KAMPALA – Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE) has unveiled the Imara Women’s Centre (IWC) Corporate Identity.
The much-anticipated UGX. 28bn home of women in Kasangati was unveiled at Kampala Serena Hotel on Wednesday, in the presence of a cross-section of passionate Women from the Civil Society, Private and Public Sectors.
Imara, whose construction was launched by high women figures including, UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima also a founding member of FOWODE, First Deputy Prime Minister of Uganda, Rebecca Kadaga and Renowned Kenyan politician and social justice activist Hon Martha Karua, is an initiative of FOWODE to provide a safe space for every girl and woman. It will be both a visible embodiment of women’s independent organizations and a vital practical base from which to advance the struggle for gender equality.
“As women at the forefront of Women’s rights and advancement, FOWODE is proud to have you all in the room to attest to the future of Women in Uganda, as you witness the unveiling of a symbol that represents us all in our different walks of life, and the generations of women coming after us. The theme “Our Strength Our Hope” represents the virtue of togetherness, where we each envision and participate in the transformation of our well-being. The Imara is that space where we will have an opportunity to safety from the pressures of the patriarchy, rejuvenate our wellness, gather in our diversities and talents, and a launch pad for campaigns that will promote gender equality. On the whole, it is a firm anchor in a country where we see regression and stagnation on the democratic front,” said Patricia Munabi, Executive Director of FOWODE, as she welcomed her guests.
“The word Imara stands for Bold, Strong, and Firm. And the logo is an expression of a Woman or Girl who stands her ground and is not afraid to take her place in society. Her outstretched arms are accepting of all challenges she faces with boldness, she is welcoming and daring, she is the stronghold of Imara. Her head wrap is her crown, and the ring over her head stands for continuity. The purple color signifies confidence, power, ambition, wisdom, independence and authority. Light blue speaks of calm, peaceful, reliable, gentle and tranquil; and the Dark pink color stands for femininity, warmth, hope, acceptance and intuition,” she added.
She commended their donors for trusting them with funds, “which have enabled us to achieve all these milestones.”
Ms. Sylvia Muwebwa, the Vice Chairperson of the FOWODE Board noted that FOWODE prides in monumental achievements over its 27 years of existence, for which the Women in Uganda today partake of, and enjoy the freedoms of society, to express themselves with dignity.
“The Imara Women Centre, is another expression of freedom with a vision to anchor and benefit our successors too. We envision a Uganda where Women have equal rights in society, and part of this dream will be achieved by realizing this establishment.”
“We are in the first phase of fundraising for the construction of the centre at its home in Gayaza, and our construction budget is USD7.8 million to be raised over a period of 5 years. The Centre comprises a Residency block with a gym, health facilities, dance studio, accommodation; and a 5 Floor Office block of 2 floors of lettable space, FOWODE office space, a Library, 2 auditoriums, a museum, and a restaurant,” she added.
The Guest of Honour, Evelyn Anite, the Minister for state; Privatization and Trade applauded FOWODE for its efforts in empowering women to become leaders in the country.
Anite who contributed Shs5 million and pledged more Shs45 million said, “I was inspired by a woman to join politics and my political journey started with the Radio One Ekimeeza program. Along the way I joined FOWODE’s mentorship program that gave me direction to join elective politics.”
Unveiling the Imara Logo, Anite noted that organizations like FOWODE have greatly contributed to an increased number of women in decision-making in the political, administrative and managerial sectors.
“As a government, we worked with FOWODE and other institutions to champion gender-responsive budgeting and now Uganda has a certificate of gender and equity in law. We are the first country in the world to have such a requirement in law.”
She urged the public to contribute to the Imara Centre noting that it will ensure that young men and women can benefit from transformative leadership development and mentorship which has yielded into increased female participation and enactment of progressive gender-responsive policies.
Jamila Mayanja, the Founder and CEO of Smart Girls Foundation, which trains young girls and women to build self-esteem, leadership, governance and employability skills, narrated the success and achievement of the Foundation and applauded the promise of the Imara Women’s Centre.
“We pledge to join efforts with FOWODE to mentor a nation where young women need affirmation to take their stand in society through skilling and confidence, to be able to make decisions and transform their communities.”