The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has tasked Members of Parliament on the Budget Committee to ring-fence shs10 billion meant for the Women’s Fund in a bid to support projects like the Uganda Women’s Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP).
The Speaker made the call while presiding over a meeting to update MPs on the progress of UWEP regarding implementation of programme goals and how best to lobby for more funding. The meeting took place at Parliament on Wednesday, 23 May 2018.
“The women have so little but it is our Fund that is attacked. We need to protect this money so that our people can get what they deserve,” Kadaga said.
She added that Government needed to increase efforts to roll out the Uganda Women’s Entrepreneurship Programme across the country to cater for more beneficiaries.
“If we were to rate the Government on this issue, they have failed on the Certificate of Equity and Gender Compliance. 43,000 women beneficiaries out of about 20 million is too small,” said the Speaker.
The Speaker also noted that the choice of projects and limits of policy control had to be streamlined so as to effectively disburse money and quality inputs to residents in mostly hard to reach areas.
“Jinja district rejected cassava cuttings from NAADS. People are trying to spend money before the financial year closes so they are not thinking about quality,” Kadaga said.
The Chairperson Uganda Women’s Parliamentary Association (UWOPA), Hon. Monicah Amoding, commended male MPs for promoting women’s issues and called for more focus to be placed on the economic empowerment of Women.
“Economic empowerment is a very important area and all of us are working on it as constituency Members of Parliament. It is one of the eight legislative areas under the UWOPA umbrella,” noted Amoding.
State Minister for Gender and Culture Affairs, Hon. Peace Mutuuzo commended the efforts by UWOPA to advocate for financial empowerment of women through the Women’s Fund.
“We need to address challenges from the grassroots, and the Gender Ministry will continue to work with MPs to lobby the Ministry of Finance to increase funding for women,” Mutuuzo said.
MPs at the meeting advised that Government funding be channeled through Local Governments, which work directly with the intended beneficiaries including youth, women and persons with disabilities among others.