Welcome to this week’s edition of our weekly round-up of the main happenings in the Ugandan women’s world!
The week started off with the Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura recommending self-defense for girls while speaking at an event in Buikwe. The comments on every post of this were either depressing or interesting.
Those who questioned police’s vigilance in protecting the girl child might have felt reaffirmed following Jane Nyirarukundo’s case. Nyirarukundo, a police officer, in 2013, reported that she was sexually abused by her superiors. Her search for justice continues, after her name disappeared off the payroll. She has not received a salary for about 20 months now.
The NRM Women’s League had a meeting and the Chairperson of the league, Jacqueline Mbabazi, almost didn’t attend. She eventually got access, and reportedly sat next to the chief guest, H.E Yoweri Museveni. Reports say that Susan Muhwezi might be temporarily taking over the duties of NWL Chairperson. The executive decided on a three-month rotation among the regional vice chairpersons. Muhwezi took over from Phoebe Otaala (Vice Chairperson, Eastern Region) and another will take the reins from Muhwezi after three months.
A new Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission (EMTCT) campaign was launched in Hoima, by First Lady and National Champion, Janet Museveni. The campaign is “Test Together, Know Your Status.” Just this month, the Ministry of Health reported new HIV infections were down by 10,000. The event was attended by NGOs, government officials and UN agencies.
Posts on Mon we especially loved
Melissa Kiguwa in interview. Kagendo Murungi interviewed Melissa Kiguwa and gave us permission to transcribe the interview. We know how the internet speed is, so we transcribed our favorite part. Read it. Get data and listen to her. She left us thinking here about who we were, what we were doing and what gives us the right to assume we are the people for the job.
Muruli Mukasa not the first man to be Minister of Gender. We did quite a bit of research for this one. There is no one place where the Ministers can all be found, not even on the Ministry’s webpage. We hope this post will fill that gap. And also answer any questions about whether Kabwegyere was Minister or not. (Don’t trust Wikipedia.)
Four things elsewhere that made our internets smile
There was a girl. Then a book was written. Disney optioned the rights. And now, Lupita Nyong’o is in town! Yes, she is. We saw pictures and she tweeted too. The tweet said “From 6000 pearls to just 1: Uganda. Excited to be back in East Africa to work with @MiraPagliNair on #QueenofKatwe.” Phionah Mutesi’s story has been told across several platforms. From the slums, she became a chess champion. Tim Crothers would later write a book The Queen of Katwe.
Anyway, long story short, Lupita is in town!
Our bank notes shall be signed henceforth by a woman. Bank of Uganda appointed Susan Wasagali Kanyemibwa as bank secretary (Executive Director). It was exciting enough to have a woman in such a position, but then when we read in Daily Monitor that “[her] signature will now be on all the new bank notes printed,” we were beside ourselves.
Now when shall we get such a note?
Was that the Queen of Buganda at a Land Conference? There were a couple of tweets, and we were not so sure at first. Land, culture and women don’t mesh well together. But, the Queen of Buganda, Nabagereka Sylvia Nagginda was indeed present at the World Bank Conference on land and poverty. She’s making it mesh, and it looks like it could work.
Uganda women win bronze at world cross country. The IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Guiyang 2015 started with its share of upsets. Moses Kipsiro, who has brought gold home before, pulled out of the race. In protest. He said that Uganda Athletic Federation (UAF) hadn’t made sure that the athletics women get justice after they reported sexual molestation last year. Kipsiro didn’t run, but Juliet Chekwel got bronze for Uganda. The senior women’s team included Nyakisi Adero, Emily Chebet, Juliet Chekwel, Patricia Chepkwemoi and Nancy Cheptegi. The bronze medal comes with a cash prize of $12000.
Stories we are keeping an eye on
Will Officer Nyirarukundo get justice? Jane Nyirarukundo was brave in 2013 when she spoke about her miscarriage during police training and sexual harassment in the police force. She mysteriously disappeared off the payroll and has struggled to take care of her family since. In January this year, Assistant IGP, Muwanga Elizabeth pledged to “advocate for an improvement in the welfare of female and support to the growth of the department of women affairs” during a Policewomen in Gender Sensitization workshop. Well, here’s her chance to make good on the promise.
Housework and families to blame for girl dropouts in West Nile: ICRW report. A survey by International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) of more than 800 girls in the West Nile region has found that housework and lack of family support interfere with girl’s school. In the region, only “six girls are enrolled in secondary school for every ten boys enrolled”, ICRW writes. Read the full report here.