Mon Weekly Brief: midwives4all campaign launched in Uganda

Welcome to this week’s edition of our weekly round-up of the main happenings in the Ugandan women’s world!

This week was the last chance to see Maria Naita’s Abakyala Leero exhibition at AKA Gallery. A review in The Independent said that the acrylic paintings “celebrate the woman in a critical way.”

Media houses came together to raise money for Rosemary Nankabirwa. She has adrenal cortical carcinoma. The campaign was spearheaded by Nankabirwa’s employer, NTV Uganda, and the social media hashtag was #HelpRosemary. Some said “let’s not lose another one to cancer”, possibly in reference to the death of veteran journalist Bbale Francis. There was a car wash (that had people from Urban TV too).

Desire Luzinda offered to sell her shoes. President Museveni gave UGX 5m. There were critiques: was media doing this for publicity? Why didn’t Aga Khan (also owner of Nation Media Group, of which NTV Uganda is a subsidiary) offer free treatment at hospital? Could Museveni’s donation considered taxpayers’ money and given to Uganda Cancer Institute?

Rosemary was safely evacuated to Aga Khan Hospital after UGX105m was raised. UGX75m from public and UGX30m from NTV.

This week on Mon

It has been a quiet week here. The most activity we had was the reach we had for a picture we shared on our Facebook page, of a woman on Lake Bunyonyi. And it was not even ours. Check out the This is 256 blog; whose post we were sharing.

Four things elsewhere that made our internets smile

Lillian Aujo wins inaugural Jalada Prize. Jalada Africa, a pan-African writers’ collective, now has a Jalada Prize for Literature. And the winner of the first year is Lillian Akampurira Aujo. Read her story, “Where the Pumpkin Leaves Dwell.”

Carol Ariba and Joan Akello win ACME Journalism awards. The shortlist of 50 journalists had a considerable number of women. The journalists came from a range of media houses: Radio Pacis, weinformers.net, etc, with some categories completely dominated by men. It wasn’t a complete loss for the women. Fellow journalist, Lydia Namubiru had a very warm post on Carol Ariba’s win. And (woman) editor, Ferial Haffajee of South Africa’s City Press, delivered the keynote address.

Kabaka’s birthday run for #FightAgainstFistula. Culture is not usually the most sensitive to women’s issues. In fact, it has been the reason given for a lot of gender-based injustice. But the Buganda monarch is rewriting that when he dedicated his birthday run to the fight against fistula. Him, the several sponsors that have contributed money, and the thousands who showed up to run.

midwives4all campaign launched in Uganda. First Lady joined the Swedish embassy for the launch of the global multimedia midwives4all campaign on Wednesday where she pledged government support for the campaign. The aim is to have more midwives, which would ultimately reduce maternal mortality.

Stories we’re keeping an eye on

Report says sex workers in Mpigi are more afraid of pregnancy than HIV. A report by Joint Efforts for Youth Uganda (JOY Uganda) says that “only 40 per cent of the commercial sex workers use condoms during sexual encounters.” The sex workers are said to be more afraid of pregnancy than of contracting HIV. JOY Uganda website has not made accessible the report at the writing of this, and the coverage in Daily Monitor did not mention if they are therefore using other forms of contraception.

A teenage Rwandan girl was rescued from sex slavery in Uganda. Uganda and Rwanda Police Forces have worked together to rescue a 19 year-old girl who was sold into sex slavery in Uganda. She will receive psychosocial support and be reunited with her family.

It’s always the women, isn’t it? Archbishop Orombi told married women to “spare sometime for their husbands and do what they are supposed to do.” He blamed marriage breakups on house help. And, Nwoya District MP said that sex workers were behind the rise in Hepatitis B in the district. The New Vision coverage gave no stats and mentioned the first Hep B case was a Primary One student.

Our best wishes for a wonderful gender-sensitive week. 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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