In commemoration of the International Women’s day, Action Group for Health, Human Rights and HIV/AIDS Uganda will joined the Women’s movement and other human right defenders for a press conference on Monday 6th March v2017 at the Uganda Museum under the theme, “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work.”
The team acknowledged the role government has played towards uplifting the status of women mainly through progressive legislation such as the Domestic Violence Act, The Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, and Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act among others. However, they continued to highlight the persistent impediments to gender equality and women’s empowerment which include Gender Based Violence, the heavy burden of care work, abuse of women’s labor rights, land rights violations, lack of access to productive resources and finance, abuse of the rights of human rights defenders among others. To these they demanded government to:
1. Harness the demographic dividend by investing in young women and girls by developing, financing and implementing frameworks and mechanisms that give sufficient economic opportunities to young women through capacity building, access to affordable finance and entrepreneurship development;
2. Strengthen accountability mechanisms for women’s economic empowerment by enforcing accountability mechanisms of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to systematically support women’s economic empowerment and women’s rights to and at work;
3. Repeal laws that criminalize and limit civic space for women’s organizations and citizens organizing on labor rights and women’s economic rights;
4. Recognize, reduce and redistribute women’s burden of unpaid care and domestic work. By providing accessible, high-quality public services, women’s responsibility for unpaid care work will be reduced, thereby reducing poverty and social exclusion and addressing the violation human rights to healthcare and education.
5. Support and accelerate women’s right to own, access and use land, including collective and user rights to land and common property through amendments to the Succession Act and enacting the Marriage and Divorce Bill.
6. Ratify, domesticate and fully implement international and regional instruments such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, ILO Convention 189 (2011) on domestic workers, and the Maputo Protocol;
7. Address the needs of women who experience multiple and intersecting forms of inequalities, discrimination and marginalization including women with disabilities, women caring for persons with disabilities, women living with HIV and AIDS, elderly persons, internally displaced and refugee women, to enhance their resilience through the provision of special needs public services.
8. Uganda Human Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities commission work with women’s rights organizations to go on a nationwide awareness raising drive aimed at debunking stereotypes and challenging harmful cultural practices and social norms that keep women in poverty.
We believe that if government taps into the women’s potential, Uganda will be transformed into a sustainable economic country.