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Gender Equality, the unravelled cultural muse and Benediction

by Maurine Tukahirwa

Dear Readers,

This short preamble, should be in position to vividly paint a picture on the progress of the Governments’ effort to attain Gender Equality.

In the 19th Century, Gender inequalities rooted from patrilineal and exogamous ways of relating where we were never allowed to marry from the same clan as it represented weak body antigens that would affect the body’s immunity and disease resistance. That is why it was and is still a taboo to marry closer to the family tree (distant cousins). An experience that was shared by H. E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni during his attention to Young People from the Youth SDGs Coalition on their visit at Entebbe State house on 10th February, 2021.

Amongst the Banyankole, a renowned pastoral tribe in Uganda, when you gave birth to a girl, she was looked at as a possible conflict catalyst as they assumed that she would take the inheritance in which cows are so regarded with her once she decided to get married off to the other clan and this was totally unacceptable. However the world has evolved. Tribes and clans have had it and this has become better at promoting peace as such internal conflicts ain’t given any attention more. We’ve learned how to utilize such opportunities to expand our colonies and legacies beyond tribal sentiments. When a girl decided to start a life outside her clan or tribe, she was given a chance to inherit land, property as it benefits both clans.

Uganda today has also succeeded in legislation to support the achievement of Gender equality. It should be noted that matrimonial property must only be sold off when consent is sought from both the husband and wife, less than that, personal decisions over matrimonial property should be ruled Null and Void in courts of law.

Much as the creation of woman MP seats in Parliament has continuously proven to be a gender disparity, it sure has proven that women have unique needs that need to be prioritized. It has also increased the number of participation of women in decision making positions 146 seats in the Uganda Parliament as compared to 13 seats that women achieved while running on the main constituency seats.

Universal Primary Education was fundamentally introduced to support the needs of adolescent girls. That is why it still remains government’s first priority to extend free education for all children in government schools. Is it quality Education, only time will tell, but for now, no girl should be denied education. The civil society is called upon to jointly campaign for such incentives from government as it creates a good relationship and partnership trans-versing our country into a modern economy.

Gender Based Violence is an issue of concern that has left many young women victims of trauma, mental health instability especially during the COVID-19 period. The government is working on a clear GBV policy that will strengthen the structure by having GBV desk referrals at key and relevant local government facilities to support the law and justice system, a commitment that was given by the President in delegation of Hon. Minister Mary Karooro Okurut, the Minister in charge of general duties.

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