The kabaka of Buganda, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi has underscored the importance of gender equality as a key tool in the development of families and a stronger society.
“Men and women are equal partners in development. I call upon women to engage in income generating activies. When women are empowered economically, families and the entire society flourish” the Kabaka said.
He was speaking at the launch of a UN-Women sponsored programme dubbed #He4She spearheaded by the Nabagereka Development Foundation aimed at banishing domestic violence. He stressed that gender equality and women economic prosperity should not be used by women as an avenue to disrespect their husbands.
“Girls have been educated and they should use their education positively for economic development and the development of their families,” Kabaka Mutebi said.
The #He4She campaign is aimed at total banishment of domestic violence in order to protect the welfare of children, women and the youth. HeForShe is a global solidarity movement for gender equality, where men and boys pledge to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by women and girls.
HeForShe brings together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity, for the benefit of all. Under the slogan, “Nsazeewo” the project will domesticate the UN Women’s global solidality movement and encourage boys and girls to actively create a world with free gender inequality and gender based violence.
HeForShe invites men and boys to build on the work of the women’s movement as equal partners in the crafting and implementation of a shared vision of gender equality that will benefit all of humanity. Hailing the development agencies that have engaged in the fight against HIV Aids in Uganda and globally, the Kabaka said that continued support and behavioral change will help to eliminate the scourge.
“We shall use all means at our disposal including our cultural administrative governance structures, the media, Music, Drama and Dance to broadcast messages against domestic violence and HIV/Aids. Earlier, the Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga had urgued development partners to partner with the kingdom to foster Socio-Economic development.
“The Kingdom is committed to standard management systems, and good governance that yield positively to development agenda,” Mayiga said.
The function was attended by the Royal Dutch Ambassador Henk Jan Bakker and the British High Commissioner to Uganda, Mr Peter West. Ms Hodan Adou who is the UN Women country representative to Uganda presented a plague to the Kabaka. Members of Parliament including Judith Nabakooba and Muyanja Ssenyonga were present as well as Mengo ministers, clan leaders, county chiefs and some members of the Royal family. Ms. Adou said that violence against women is one of the most serious and pervasive issues affecting women, children, families, and communities in Uganda. Most of the violence takes place within intimate partner relationships.
“Recent studies have revealed that wife beating is widely accepted with 58% of women and 44% of men believing that it is justified for a man to beat his wife under certain circumstances. The 2016 Uganda Demographic Health Survey revealed that 19.9% of women in Buganda have ever experienced sexual violence,” Adou said. She said that in the economy, the benefits of gender equality are enormous since they lead to inclusive, sustainable growth and development.
“Without full and equal rights to productive resources like land, economic opportunities, finance and other services to help relieve the care burden, women’s contributions to food security, development and national and personal growth are inhibited’ She said.