By Ronald Nahabwe
The Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) in conjunction with National Defence Canadian Directorate of Military Training and Cooperation (DMTC), have organized the first ever International Training Conference for Women in Military; Women Peace and Security, with the sole aim of bolstering and promoting the integration of women and general consideration of gender in military circles.
The workshop which started today August 27th, is set to run till Friday August 30th, 2019.
It attracted 52 participants drawn from different countries including Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Jodan, Mali, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia Sierra Leone, Tanzania and the host country Uganda.
The workshop aims to come up with workable examples that can help boost women integration in the armed forces, international commitments to women, peace and security and importance of leadership in fostering inclusive and operationally-effective military officials from both Military and Non- Uniform personnel.
Honourable Lydia Wanyoto, the National Chairperson National Resistance Movement (NRM) Women League, on behalf of the Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs applauded the Government of Canada for having thought of Uganda to host the workshop.
Wanyoto pointed out that Uganda has been committed to issues of women peace and security since 1986.
“We have walked the talk and government has since worked on total inclusiveness of women at all levels of administration.
With such a unique history, it has led Uganda to share experiences of stability beyond our borders and has exported peace to many countries like Burundi, Liberia and at large in Somalia, without leaving the issues of women especially their inclusion in peace and security matters behind.” Wanyoto said.
She observed that since the victims of war are always women, it’s prudent for women to actively participate at all levels involving peace and security matters, which is a thoughtful stride because women victims of war feel much safer psychologically when they are being handled by fellow women. She added that women roles can never be underestimated and be done without especially in Protection of Civilian Issues.
Wanyoto reminded the participants about the United Nation Resolution 1325 which emphasizes the importance of integration of women in the forces.
And for Uganda, as per the 1995 constitution, women have been provided for at all levels and sectors of government and even signed and ratified to the resolution above.
The opening function was attended by; Hon Brig. Flavia Byekwaso the UPDF member of Parliament, female officers from the UPDF and a delegation from the Canadian National Defence Directorate among others.