Welcome to this week’s edition of our weekly round-up of the main happenings in the Ugandan women’s world!
On CBS FM, presenters and callers talked about the role of a man’s mother in a marriage (today, mid-morning). One male caller said that a mother might object to certain things like the dress code of his wife; a dress code that he takes pleasure in. He asked, “Is she [wife] married to me or my mother?” There was general consensus that as an older woman, a husband’s mother would be a good resource when there is trouble in the marriage. Another caller (older woman) advised that everyone have older members in the community they go to for guidance, even if they are not blood/clan relations. The presenters reminded married female listeners that they might be wives today, but tomorrow they will also be mothers of married men so they should not remember what they did not enjoy about their relationships with their mothers-in-law and not carry it forward.
Meanwhile, NTV’s People’s Parliament was in Tororo where they talked about bride price and temporary shelters for domestic violence survivors. The community talked about the Tororo District Bridal Gift Ordinance which prohibits bride price refund. MIFUMI held a referendum in 2001 in Tororo District and got majority vote for the reform of the law on bride price. In 2010, the judges in the Constitutional Court ruled that bride price refund was constitutional. MIFUMI appealed and appeared before the Supreme Court in March 2014. We are still waiting for the ruling.
Butaleja passed a bye-law criminalizing the demand of payment or refund last year.
Mon this week
Aprils of Breast Protests. Following the recent naked protest by women in Apaa, we noticed that April has had a number of breast protests in Uganda. April 1989. April 2012 (two). April 2015. We attempted to look at all the protests together and what they said about the women’s expressions of discontent with the state, and of solidarity.
Four things that made our internets smile
Allen Kagina is new UNRA boss. The former Commissioner General of Uganda Revenue Authority, Allen Kagina, has been appointed the Executive Director of Uganda National Roads Authority. Following her successful reign at the tax body, we await good roads across the country.
UN Women Report on the Progress of Women. The UN Women released a report “Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016: Transforming Economies, Realizing Rights.” The report shows that despite being equal as human beings, distribution of resources is unequal between the sexes. It calls on governments to make deliberate policies to close the gap.
HPV vaccine for all 10-13 year-old girls in Uganda. According to a 2012 article, Uganda’s incidence of cervical cancer in Uganda is three times the global average. The leading cause of the cancer is human papillomavirus (HPV). The Ministry of Health in partnership with Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative (GAVI) and Merck will have a nationwide HPV vaccination of all girls between 10-13 years. It will cost about UGX4bn; the government will cover 20% and GAVI will contribute the rest.
FDC 6200 campaign in Mbarara. Earlier this year, the Women’s League for opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) launched a campaign they called ‘Campaign 6200’ intended to save mothers in the country. The contribution made per person is 6200 (or more, if you wish) to purchase the basic requirements for delivery: razor blades, gloves, soap, cotton, polythene sheets, etc. This past week, they distributed 122 Mama Kits in Mbarara.
Stories we’re keeping an eye on
Lokodo apologised to Desire Luzinda. During a sensitisation workshop on pornography, Minister for Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo, made a public apology to Desire Luzinda. He reportedly called her experience having her nude pictures leaked and shared on social media “total malice” and said he had been too harsh on her.
We are not completely sure about the Minister’s new stance and if he is now willing to have investigations take place before using his podium to re-victimise women.
Women’s Situation Room for election time? There has been a lot of conversation, now that 2016 Presidential Elections are around the corner, about Votability. An article in The East African reminded us that women are most affected by violence and many African countries have established a “Women’s Situation Room (WSR)” during election time. The WSR was first used in 2011 elections in Liberia and replicated in Kenya, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
Uganda, what say us?
Woman in Kayunga allegedly kills husband. According to the story, appearing in Sunday Vision, a woman is on the run after killing her husband: a policeman. The Kayunga District officer in charge of Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department (CIID), Ayub Waiswa, is quoted saying “We are hunting this woman to answer murder charges.” Could it have been self-defense? It is also always time to have a conversation about violence against men.
We are eager to hear more about the investigations that we assume have already started.