Kampala. The diversity of issues among women in their different cultural, political, and religious groupings is hindering the advancement of women’s movement in Uganda, activists have said.


This came to light during a gender fora organised by Uganda Women’s Network (Uwonet) under the theme: “Unfinished business-positioning the women’s movement for 2016 and beyond”, held in Kampala on Monday.

Dr Kabumba Busingye, the key speaker and a lecturer at Makerere University, said women have numerical power since they form 51 per cent of the population but they have not used it to bargain for their share.

“That power is also seen in the business sector. However, there is a disconnect between that power and failure to exercise it,” Dr Busingye said.

He gave an analogy of victims of oppression whose frame of mind tells them that they need protection from their oppressor, which he said is dangerous to any movement.

Ms Sheila Kawamara-Mishambi, a member of Uwonet, decried the silence of the women’s voice on issues of national concern.

“They are training crime preventers but when trouble comes, [former Forum for Democratic Change leader]Dr Kizza Besigye and [former prime minister Amama] Mbabazi will be protected. Who will protect our children from these crime preventers?” Ms Kawamara-Mishambi asked.

She said since the Women movement is political, it should engage with the people.

However, Ms Irene Ovonji-Odida, a human rights activist, said a bloc vote for women was still years away because women have to first agree on the issues that divide them.

“The important thing is the issues we have…If we can sort out those issues, then we can find a candidate who is committed to working with us,” Ms Ovonji-Odida said. – Monitor

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