Women activists have asked government to empower a girl child in order to improve the social and economic status of women in Uganda.
The Kabarole district woman member of Parliament Victoria Businge Rusoke said that government should give girls need an environment that will enhance their potential for better tomorrow.
Rusoke was on Friday addressing a gathering at Kiyomba Primary school playground in Buhesi sub-county in Kabarole district during the International Women’s day celebrations. The day was celebrated under the Theme: “Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures”.
“It is important to focus on the girl child, re-think and determine their future which will inspire e the women of Uganda,” Rusoke said.
She blamed the Police officers and parents for conniving with criminals to abuse the girls’ rights, instead of protecting them.
“It breaks my heart to see the police force which is expected to protect a girl child join hands with criminals to drag parents of defiled, raped and tortured girls into being compromised by offenders who give them little money and they withdraw cases or they don’t report at all,” Rusoke said.
She said that women in Uganda have been struggling to fight for their rights and thanked the National Resistance Movement (NRM) for bringing them from kitchen to boardrooms.
“Today we are looking back at the past struggles of a woman, compliments her and most importantly, to look ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that awaits future generation of women,” Rusoke said.
Rusoke however said that maternal mortality has remain a big concern for the health of women despite the fact the number of women dying while giving birth has reduced.
“Although the number of women who die due to pregnancy complications declined from 505 in 2001 to 435 per 100,000 in 2006, its still below the Millennium Development Goal’s target in reducing maternal mortality to 131 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2015,” she emphasized.
Margret Ziwa Nantongo, a legislator in the East African Assembly called for zero tolerance on sexual harassment and abuse in homes, communities, schools and at work places.
Ziwa urged parents to educate their daughters saying that education is a basic human rights and a key to the empowerment of women and the girl child, hence achieving gender equality in education.
Over 70 outstanding women were recognized for their effort in inspiring a girl child in the district. Notable among those were the Queen Mother of Toro Kingdom Best Kemigisa, Elizabeth Bagaya, Robinah Bwitwa of Travellers Inn in Fort Portal municipality among others.