Government Commits to Supporting Uganda Working Women

A woman throws a pot over to her fellow worker at the Spouts of Water project at Katale village near Kajjansi, Jan. 26, 2017. Minister Mutuuzo says government is committed to elevate the status of women at the work place (PHOTO by Timothy Kalyegira/Kampala Express)

Minister for Gender, here Labor and Social Development Peace Mutuuzo has asked Civil Society, store local leaders and other Partners to mobilize and sensitize women to take up their “rightful role in transforming society.”

The minister’s call was entailed in her message as the country prepares this week to mark the International Women’s Day on 8th March 2017.

The national celebrations are being held this time at Dokolo Technical School, approved Dokolo Town Council.

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With this year’s celebrations themed, “Women’s Empowerment in the Changing World of Work”, the Minister in her message pointed out government’s commitment to elevate the status of Uganda’s working women.

“You will recognize that the environment at the workplace is changing rapidly. There is increased need for employable skills which calls for adaptability to these changes in order to remain competitive in the job market,” noted them minister.

She added however, that while it’s probable that women are stepping out and embracing the challenges at the work place, there is still need to ensure that women and girls are empowered with relevant training and exposure to relevant skills to fit the job market trends.

“The changing world of work has led to a prominent rise in new trends such as self-employment, freelancing, remote working, digital nomad lifestyle and increased workloads resulting in more stress due to the developing culture of constantly being available for work and checking emails

“On the other hand, employers were likely to find it necessary to have distributed workplaces which need distributed leadership, have more automation, and lean organizations.

“At the family level, there is need for changes within the household to help women cope with changes at the workplace. This will necessitate recognition and redistribution of unpaid care work among family members.”

Cognizant of all this, the minister pointed out that government has put in place a number of laws and policies to help working women though this environment, such as the The Employment Act; The Labour Unions Act; The Occupational Safety and Health Act; The Labour Unions (Registration) Regulation;  and The Labour Disputes (Arbitration and Settlement) Act.

“The Employment Act, for instance, has provisions to cater for non-discrimination and equal payment for male and female employees for work done for the same value.

The same law requires that an employer who has more than 25 employees puts in place measures to prevent sexual harassment at the workplace.

It also provides for maternity leave and paternity leave, which are pertinent to both women and men and should be respected,” she noted.

Besides the laws and policies, Mutuuzo noted Government’s recently introduced women favouring programs such as the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP), The Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP) and The National Women Council grants to accelerate women transformation.

The Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme is particularly celebrated as the first ever effort by the Ugandan Government to ensure that women have unabated access to credit and entrepreneurial skills.

The Programme was initiated as a response to the gender biases women face while attempting to access credit and skills from mainstream financial institutions.

In the one year of implementation (2015-2016), up to 2.952 billion Shillings has been disbursed to 577 women groups across the Country.

This money has reached a total of 7, 379 individual women who are implementing joint enterprises in various sectors including agriculture, processing and art and crafts among others.

Meanwhile, minister Mutuuzo revealed that the national women’s day celebrations will be preceded by a number of events that will include; a medical caravan providing free cancer screening and HIV testing as well as blood donation at the venue, distribution of reusable pads in selected schools in Dokolo, Community dialogues across the district, evening film show using the Youth Truck, Health Run and Legal aid services.


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