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MUSEVENI: Security key to empowering women

UPDF parade composed of only women salute the Commander in Chief at the Women’s Day celebrations in Dokolo. PHOTOS PPU

Ugandans marked the International Women’s Day in Dokolo on Wednesday, with President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni stressing that improved security produces an environment in which women and child issues can be raised and discussed.

Officiating at the International Women’s Day celebrations in Northern Uganda, Museveni pointed out that discussing women or child issues should not be isolated from the other issues of society.

“For example, how will you empower women without security? When you talk of women you should remember security and all the other issues.You can’t empower them without addressing the issues of the community,” Museveni said.

He said the NRM has led several initiatives to empower women in the country and narrated the history of their participation in the struggles to liberate the country.

“When in FRONASA and fighting Idi Amin, we had both male and female fighters. But when we defeated Amin and had to unite with the other fighting groups who blocked our women’s entry into the army. The unit of female fighters based in Mbarara had to be disbanded. I was disappointed.”

“However, in 1986 we were in charge and we had women among our fighters. It is what you see now with this parade composed of only women. So there’s nothing women can’t do that men can do, if anything, they can do better.”

He said the NRM government is now focused on three pillars of wealth creation; modern agriculture, factories and tourism. He said he had observed many more houses roofed with corrugated iron sheets, which indicated the housing in the villages had improved.

Museveni said government is working to attract more factories and revealed that there were up to 44 factories in Lira, employing many people.

“We therefore need to attract more of these now that we have electricity. Here in Dokolo I would like the people to offer 3-4 square miles of land so that when an investor comes, we have land to give him for a factory.”

“When going to Dokolo I was doing an audit. I saw telephones. Everyone has a phone now. Everyone who came here drove on good roads. We now have electricity in Dokolo,” he said.

“We inaugurated a new water plant today at the district today. We have schools and health centers, reason the population has grown, especially due to immunization.”

“When the NRM took power, there were just 14 million Ugandans, today they are 40 million–all these are NRM children.”

“All the initiatives I have mentioned above are meant to empower the women. Accessible clean water, for example, contributes to well-being of women because it reduces their work,” Museveni said.

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