Political activists have said that violence is one of the things that has kept women away from leadership positions thus asking political parties to support more women to join leadership as one way of promoting equality.
The remarks were made during a Women and Leadership conference that was aired on NBS television on Friday.
According to the demography of Uganda, women constitute about 51% of the population.
But activists said that when one looks at the representation of these women at leadership level, the picture is grim.
The deputy Lord Mayor of Kampala, Doreen Nyanjura, said women need to make a lot of noise in order to take up more leadership positions
She said mentorship of women to join leadership should start at an early age when baby girls are born.
She however said the support and contribution of men towards nurturing women to join leadership should not be overlooked.
“We need to recognise the support of men. I have been supported by men. Violence is a big challenge that keeps women away from vying for leadership positions. As women, we need to come up and make more noise, we need to take up more positions,”she said.
The executive director officer of Uhuru Institute for Social Development, Leonard Okello, said women are providing a lot of leadership but people just don’t recognize it.
“Society needs to continue, women giving birth is part of that duty. They shouldn’t be made to feel vulnerable because of that. They should be given leave and allowed to come back to work,”he said.
He said Covid-19 pandemic has brought a great lesson that women can be allowed to work from home and spend some time with the children.
Okello said women are doing tremendous work in a society which is not recognised noting that the Ugandan economy is largely driven by women.
‘We must recognise that women are in the small and medium enterprises that are responsible for this economy. We have to recognise that economic empowerment is very important for women,”he said.
Solome Nakaweesi Kimbugwe, a women rights activist said gender roles must be revisited.
” The fact that two people come together to bring these children into the world, they must equally nurture and support the children. We have a system that supports the insubordination of women. Society is not yet in support of women’s leadership. Household debts rest on the shoulders of women,”she said.
She noted that some women are in sectors that are not perceived as important where by they are not even given enough support.
“Sexual harassment is in every sector but we don’t talk about it. Government is not investing in its women,”she said
The executive director of Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE), Patricia Munabi, said they have helped women to build political leadership credentials for more than 20 years.
“We have led fundamental changes for legislative and budget making processes in Uganda. We are one of the few countries that have mainstreamed gender and equity in the planning and budgeting processes through the Public Finance and Management Act,”she said.
She noted that through their various leadership skills, they have nurtured more than 40,000 women.