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MPs summon Security Ministers over non-compliance with gender, equity

Chairperson Equal Opportunities Commission, Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi presenting gender and equity assessment report before the budget committee.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Members of Parliament on the budget committee have summoned ministers for Defence and security to explain why the sector failed to comply with gender and equity requirements.

The decision stemmed from a presentation from Equal Opportunities Commission on the gender and equity responsiveness of the 2020/2021 National Budget Framework Paper-NBFP.

The commission’s chairperson, Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi told the committee on Thursday that security was the only sector that has not met the minimum score of 50 percent in its plans to address gender and equity issues.

The other 18 sectors scored above 50%, with 9 in the range of 70% to 100%. The majority scored between 50-69%, resulting in the national average compliance rate of 68.9%.

Ntambi noted an improvement in gender responsive budgeting unlike equity which looks at how sector plans address or do not address age, location and disability of beneficiaries.

The report however shows that the security sector scored 43.4 percent in its 2020/2021 BFP, down from 55% in the past two financial years.

Ntambi says that the security sector “was found to be generally barely gender and equity aware without significant targeted investments that were responsive to the needs of women, children, youth, persons with disabilities and other such routinely marginalized groups of society.”

For instance, unlike in the 2019/2020 financial year where the security sector BFP clearly identified veterans, persons affected by HIV/AIDs, officers wounded and disabled in war, women and children in its gender and equity framework, the 2020/2021 BFP does not mention have this component.

The Public Finance Management Act provides that the minister of finance shall in consultation with the EOC, issue a certificate certifying that the NBFP is gender and equity responsive and specifying measures taken to equalize opportunities for women, men, persons with disabilities and other marginalized groups.

The chairperson of the parliamentary gender Committee, Alex Ndeezi moved a motion urging the budget committee to summon the ministers for the sector to explain.

However, Lira Woman MP, Joy Atim Ongom rejected the motion, saying that the ministers should instead be asked to take corrective measures and submit plans to the EOC for assessment.

Koboko North MP, Elly Asiku however supported the motion, saying that it is an opportunity for the budget committee to ask the ministers on why the sector’s compliance scores have been declining since 2018.

The budget committee Chairperson, Amos Lugoloobi ruled that the ministers for defence and security should appear on Monday.



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