Eliminating Terrible Cultural Practices Against Women Has Ranked Uganda Best In Gender Equality-Minister Amongi 

Eliminating Terrible Cultural Practices Against Women Has Ranked Uganda Best In Gender Equality-Minister Amongi 

By Spy Uganda

The Government of Uganda has made tremendous progress in advancing gender equality and women empowerment as a key driver of inclusive economic growth and social development, says Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon. Amongi Betty Ongom.

While presenting a paper at a dialogue held on the sidelines of the ongoing 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York on Thursday, the Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon. Amongi observed that a host of progressive laws, policies, programmes and interventions had been instituted to support the drive.

“As a country, Uganda has entrenched a clear belief system which recognizes that societies, where women and girls are treated as inferior to men and boys, are a recipe to establishing and perpetuating a vicious cycle of limited education, poor employment opportunities, ill health, forced marriages and all too frequent violence and exploitation,” Amongi said.

She added that more attention had been directed to eliminating cultural and religious practices that subjugate women and perpetuate multiple forms of discrimination, oppression and violence.

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She called for studies on how to liberate women who remain custodians of protecting and reinforcing such practices.

The Minister however decried the slow progress at the global level noting that of the 72 million children of primary-school-age still excluded from school systems, two-thirds are girls while women hold only 18 per cent of the world’s parliamentary seats and throughout the world, too many women live in fear of violence.

“In too many countries, policies, legal frameworks and social justice systems are just not adequate. Of all the Sustainable Development Goals, the one where we have achieved least success is on maternal health,” she noted adding, “Each year, between 10 to 15 million women suffer long-term disability due to complications during pregnancy or childbirth. Every year, more than a million children are left motherless”.

The Minister said the Gender Ministry in Uganda is prioritizing economic empowerment for women because research has shown that women face greater hurdles than men in almost all spheres of economic activity including; access to finance, assets, technology, good-quality jobs and peer-to-peer networks.

She pledged to develop a comprehensive approach to reducing gender inequality, repealing laws that discriminate against women and girls, increasing protection against violence, closing the gap in girl’s education and digital technology, guaranteeing full access to sexual and reproductive health services and rights, and end the gender pay gap.

“We are making sure that women have equal representation in peace processes, and strengthen our work on the links between violence against women and international peace and security,” she added.

Amongi was optimistic that women’s equal leadership and participation is fundamental and with the quotas that have been in implementation, there is a growing shift in the balance of power and that dividends are starting to show towards gender parity in Government, Parliament, Corporate Boards and Institutions across the world.

“We are now moving to a very exciting time in history where the world now expects diversity, equity and inclusion. The world notices its absence and celebrates its presence.” She observed.

Meanwhile, the Minister has held bilateral meetings with Ministers and executive officials from South Africa, UN AIDS, Oman and Norway on a cross-section of issues.

The discussions revolved around the need to increase peer-to-peer learning programmes between Uganda and South Africa.

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