by Kevin
The EOC Chairperson and Members of the Equal Opportunities Commission presenting the Commission’s 5th Annual Report for the FY 2017/18 to the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga and members of the Parliament of Uganda.

On Wednesday, 14th November, 2018, EOC launched its 5th Annual Report on the state of equal opportunities in Uganda for the FY 2017/2018 at Imperial Royale Hotel under the theme “Promoting equal opportunities to address inclusion and accessibility challenges of the 21st Century”.  The Report which was launched by the Minister of Gender Labour & Social Development, Hon. Janat B. Mukwaya comprises 10 Chapters; General Introduction, Achievements of EOC (FY 2017/2018), status of implementation for recommendations made by EOC in the previous annual reports (2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17) and the state of equal opportunities in Uganda focusing on: Compliance with gender and equity requirements in planning and budgeting; Employment; Health; Education; Energy, Minerals, Oil and Gas; and Works and Transport. The last Chapter of the Report presents conclusion and key recommendations.

The EOC Chairperson, Mrs. Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi,, Members of the Commission Ms Zaminah Malole, Mr.Joel Cox Ojuko and Mr. Patrobas Wafula Sirabo and Secretary to the commission Mr. Mujuni Mpitsi Pac Lawrence after the Launch of EOC 5th Annual Report on the state of Equal Opportunities in Uganda for FY 2017/18.

The Commission used a combination of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to collect, organize and analyze the data presented in the Report launched. Data was collected from both primary and secondary sources. Primary data was mainly sourced through administering individual questionnaires, key informant interviews and focus group discussions. Under the secondary data sources, the Commission sought permission to utilize Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) 2016/2017 data set, Public University students’ records for five Academic Years (2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18) and Education Management Information System (EMIS) data set 2017.

In accordance with section 24 (2) and (3) of the Equal Opportunities Commission Act, 2007, the Commission with pleasure presented to the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda its 5th Annual Report on the State of Equal Opportunities in Uganda for the FY 2017/2018 prior to the launch. The EOC Annual Report was received by the speaker of Parliament of Uganda, the Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga and members of parliament.[/vc_wp_text][vc_single_image image=”3241″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes”][vc_wp_text]Overall, the Launched Report recognizes that the commission has made tremendous achievements in the FY 2017/2018 on redressing Imbalances and Promoting Equal Opportunities for all and they include:-

The Commission received and handled 390 complaints (Female 46%; Male 54%) relating to discrimination and marginalisation on grounds of; religion, health,   political affiliation, ethnicity and on issues relating to land and property ownership, employment, access to pension and education. The Commission resolved 71% (279) of the complaints that were registered and 29% (111) are still under investigations.

The Commission developed the National Capacity Development Plan on Gender and Equity (2017/18-2021/22), a national compendium on gender and equity, 8 sector specific gender and equity compacts and the gender and equity guide for Parliament in support of Parliament’s oversight role provided in Section 78 and 79 of the PFMA.

The Commission has mobilized and sensitized marginalized and discriminated groups in their various categories to participate in government programmes. Policy makers and implementers in central and local governments, as well as civil society have also been targeted to embrace inclusion of these marginalized and discriminated groups in their development interventions. This has been done through sensitization and training sessions; media engagements; public and community dialogues; translating Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials in major languages of the country; as well as partnership initiatives with like-minded State and non-State actors.

On the State of Compliance with Gender and Equity in Planning and Budgeting for the FY 2018/2019, the EOC report launched recognized that the overall national compliance of Sector Budget Framework Papers with G&E requirements for the FY 2018/2019 was 61%. Out of the 17 sectors assessed, 7 marginally (in the range of 50-59) met the minimum commitment level to deliver services to all Ugandans, 4 sectors registered a commitment level of 60%-69% while 5 sectors scored 70 and above. Science, Technology and Innovation sector was the only sector that scored below the minimum commitment level (18%).

The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development Hon. Janat Mukwaya cutting the ribbon as she officially launches the EOC 5th Annual Report.

State of Equal Opportunities in Employment under the Informal Sector indicates that the government of Uganda is implementing a number of programmes targeting the poor. However, the findings revealed that the informal sector has limited access to formal financial institutions with 77.8% obtaining capital from either a family member or their own saving.

Under the State of Equal Opportunities in the Health Sector, the average budget allocation of the health sector (6.4%, FY 2017/2018) and the HSDP target (9.8%) are far below the 15% threshold of the Abuja Declaration (2001). Uganda’s health system remains underfunded and hence heavily dependent on external funds (on and off-budget).

Attendance during the EOC 5th Annual Report for FY 2017/18.

For the State of Equal Opportunities under the Energy, Minerals, Oil and Gas Sector, the report registered an improvement in the commitments to address gender and equity concerns of the vulnerable groups and hard-to-reach places by 27 percentage points in FY 2018/19. However, the sector’s commitment to specific concerns for Persons with Disabilities (33%), Older Persons and poor Youth (33%) and Women (50%) is still low.

State of Equal Opportunities under the Transport Sector, the sector demonstrated low commitment to addressing gender and equity concerns for persons with disabilities, women and children with a compliance level of 23% and 38% respectively

The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and other relevant laws provide for the promotion of equal opportunities and affirmative action for the marginalized groups and vulnerable people. It is commendable that the government and other stakeholders have made some effort to attain equalization of opportunities and affirmative action for the marginalized. Nevertheless, a lot remains to be done to improve access to services and opportunities for the vulnerable and marginalized. Therefore, the recommendations made in this Report should feed into the policies, programmes, plans, activities, practices and usages of both public and private entities for the purpose of improving the situation of the marginalized and vulnerable people.

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