On 15th May 2016, the Equal Opportunities Commission submitted its sector Ministerial Policy Statement for Financial Year (FY) 2017/2018 to the Parliamentary Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development. The meeting which was convened at the Parliamentary building was attended by the Chairperson of the Gender Committee of Parliament – Hon. Margret Komuhangi, Hon. Hellen Grace Asamo, Hon. Milly Mugeni, Hon. Achia Terence Sodium and many others.
The Commission was represented by the Chairperson – Mrs, Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi, Member Zaminah Malole, Secretary to the Commission, the Commissioner Education, Training, Information and Communication, the Principal Compliance and Reporting Officer, the Senior Planner, the Principal Education and Training Officer, the Senior Assistant Secretary, the Personal Assistant to the Members and the Human Resource Manager.
In the meeting, the Commission responded to concerns raised by the Committee on the Sector Ministerial Policy Statement. These included among others the Commission’s plans inaddressing the issue of late submission of Sector Budget Frame Work Papers and Ministerial Policy Statements when MDAs are still facing challenges with the new Programme Based Budgeting (PBB), where the Commission gets the mandate to assess performance of faith-based institutions, the total amount of money required to successfully develop the remaining sector compacts, why the Commission had only audited five audit reports instead of the 50 set by H.E the President of the Republic of Uganda and how the Commission intends to create Gender & Equity assessment tools for cultural and religious institutions amidst the diverse cultural and religious practices some of which are against equality.
One of the Committee Members makes a point during the meeting.
In response to the queries, the Chairperson explained that the Commission increased its manpower by nominating an additional 19 assessors to participate in the assessment of BFPs and MPSs, the Commission’s powers to assess faith based institutions are acquired from the deliverables set by H.E the President of Uganda, the total amount of money required to develop the remaining compacts. The Chairperson further explained that the Commission had made several audits despite the lack of funds. The regular audits had been beefed up with the assessment of BFPs and MPSs. She further clarified that specific assessment tools for various entities were to be designed to target cultural and religious institutions by targeting policies and projects implemented.
While submitting the Commission’s Ministerial Policy Statement, the EOC Chairperson made an appeal to the Committee to ensure Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development allocates the Commission more funds for further implementation on the provisions of Gender and Equity requirements. The Committee pledged full support in this regard.