KAMPALA-Members of Parliament have raised concerns over the increasing number of single mothers, who they said have been left to shoulder the child care burden single handedly.
Legislators observed that government programmes on women empowerment have largely focused on addressing gender based violence and to some extent personal incomes, but that the growing community of single mothers has hardly been explored.
“There is a growing number of single parents world-wide and some countries have adopted a policy of either compelling men to do cost sharing. They attach part of one’s salary or wages to ensure child support” said Hon Muhammad Nsereko.
Nsereko was making a contribution during debate on the Statement on the reporting obligations on the status of women in regard to the 64th Session of CSW and implementation of UNSC Resolution 1325 on Tuesday 10 March 2020.
Presenting the statement, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon. Peace Mutuuzo, said that Uganda has performed well in enactment of laws and formulation of policies on ending gender based violence, enhancing capacity of duty bearers and improving access to health services.
She also remarked that notable progress has been made in increasing women representation and participation in political leadership and decision-making.
The Fort Portal Municipality MP, Alex Ruhunda, said he was worried that the majority of single mothers have been abandoned by men to carry the burden of childcare because of low incomes and unemployment.
“Research shows that we have a big number of single mothers than ever before and because men are either poor of unemployed, many have neglected children to women,” he said.
Hon. Abdulatif Sebaggala said that mothers in his constituency are the bread winners despite their meagre income.
“We have so many women in Kampala manning their homes with capital ranging between Shs50,000 – 100,000. How much more would women do if government opens up interest free loans to these mothers?” he said.
Hon Ann Adeke Ebaju was concerned that single motherhood is worsened by un equal distribution of property and ownership. She called on government to fight for women who she said have been rendered beggars in their own families.
“It is because of our culture that women have been left out of property ownership and distribution. This should be taken as violation of their economic rights,” Adeke said.