President says it was a deliberate NRM policy to empower women

Monday 24th September 2012

President Yoweri Museveni has pointed out that the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Government deliberately introduced policies of empowering women economically, politically and socially in Uganda.

"The NRM programme for women and the human resource development in Uganda was deliberate and not accidental. We planned for it and several interventions were introduced since 1987", he said.

The President was on last Saturday evening the guest of honour at the Eastern Region Women Achievers’ Award ceremony organized by the Uganda Christian University (UCU) Mbale Campus at Protea Hotel in Mbale Municipality.

The first ever event run under the theme "Unlocking the Girl Child Potential" was aimed at recognizing the contribution of women who have helped in improving the living conditions of girls and women through education, health and infrastructure development initiatives.

The pioneer awardees included Hon. Major (Rtd) Jessica Alupo Hon, Engineer Irene Muloni and Ms Atuki Turner.

President Museveni, who congratulated the awardees for their achievement, added that NRM started several interventions for empowering women in 1987 when the immunization programme was introduced, followed by UPE and USE programs, safe water and improved cooking stoves, among others. He noted that the only remaining gaps include hygiene and nutrition that also needs to be followed by the ministries of Local Government and of Health.

Mr. Museveni said politically, Uganda was one of the first countries in the world to create constituency for women to participate in elective politics. He recalled that in 1962, there were only 2 women appointed as MPs in the Parliament of only 90 members. The President, therefore, called on pessimists to understand the deliberate moves by the NRM government.

"I would, therefore, like adventurers, anarchists and charlatans to understand this. Women and other Ugandans will achieve excellence because we are moving progressively", he stressed.

Responding to concerns over the increased population of Bugisu Sub-Region as expressed by Dr. Stephen Mung’Oma, Director of the University, President Museveni said the problem was not the population but underdevelopment and inadequate infrastructure like roads. He said that once the infrastructure is done, the cost of production will reduce which would in return attract more investors to the Uganda. He added that this will create employment opportunities thereby attracting large numbers of the population in rural to urban areas so that the few who remain would concentrate on modern commercial farming.

The President congratulated UCU for the innovation as well as heeding his advice of offering marketable courses to its students. He also counseled them on starting the wealth creation awards for women.

Later, President Museveni launched the "Needy Students Scholarship Fund” to which he donated Shs.50 million.

In her acceptance speech, the Minister of Education and Sports and Katakwi district Woman MP, Hon. Major (Rtd) Jessica Alupo noted that her success was premised on the virtues of prayer, discipline and hard work. She applauded President Museveni for the positive policies that were tailored to enhance women advancement in the economic, political and social sectors.

Energy and Minerals Minister, Hon Engineer Irene Muloni said commitment, hard work, discipline, patience and perseverance contributed much to her advancement. She called on the leadership of Eastern Region to mentor the girl child in education."As parents, we need to mentor and guide our children in this era of Information Technology", she emphasized.

The 3rd recipient of the award Ms. Atuki Turner, represented by Ms. Salome Amiti of MIFUMI, encouraged UCU students to take their studies seriously as being the only way of thanking their parents who have sacrificed a lot to ensure a bright future for them.

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