Women leaders seek political parties' endorsement to bolster women leagues

Alice Alaso, the acting National Coordinator of the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) has called on Secretary Generals to bolster women leagues in their political parties.

During the leadership handover ceremony of the Inter-Party Women Platform in Uganda (IWOP) to the Democratic Party (DP), Alaso emphasised the importance of utilising their influence to foster the growth of women leagues.

The IWOP serves as a platform for women across all registered political parties in Uganda, providing them with a collective voice to address challenges impeding their political participation and engagement within their respective parties.

Initially consisting of nine registered political parties, including ANT, DP, EPU, FDC, JEEMA, NRM, PPP, UFA, and UPC, the platform has now welcomed its tenth member, the Conservative Party.

Alaso emphasized the political challenges faced by women, stating that IWOP should be attentive to these challenges.

"When a party has a strong women's league and brings its strength to IWOP, other women's leagues can learn from it, making the larger organization even stronger," she said.

She also highlighted the narrowing political space in Uganda, citing media harassment, limited representation in Parliament, and human rights issues.

She emphasised the need for a detoxification of the political environment, as the current toxic atmosphere inhibits the participation of Ugandan women.

IWOP was launched on March 2, 2023, and undergoes leadership changes every six months in alphabetical order.

The platform intends to enable women leaders to develop strategies and advocate for changes that enhance women's participation in politics and political parties in Uganda.

During the launch, Francis Rogers, Resident Country Director of the International Republican Institute (IRI), acknowledged the importance of different political ideologies but emphasized the unity required for progress.

"A woman has a strong voice, and a group of women have a thunderous voice," he said.

He also assured that IWOP does not undermine any political party or women's group, but rather brings women together to address issues affecting women in Uganda, regardless of their ideologies.

He challenged women to use IWOP as a platform to amplify their voices in influential positions.

"You should understand the power that you have to bring about the desired transformation and demand it collectively," he said.

Ambassador Edith Sempala, the outgoing IWOP chairperson, expressed her excitement about the platform, as it is unusual in Uganda.

She explained that any registered political party with a physical location and a functional women's league is eligible to join IWOP.

Through IWOP, she believes that the collective potential of women in political parties can contribute to peace, unity, and sustainable development at national, regional, and international levels.

Incoming chairperson ,Aisha Waliggo, who is also the DP Women League President, encouraged her colleagues not to be discouraged by numbers but to remain focused on their objectives.

"Our role is advocacy.We are calling upon all Ugandans to believe in the possibility of a peaceful transfer of power.

Although we have handed over leadership, our journey continues, and we must persist in advocacy,"she stated.

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