BY KASLYNE GLADYS LAKAREBER
PADER: TUESDAY, MARCH 14, 2023
When Rose Latoo Mwaka, a former female councilor and resident of Pajule town council, was awarded a certificate by Pader district in recognition of her advocacy for women’s rights, she couldn’t hide her joy.
The certificate of merit was handed to the former councilor at Okinga primary school in Acholibur sub county, Pader district, during the 2023 district celebration of the International women’s Day.
The Rtd Col Fearless Oyet Obwoya, the Pader district LC5 chairman, said this was also recognition of the importance of women’s participation in leadership as key for rights advancement.
Mwaka was a keen advocate for women’s rights and promoter of girl-child education who vigorously followed defilement and other child abuse cases to ensure that culprits were punished and that the girl-child were protected against societal ills.
Accordingly, Obwoya cautioned men to stop spoiling young girls, advising that they should support education of girls and only marry them off when they have grown up.
He said this will contribute to promotion of women’s rights and improve their overall standing in the community.
The International Women’s Day is an annual event marked globally to create awareness, promote women’s rights and celebrate their unique contribution in social, economic and leadership roles.
The day was first celebrated by four countries in 1911- Denmark, Austria, Germany and Switzerland- and this made the United Nations to declare it official in 1975 to be celebrated worldwide on March 8th.
The Pader district leader thanked President Yoweri Museveni for championing women emancipation in Uganda, saying that it has given chance to many talented women to assume top leadership positions in government.
“On the political ground, women are given positions right from village level up to top positions and all these were done to promote women’s rights and end violence against women,” Obwoya said.
He recognized that the government was implementing many programmes including the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme aimed at promoting their rights and support their economic emancipation.
Betty Amongi, the minister for gender, labour and social development who presided over the district celebrations, stressed the need to do more to educate the women about their rights.
Amongi said that education is the foundation of science and technology which starts at the primary school level and therefore women must not be left out of schools.
She further urged traditional, cultural and religious leaders to revisit some of their norms that she said promote violation of women’s rights.
The minister however did not elaborate on those norms.
Santa Okot, the Aruu North constituency member of parliament, noted that while women representation in political offices has immensely grown, there is still a gap between the women in leadership and the women they represent.
She said this calls for more sensitization to enable women to advocate for their rights.