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Women Parliamentarians complete mentorship programme

L-R, Sarah Opendi, UWOPA Chairperson, Philip Smith, Development Director British High Commission Kampala, Betty Amongi, Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development and Kate Osamor, UK MP pose for a photo at the reception following the training the Ugandan MPs underwent.

Kampala, Uganda | Patricia Akankwatsa | Members of Parliament participated in a Parliamentary Scrutiny and Communications Workshop delivered jointly by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK), the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), UN Women, and the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA), and completed their mentorship programme in Entebbe on July 24th and July 25th 2022.

Philip Smith, the development director, British High Commission welcomed the guests to the residence of the British High Commissioner where the reception of the closure of the training took place on July 25th.

In his remarks, he said that supporting the empowerment of women and girls both in and out of Parliament shouldn’t exclusively be the preserve of women.

“We all have a role to play – our Foreign Secretary has made clear that women and girls should be at the top of our agenda across the UK’s work here in Uganda,” he said.

“For this reason, the British High Commission is honoured to partner with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, and the UN Women and Parliament, in supporting this Parliamentary Scrutiny and Communications Workshop series,” he added.

The British High Commission, in partnership with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), UN Women and the Uganda Women Parliamentarians Association (UWOPA) launched the second cohort of their mentorship programme for women parliamentarians in Uganda in December 2021.

“I take this opportunity to congratulate our partners and Honourable MPs on the successful completion of their three-day workshop. We hope that this programme has laid the groundwork for a continued mentorship and development that will ensure that women parliamentarians can thrive in the chamber and ultimately work to deliver the healthy and vibrant democracy that will see Uganda prosper over the years to come.”

While giving her remarks, the CPA UK delegation leader Kate Osamor said that the workshop presents an exciting opportunity to reconnect with colleagues from the Parliament of Uganda and compare our approaches to the scrutiny of government and media engagement.

“Commonwealth parliamentarians are a fantastic resource for one another, and sharing experiences helps us in fulfilling our roles as legislators and representatives,” she said.

Building on past engagement, the workshop targeting women parliamentarians explored effective committee work and impactful external communications. Practical components familiarize participants with Westminster-style committee hearings and media interviews.

UWOPA chairperson Sarah Opendi said that 54% of women MPs are new and require support to mentor their capacity on how to speak on the floor and outside parliament.

“We speak for women out there. There are still injustices against women. We require support. I appreciate this mentorship training. Although it was for few, the few will pass on the knowledge gained to the others.”

“I assure you that these women are not the same now,” UN Women Deputy Representative Adekemi Ndieli stated that the participation of women in decision-making is a key element in promoting democracy.

“The use of the knowledge and skills acquired from this workshop will go a long way in contributing to building skills that will enable the MPs to communicate their work effectively to the media, the public, on the floor of parliament and in their different committees.”

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