Today is International Women’s day celebrations under the global theme “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”. Women’s Day has been recognized and celebrated since 1911.
The general mindset about the day and the celebration behind is for recognition and celebration of the women and girls who are leading the charge for women empowerment and gender equality. The day is always filled with gatherings across the world mainly organized by governments and civil society.
Additionally, it is important for the world to know that International Women’s Day is a notable reminder to commemorate the cultural, political and social economic achievements of women.
The intention is to promote gender equality and, create a friend and bias free society where women can engage in any activities, roles without being judged because of their Gender. In Uganda, the National Gender Policy (NGP) was approved in 1997. The policy provided a legitimate point of reference for addressing gender inequalities at all levels of government and by all stakeholders.
The International Women’s Day comes with its fair share of light moments, humor and ridicule from the Ugandan side of the world. Social media is always awash with concocted photos of men baby seating, cooking and doing dishes all at the same time. The general joke is that for this one day, men are forced to be women. The image of the typical women that is generally carried around is an overwhelmed multi-tasking woman juggling being a wife, a mother, a home manager, a career woman and so forth.
Nevertheless, today as a woman more so as a Ugandan woman, I pause to celebrate the achievement of promoting the women agenda and involvement in all aspects in my country Uganda. What an incredible journey the Uganda woman has had to travel to arrive at the place we are as women in the Ugandan society.
This has been largely possible under the able leadership of President Yoweri Museveni. I truly believe that will forever go down in history as one of his greatest achievements. His Excellence began involving women in leadership early alone as far back as the Constituent Assembly days when Uganda had to overhaul is constitution.
The above involvement laid a foundation for women to step up in political leadership, public service even global influence. The Hon Winnie Byanyima began her days in the parliament of Uganda and went on to soar to global heights as the Executive Director UNAIDS and an Undersecretary General of The United Nations.
Former speaker RT Hon. Rebecca Kadaga began her political career as a CA delegate in 1995 and went on to become the speaker of parliament in 2011. Currently the Uganda Parliament has a total of 188 women members of Parliament which is 33.81%.
In the Executive Arm of Government, President Museveni has always created room for women to serve their country. Hon Specioza Wandira Kazibwe served as vice-president from 1994 to 2003 leading a host of several women in mistrial positions.
Currently both the 2nd and 3rd positions of hierarchy of government are occupied by women.
The current cabinet reshuffle saw women take up much more ministerial positions than the previous cabinet. All this involvement of women allows women an opportunity to participate in policy formulation guaranteeing an equitably place of women in the Ugandan society.