KAMPALA – The UN Women, the United Nations body for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is set to launch a new Strategic Plan for 2022–2025.
The new strategic note, to be launched on Tuesday May 17 in the city of Kampala will guide the UN Women for the next four years—with an eye toward the 2030 deadline to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Speaking to reporters on Monday, May 16, 2022, Adekemi Ndieli, the UN acting Country Representative said the five year strategic note articulates how UN Women will leverage its unique triple mandate—encompassing normative support, UN system coordination, and operational activities—to mobilize urgent and sustained action to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls and support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“It guides our work to support the Government of Uganda to mainstream gender equality and women empowerment,” Adekemi said, explaining that the much sought after plan is based on key findings from an extensive consultative process and draws from the analysis of lessons learned and recommendations from evaluations, audits, and other assessments, including those from the 25-year review and appraisal of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
Given the interconnected nature of global challenges, UN Women will focus on integrated approaches with seven systemic outcomes to address the root causes of inequality and affect broader systems change, across its thematic focus areas including governance and participation in public life, women’s economic empowerment, ending violence against women and girls; and women, peace and security, humanitarian action, and disaster risk reduction.
“Now, more than ever, leadership to promote gender equality is critical for the world, driven by a common vision and committed to a shared strategy, and UN Women Uganda is well-positioned to deliver on this,” Adekemi noted.
UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality, and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to ensure that the standards are effectively implemented and truly benefit women and girls worldwide.
Women and girls contribute to and have greater influence in building sustainable peace and resilience, and benefit equally from the prevention of natural disasters and conflicts and humanitarian action but many African States fall below required levels of women participation in governance among others.
Zebib Kavuma, the Deputy Director for the UN Women Regional Office for Africa said the Strategic Plan aims to achieve gender equality, the empowerment of all women and girls, and the full enjoyment of their human rights.
“The only way to achieve transformational results for gender equality and women’s empowerment is with and through partners, and ensuring that commitments are backed by sustainable financing and accountability. In this context, deepening and expanding partnerships and influencing the actions and financing of other actors are cornerstones of the Strategic Plan,” Kavuma said.
“UN Women has registered exponential growth in its programming in Africa and particularly in Uganda which has bolstered the impact of our programs in collaboration with our partners in the country,” she said.
UN Women also coordinates and promotes the UN system’s work in advancing gender equality, and in all deliberations and agreements linked to the 2030 Agenda. The entity works to position gender equality as fundamental to the Sustainable Development Goals, and a more inclusive world.
Principal Women in Development Officer at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development Idi Mubarak Mayanja said the Government of Uganda is committed to achieving the goal of gender equality and women’s empowerment due to the numerous benefits realized under the current Gender Policy.
According to Mayanja the Gender Policy has been a critical advocacy tool in lobbying for the inclusion of gender concerns in development programmes and projects.
In Cabinet, the number of Ministers increased from 14 (19.4%) in 2006 to 26 (49%) in 2016. Currently there are 37 women Ministers which is almost half of the total at 45% while the women Permanent Secretaries comprise 48.5 percent.
In the recent Parliamentary Elections, 175 Women were elected as Members of Parliament. Of these 146 are District/City Women Representatives, 13 are Representatives of Special Interest Groups and 16 are directly elected. This gives us a percentage of 34% which is still above the critical mass (30%) of women in the legislature.
Mayanja revealed that with the emerging issues on the local and global scene, the Gender Policy that was developed in 1997 and last reviewed in 2007, would be soon reviewed.