. However, economically, we have had a specific interest; paying special attention to women to join the government programs. When you look at the youth livelihood program, there’s a percentage to ensure that for any one group to get resources, there should be women in those groups,” she said.
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