“Here‘s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” Anonymous
March 8th was designated as an International Women’s Day to mark and celebrate the achievement made in the attempt to create equality between men and women. This equality can never be achieved because of biological and physical differences between men and women but the intension is to recognise the differences and be able to support women in their achievements and journey to be able to make contribution to society.
As we mark this year’s Women’s Day, we recognise the fact that we have gone through two difficult years of the coronavirus. We have lost friends, relatives and the lockdowns greatly affected many people in the world and in Uganda it was not different. Women emerged as some of the key people who were very resourceful during this period. Women largely as home managers were able to look after families. Women were able to look after their loved ones who fell sick, and we want to celebrate the woman for these reasons.
But an emerging challenge in the last two years has been the issue of teenage pregnancies. The issue of teenage pregnancies which is all over the press in the country and this is arising because of the breakdown of values and cultures in our society. In many communities in this country and the world over, children are supposed to get into relationships when they mature and, in many homes, today when they finish education. The fact that young people were idle in homes led to the challenge that we are seeing today that many girls became pregnant. Unfortunately, there are reports that in some cases parents and relatives are responsible for some of these pregnancies. These are the side effects of the Coronavirus pandemic that were never expected. This calls for action within society to be able to restore the values that the country has had over the years which led to protection of young girls from being molested by men. An additional challenge to those girls who were pregnant or who are still pregnant as schools reopen is that they been denied going back to school but then those who have gone back have also faced the stigma problem.
This year’s theme ‘Breaking the Bias’ is very timely. We need to intensify work towards breaking the biases that society has over women. It is very important that women are empowered, recognised, and their activities valued. Giving women an opportunity to study, work, make a contribution to society in the different aspects of life has huge impact on society welfare. As we break the bias, the key things that should be done is empowering the women economically. We hope that the Parish Development Model will single out women and enable them to overcome the challenges that they have in producing goods for consumption and sale, we hope that the Parish Development Model (PDM) will increase productivity of women besides of course giving them little more income to be able to look after their families and also contribute to addressing family challenges that may come up. Let us Break the Bias.
I also wish on behalf of the Women’s Forum in MUBS to celebrate those women who have achieved especially at the doctorate level in the institution, I wish to congratulate the women who are making an economic contribution to this country, those have been appointed in various government positions, this year we have the Vice President and the Prime Minister and we want to celebrate them as an indicator of breaking the bias. We also celebrate MUBS first Woman Professor.
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