Women aspiring for political office have requested the Electoral Commission to allow them to hold small meetings with their voters because they cannot afford bills charged by the various media platforms.
While in a consultative meeting between the EC and the UN Women on Tuesday, women noted that most radio stations upcountry charge above Shs 1 million for an hour.
The discussion which featured live on NBS television was under the theme “Promoting Inclusive Electoral Processes”.’
Florence Acuma, a youth councillor in Apac said the EC should talk to private radio owners to reduce the rates.
“Many women were rendered jobless because of the pandemic. These have now resorted to farming. The problem is that the men will remain home with the radios so the women will not have access to information,”she said.
UN Women Country Representative, Dr. Maxime Houinato, urged the system not to forget the rural women in politics.
“The question I would want to be addressed here is how the rural women are going to be helped to participate in the elections. We have to see how the education gaps, political gaps, institution gaps are going to be addressed,”he said.
Dr. Maxime Houinato said that he has seen chaos erupt in some districts where people suspected a woman was going to win the election.
The chairperson Electoral Commission, Simon Byabakama, said the commission expects to gain more understanding and capacity to address issues that may affect or limit the participation of women as well as other vulnerable groups in elections during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The commission has made extensive consultation with different stakeholders to discuss the procedure of fairly using different media platforms for all political candidates, including women,”he said.
Achayo Rose Obol ,the chairperson board of directors, National Union of Women with Disabilities of Uganda(NUWODU), said there is a need for the EC to take forms to the grassroots, preferably with the local councils.
She said the move will ensure accessibility by all people interested in contesting for various political positions.