by Kevin
Hon. Janat Mukwaya, Mrs. Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi, Mr. Denis Nduhura and Mr. Joel Cox Ojuko listening to the discussion

Equal Opportunities Commission launched Gender and Equity budgeting referencing tools for sector Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on Thursday 25th January, 2018.  The tools were launched at Hotel Africana in Kampala by the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon. Janat Mukwaya.

The reference tools included Gender and Equity Compacts for 8 sectors; the National Gender and Equity Compendium for 138 Votes (MDAs); and the Gender and Equity Compliance Guide for Parliament to support and strengthen actors along the gender and equity accountability chain.

Speaking at the event, Hon. Mukwaya tasked EOC to draw a strategy that entails meeting top managers in sector MDAs to bridge the knowledge gap on gender and equity planning and budgeting. They need to know what the impact of women’s work in the service industry will achieve, what the impact of commercial agriculture for women should be tailored on and the how to enhance the peasant to produce more.”

“Youth need to be empowered by skilling them to become entrepreneurs. The trend of traders having to purchase everything from Kampala needs to stop. People who benefit from road construction are those with rocks and murram.” What this means is that the rich are getting richer and the poor remaining poorer.”

“Responding to the needs of all Ugandans when making sector plans and budgets will not only demonstrate the pride we have for our people but also enhance more trust from the people we are appointed to serve. Making discriminative plans and budgets is a demonstration of directly challenging the humanity of left out Ugandans. Therefore, all sections of government ought to commit to put to use the materials that are due for launch today for the very purpose intended.”

Hon. Mukwaya commended EOC and UN Women for developing the referencing tools and urged European Union and Embassy of Sweden to continue supporting the programme.

Hon. Mohammed Nsereko, Chairperson Equal Opportunities Committee of Parliament, hailed EOC for the tools developed and said the biggest exposure of opportunity is access to capital, land and agriculture. It is disappointing to hear that there is a sub county in this country with no secondary school.” How shall we close the technology gap when children in Uganda get access to computers at university level? Apart from Uganda Broadcasting Services, no other media house provides for sign language interpreters in the country. In the health sector, pregnant mothers should be given access to free medical care during delivery because they are giving birth to citizens of our nation. In addition, equity in taxation should also be considered in order for the vulnerable to benefit.”

In her remarks, Mrs. Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi, Chairperson EOC said the event had been convened by the Commission in accordance with its mandate. “We need gender and equity budgeting if we are to develop in an inclusive manner. “EOC assessed four sets of Budget Framework Papers (BFPs).”

She acknowledged various stakeholders and development partners for the support extended to our country to enhance gender and equity in our programming at various levels.

The UN Women Deputy Country Representative, Ms. Anna Mutavati noted that 56 % of women aged 15-49 continue to face physical violence despite reports to police and less than 50% cases of defilement are arrested.

As we reflect on gender policy and commitment, FY2018/19 marks the fourth year of implementing gender and equity planning and budgeting. As a matter of fact, all MDAs before obtaining a gender and equity certificate need to have a gender and equity responsive budget. Similarly, since 2004, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development had begun it and as a country, we are on the spotlight globally and have become a country to learn from.

She appreciated the Ministries of Information, Communication and Technology, Works and transport, Justice, Law and Order, Lands, housing and urban development and public administration in working with them to identify the different gender issues in each ministry and work towards their implementation.

Member Zaminah moderating the discussion with panelists Jeff Wadulo (CSBAG) and Ruth Asiimwe (UYONET)

Mr. Mujuni Mpitsi Pac Lawrence, Secretary to the Commission said government had strengthened its commitment to gender and equity planning and budgeting. He urged stakeholders present to agree on a way forward to take gender and equity planning and budgeting to another level.

He thanked development partners European Union, Embassy of Sweden and UN Women for the financial support given to ensure progress is made to see the country’s economy reach a level of middle income.

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