The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga has challenged world governments to be more transparent to their legislatures on country reports on the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
“It’s very disappointing that in specific cases, we have never seen any country reports on CEDAW,” Kadaga said.
She gave the example of the Uganda government that had avoided presenting the report in Parliament despite having reported a couple of times.
“We must have better accountability from our governments on that issue,” she stressed.
Kadaga was a panelist at a forum organised by the IPU to mark the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing (Beijing Conference) and the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action.
Offering some practical lessons to countries on the way forward for women, the Speaker suggested stronger partnerships with men: “There should be an induction to the CEDAW and the Beijing platform for all Members of Parliament, so that we move together with our colleagues.”
“We need to engender legislation,” she said, citing the example of the Certificate of Gender Equity currently in use in Uganda; “Any Bill, programme or policy that comes to Parliament must have met those standards before we discuss it.”
She also advocated for lobbying within strong parliamentary caucuses so as to market ideas with ease. “But we also need men to work with us in those caucuses,” she added.
Kadaga challenged the legislators in attendance to get more involved in the women’s struggle.
“It’s time now that parliamentarians became more visible, more active and indispensable, so that we become key movers in this campaign for the empowerment of women.”
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga is leading the Uganda Parliamentary delegation to the 132nd IPU Assembly and Related Meetings currently taking place in Hanoi, capital of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.
Other members on this delegation are Honourables: Emmanuel Dombo, Betty Amongi, Franca Akello, Bbosa Kiyingi and Suleiman Balyejjusa.