ailment http://davidsols.fr/wp-includes/class.wp-styles.php sans-serif;”>Attending the 58th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, prostate Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development Mary Karooro Okurut said Uganda had already achieved considerable targets especially in the health sector and reducing poverty.
She said Uganda has been successful in reduction of the number of people living in absolute poverty reduced from 56.4 percent in 1992/93 to 24.5 percent in 2009/2010.
The function was held under the theme “challenges and achievements in the implementation of the millennium development goals for women and girls.
Karooro further stated that the country has been able to manage its debts sustainably and also scored on gender parity in education at primary level with a net enrollment rate of 83 percent for both boys and girls.
Other achievements cited by Karooro include “increased share of women’s employment in non-agriculture has increased from 28.1 percent in 2006 to 33.4 percent in 2009” and “affirmative Action Policy which has resulted in the attainment to a critical mass of women in leadership in the national legislature where women members of Parliament constitute 34 percent currently up from 30 percent in the previous Parliament elected in 2006.”
“Furthermore; Uganda is on track to achieve the set goals on reduction in child mortality by 2015; access to safe drinking water increased from 57 percent in 2000 to 64 percent in 2011/2012 in rural areas and 85 percent in urban areas; and increased affordability and accessibility essential drugs rose from 28 percent in 2007/8 to 70 percent 2011/12 and the universal treatment for HIV/AIDS now stands at 62 percent.”
Despite these successes, there are a number of areas where progress remains slow. Of particular concern is the maternal mortality rate.
Although it has been reducing at rate of 5.1 percent every year over the decade, there is work still to be done especially among young mothers aged between 15-20 years which accounts for 44 percent of pregnancy related complications.
Karooro said government strategy is to ensure that girls enroll and stay in school to avoid early marriage and pregnancies.
The other critical area of concern is the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS which stands at 8 percent for women as compared to 6 percent for men.
Karooro added that violence against women continues to be a major concern and an obstacle to development in our society.
She said government has introduced the domestic violence Act and prohibition of female Genital Mutilation/cutting law.
“There is also legal framework and policy measures in place to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls include the establishment of Equal Opportunities Commission, Gender in Education Policy and Girls Education Strategy,” said the Minister.
“As we prepare for the review Beijing +20, Uganda reiterates its commitment to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and looks forward to maintaining the spirit of the Declaration and Plan of Action in Post 2015 development agenda.”
Karooro added: “Basing on our experience, in implementing MDGs, Uganda recommends that the post 2015 Global development agenda adopts a stand-alone gender transformative goal that promotes gender equality, human rights and women’s empowerment.”
She said specific targets should be set for economic empowerment of women, ending violence against women and girls, sexual and reproductive health with special focus on maternal health, empowerment of boys and girls, eeducing social, political and economic inequalities; and; gender budgeting to ensure that funds are ring fenced in the national budget for financing gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Karooro maintained that the post 2015 development agenda should also mainstream gender equality issues into all goals and targets.
She said the agenda should ensure girls complete all cycles of Education; employment and Decent work for all; fair share of unpaid work and the care economy; women’s participation in peace, security, governance and accountability; and; social protection of the chronically poor with special focus on Persons with Disabilities, older women, widows, orphans and other vulnerable children, refugees and Internally Displaced Persons