The Parliament of Uganda, under Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, has been commended for the actions taken to promote women and girls rights in Uganda amidst the challenges brought about by a reluctant Executive.
Speaking during a meeting of the Coordinating Committee of Women Parliamentarians of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU), Chairperson Ms. Mensah Williams of Namibia paid glowing tribute to Speaker Kadaga and the Ugandan legislature, following a report of the activities so far been carried out in the Parliament of Uganda.
Hon. Betty Amongi (MP, Oyam South) who briefed the meeting, spoke on the success of the first ever Women’s Parliament held in Kampala on 7th July, 2015 under the theme Women’s participation and empowerment: Addressing challenges of Convention of Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) implementation.
“It brought women from the grassroots together with male Parliamentarians, the donor community and had all the UN representatives in Uganda attending,” Amongi said.
The Women’s Parliament culminated in the launching of the “Call for Action” hand in hand with the “He for She” campaign.
“Congratulations to the Uganda Parliament,” Mensah Williams said, adding: “I think that that is what we all need to do to encourage for signatures; for people to take cognisance of the ‘He for She campaign’ and the call for action that we committed to.”
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga highlighted that these successes were not without their challenges:
“I must express my frustration with the Executive back home,” she said, while explaining about the presentation of the Report on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in Parliament of Uganda.
“Imagine, all five Ministers concerned went missing at the time of tabling the report.”
Lesotho Speaker Motsamai expressed similar challenges while also warning of “constitutional inhibitions” caused by the high turnover of MP’s during elections and the imminent risk of “losing the institutional memory and momentum.”
The IPU Secretariat pledged to continue inducting new members into the ideals of the CEDAW and advancement of gender equality.