Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Third Deputy Prime Minister, Rukia Nakadama has renewed government’s commitment to end female genital mutilation (FGM) which she said has persisted despite all the prohibitions.
Nakadama said government was aware of cross border influence especially from Kenya that is frustrating its efforts to eliminate FGM in Karamoja and Sebei regions. This she said called for urgent response from government.
“As government, we shall take it upon ourselves to enter into a bilateral engagement with neighboring countries and end this vice which people still take as a good culture,” said Nakadama.
Nakadama said this while launching the five year strategic plan for Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA), at Imperial Royale Hotel on Friday, 03 February 2023.
She added that ending FGM takes a multi-sectoral approach requiring all stakeholders.
“We need to involve men; they are the ones who refuse women from protecting girls from FGM. We need religious leaders on board to work with us to see that FGM comes to an end,” Nakadama said.
Nakadama said she was concerned that violence and discrimination against women was prevalent despite the existing laws and policies against.
She took the opportunity to rally MPs to use their forthcoming recess to educate people about the essence of the 30 per cent of the Parish Development Model (PDM) funds allocated to women.
Nakadama said she was afraid such a provision could be used to discriminate women from other opportunities as it was the case with the affirmative action that provided for a parliamentary seat for women per district.
The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Betty Amongi called on UWOPA to use on going budget process to plan for critical issues affecting women such as FGM.
“Scrutinize the budget and plan for matters pressing women; if its water or for health, plan for it,” Amongi said.
The UWOPA Chairperson, Sarah Opendi said UWOPA’s strategic plan aligns well with government’s intervention to empower women and girls under the PDM.
“We will continue to empower women and girls economically; we hope that the PDM will be a game changer at grass root level. Our responsibility as UWOPA is to ensure that this money gets to the women,” said Opendi.
She reiterated that there was need for a joint strategy as the East African Community to end FGM, saying enforcement of anti -FGM laws is still weak in some of the states.
The UWOPA five year strategic plan is also aimed at improving the quality of health, education for women and girls, women participation in politics, peace, security, the fight against corruption and climate change.