Mon Weekly Brief: EACJ Judge retires, Marriage Bill back and Femrite caravan in Kabale

Welcome to the second edition of our weekly round-up of the main happenings in the Ugandan women’s world.

Nandala Mafabi criticized women MPs while at an event in Sironko District. He said they were “imprisoned in NRM” and had abandoned the fight to represent – and legislate for – the ordinary woman.

A day later the Uganda Women’s Network released a press statement, calling on Members of Parliament to prioritise the passing of pending gender Bills. UWONET asked parliament to give due consideration to proposed gender responsive constitutional reforms. They drew specific attention to the Marriage and Domestic Bill and the Sexual Offenses Bill.

And, later, the Speaker of Parliament (and Woman MP for Kamuli District) Rebecca Kadaga told Parliament on Wednesday that the Marriage and Divorce Bill is one of the issues it must deal with in this session, that “it has been around for so long.”

The Femrite writers’ caravan spent the week in Kabale. Started in 2014, the initiative has writers travelling in a minibus to their hometowns to read, recite and discuss literature. The caravan had Jason Ntaro, Lillian Tindyebwa, Hilda Twongyeirwe, Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire, Ernest Tashobya, Fred Musisi, Juliet Kushaba and Glaydah Namukasa. They visited schools, universities and Festo Karwemera’s home.

Posts on Mon we especially liked

The Weekly Digest. We are very excited about this weekly digest of Uganda’s gender news. While we might enjoy Her Vision, Full Woman, Women and Power, etc, we are also aware that there is a lot happening in the women’s world that they might not have the space to cover. This digest compiles some of that. So even if you are not signed up for our newsletter (what are you waiting for?), we publish the digest as a blog post.

Nakisanze Segawa’s Omukazi Omusufu, a Luganda rendition of Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman. Have you heard the phenomenal Nakisanze Segawa perform poetry? If you haven’t, we recorded her last year and uploaded the video for your heart’s pleasure. She recited this about a month after Maya Angelou had passed on, and the translation – if you speak and understand Luganda – is a delight.

Stuff elsewhere that we really loved

Ruth Aine responds to Fr. Lokodo’s Press Conference on anti-pornography law. Fr. Lokodo on Tuesday called a press conference at the Uganda Media Center where he talked about his discovery of “this thing called WhatsApp”. Many are exhausted with Lokodo’s need to police women and his cavemanish views on morality of this country. So we are extremely glad that Ruth Aine had a calm response, asking the Minister to think about the bigger issues affecting this country.

ACME interviews Carol Beyanga on her appointment as first woman Managing Editor at Monitor Publications. At the beginning of this year, Monitor Publications underwent a restructuring that elevated Carol Beyanga. She is the first woman to hold the position in Monitor’s 21 year existence. ACME talked to her about her appointment and her plans for the publication.

NTV Uganda is looking for your sheroes. NTV Uganda this week sent out a tweet: “Nominate ordinary women in your community making a positive contribution to society. Inbox, send DM or email to ntvuganda@ntv.co.ug”

https://twitter.com/ntvuganda/status/568064902977290240

Justice Stella Arach Amoko retires. Justice Arach-Amoko retired from the East African Court of Justice and was, this week, replaced with Justice Monica Mugenyi. Arach-Amoko, appointed to EACJ in June 2006, also served as a Deputy Principal Judge on the same court. A Kenyan judge replaces her in that role.

Stories we’re keeping an eye on

Marriage and Divorce Bill in Parliament. Members of Parliament used tax payers’ money in 2013 to consult with their constituents on this bill. It has still not been passed. Since it has been re-tabled, we will be following not only the action in parliament, but also the reaction from the public.

Ministry directive to schools on provision of pads. The Ministry of Education and Sports has issued a directive to primary and secondary schools to provide sanitary pads, emergency underwear, lesus and changing rooms for girls. New Vision reported Dr. Yusuf Nsubuga, the director for basic and secondary education saying, “The guidelines are binding and sanctions will be imposed.” We hope so.

Soldier who killed three women acquitted. A UPDF Soldier, Lance Corporal Herbert Rwakihembo who was tried for the murder of three women in December 2012, was acquitted. The soldier killed his partner, her two friends and a man he assumed was her lover. The General Court Martial reduced his sentence to 15 years and, eventually, set him free saying he had been in jail long enough. Rwakihembo has unusual public support, but we’d like to hear more opinions about his release.

Our best wishes for a wonderful gender-sensitive weekend. Please send any news, comments and suggestions to 256woman@gmail.com You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the week.

 

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