With their apologies, Ronald Kibuule and Onesmus Twinamatsiko did what every abuser does. And like all other incidents where women have had to accept apologies because we want to believe that they represent some kind of sign that the person understands what abuse is and will do something about it, in our private spaces, we have kept the same optimism.
NTV Men, a show on NTV Uganda has stirred some conversation on their choice of topic – in my opinion, not enough conversation. In its current state, the show spends too much airtime talking about women and calling on one woman to explain all the ways of women. Great topics devolve as a result.
I would argue that to fully realise the rights set out in the Maputo Protocol, a separate institution needs to be established to oversee its implementation. An example of how this could work is already in place when it comes to children’s rights. Children are protected by the African Children’s Charter. The African Committee of Experts oversees implementation. Women need similar protection mechanisms.
What is different this time? Ronald Kibuule, according to Hellen Obuku, invoked his office. He did not want to be searched because he is a Minister. The Stanbic CEO- who runs a bank that according to recent results, rose net profit by 56.9% to Shs107.29 billion- had time to apologise to him, likely because he is a Minister.
Kibuule also called the police. “But Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Emilian Kayima said Mr Kibuule called the police to “intervene in the case” at the bank. The Minister reportedly called the Mukono District police commander, Mr Alfred Ahimbisibwe, to arrest Obuku for criminal libel, a media-related offence. [Obuku is said to have “recollected herself and went back to her post and kept quiet.”]
Feminist leadership is about changing how power works. It should not just be about appointment of women but also advancement for social justice for all. It is leadership for the women and girls in Karamoja who have to spend more time fetching water because the valley dams were not constructed. It is leadership for the less fortunate in the country- female, male, different able bodied, rural, urban, young, old- for whom mismanagement of the funds meant for poverty alleviation was the difference between making it in life and falling through the cracks. It is about taxpayer money used for one individual when thousands go hungry in the country.
Between literacy and high cost of ICT, gender inclusion is essential to the achievement of the mandate of the ministry.
And while the Ministry was kind enough to make policy provisions, they forgot to invite women and youth to the table. This table is important because this is where who makes the decisions is seating, and from the looks of it, whoever is making the decisions is a Ugandan male above 30 years.
President Museveni, who is currently campaigning for another term, has been the president of Uganda since 1986. One of the promises he has made on the campaign trail is that should he be re-elected, his government will provide free sanitary pads to girls in school. He made the pledge on the fourth day of his campaign trail, in Alebtong district. It is probably the first time in this country that a president has talked about women’s sanitary needs: and used it to ask for votes, too.