Mon Weekly Brief: “Defilement- not homosexuality- is the biggest threat to Uganda’s children”

After their National Dialogue, “Women and Girls: The Key to Transformation” on 16th April at Hotel African, FOWODE Uganda released an info-graphic showing the number of women in leadership positions in Uganda on Wednesday. Overall posting in public service offices have 42% women and 58% men; women in Parliament only make up 34% of the house composition and the Cabinet has only 29% women. At the district, only 9% of the people in political positions are women. The women, they show, are mostly hired as nurses, clerical officers and private secretaries. The info-graph is aptly named “Reality Check”.

Meanwhile, women in Kasese reported dissatisfaction with the female condom, and also made additions to any redesigning. They recommended that it be altered to be worn like a g-string so that it is more firmly in place when used.

Four things elsewhere that made our internets smile

Reagan Okumu says women were right to strip. When older women in Apaa last week stripped before the Minister of Land Daudi Migereko and Minister of Internal Affairs, Aronda Nyakairima to protect their land, Acholi Paramount Chief called it an embarrassment. We were happy to see MP Okumu speak for the women and reiterate what they said with their actions: they need to protect their land. For Igara West MP Raphael Magezi who said the ordinary woman will never win a case in court while at a belated Women’s Day celebration in Ntungamo, we hope the outcome in Apaa is different.

Kadaga tasks Oyam RDC to explain girls dropout. Wednesday’s Daily Monitor quoted the Speaker as having asked, “You, the people of Acimi, how can we have 200 girls in Primary One, but by the time they get to Primary Seven, they are only 15?”
We all await answers.

The traditional African family interrogated at Makerere Research Conference The Mak-Sida International Research and Innovations Dissemination two-day Conference was themed “Community Transformation through Research, Innovations and Knowledge Translation”. We followed the conference on social media via the hashtag #MakResearch. One researcher, Dr. Angelo, posited that defilement– not homosexuality- is the biggest threat to Uganda’s children. He argued that the traditional heterosexual family that we want to protect might be a myth– given the number of female and child headed families in the country.

TEDxNakaseroWomen set for May 29th. The first TEDxNakaseroWomen was in 2013 (Read Jacqueline Auma’s review); and now the team is planning a second one. It will be on May 29th, 2015 at Sheraton Hotel Kampala. Like their Facebook page for regular updates.

Stories we’re keeping an eye on

Six Ugandan women held in Malaysia. Last year the U.S downgraded Malaysia to the lowest ranking in its human trafficking report [The Guardian]. In 2012, a report showed that more than 600 Ugandan girls were trapped in sex slavery in Malaysia. Despite the human trafficking law and numerous efforts by activists, the reports have been grim. The 2014 U.S ranking of the country was reportedly due to the lack of effort to deal with the issue on the part of the Malaysia government. According to an article in Monday’s Daily Monitor, the Immigration Director Zahari Abd Aziz said they haven’t had any cases of Ugandan girls being used as sex slaves since mid-2014.

Can women-focused HIV organisations have more funding? An epidemiology survey, conducted by International Community of Women Living with HIV/ Aids in East Africa (ICWEA), shows that 58 per cent of people living with the virus in sub-Saharan Africa are women. In Uganda, the ICWEA Director said, the HIV prevalence is higher among women than men by the ratio of 7:3.6. While there are numerous organisations focused on women and women’s issues across the country, they are said to have limited funding.

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