The seasoned legislator Cecilia Barbara Atim Ogwal, has appreciated President Yoweri Museveni for the number of appointments in big cabinet positions which were allocated to the women.
Ogwal gave her vote of thanks during the NRM’s weekly ideological clinics at the party headquarters in Kampala where she was invited to give a lecture on
“Justification of women empowerment in the administrative space since 1986 and their role in the development towards economic transformation”.
The reigning Dokolo district woman Member of Parliament lauded President Yoweri Museveni for his efforts in empowering women whom she said were neglected by the previous regimes.
“Let me applaud the president of Uganda for appreciating women’s roles in this country. I am glad that he responded to my repeated dream of having another female vice president and a female Prime Minister. I was always wondering if NRM does not have any other able women who can serve as vice president ever since Dr Specioza Kazibwe left the position. At least now we have only one man in Prime Minister’s docket, Gen. Moses Ali whom I think he is going to retire,” Ogwal said amidst cheers and ululations from an excited physical audience.
In a statement, the former Uganda People’s Congress party Secretary-General, Hon. Cecilia Ogwal implored the NRM government and the parliament to enact more stringent laws that give more freedom and emancipate women to enable them to take more roles in the socio-economic transformation of this country.
“We need to set the women free by putting in place good policies that give them some freedom. We need to support them to achieve their ambitions. I also urge the NRM party to do their best in lobbying the world for women to get equal rights with men. There’s a lot of work to be done, either through sensitization or legislation,” Ogwal said in a statement.
“Women need to go through a revolution, a paradigm shift,” she said, adding, “A woman must be respected. It’s our responsibility as women to fight for our rights but with a willing government. Women have fought many silent battles in their homes, especially in marriages where patriarchy dominates. We need to manage the society in a manner that accommodates everybody regardless of gender,” she emphasized.
“The traditions and cultural prejudices against women can be broken by putting good laws. However we have the challenge of implementation,” she added.
The former Lira municipality Member of Parliament thanked president Museveni for reviving the Pan African women movement that is now very active. “As a specialized organization of women, we are going to get involved in conflict resolution agenda. We are happy that the parliament of Uganda has put aside some money to put an office of the Secretary-General of the Pan African women organization Uganda chapter, just like what South Africa and other countries have done,” she noted.
“Because of world history where women were treated with different contempt, affirmative action to tackle that belief saved us a lot,” she said, adding, “When you look at our parliament and the cabinet today, women are at the helm of leadership”.
The iron lady as most of those who know her legislative abilities call her, emphasized the need for ladies to fight and take up many roles even in other sectors.
“We need to tighten a bit to consolidate this milestone. Many sectors are lacking women. It is high time women occupy that vacuum,” She said.
The NRM party Secretary-General Rt. Hon. Richard Todwong said that the NRM party has done much better than all the previous governments in terms of implementing affirmative action and accommodation of a girl child in school, which he says has given the rise to all these potential women in the country.
“We have powerful women now who are senior doctors and military officers, including business and leadership. This is because NRM implements the affirmative action protocols and the emancipation agenda,” he said.
He said that NRM is the most accommodative political party in Uganda, that it is a mass party with multi-cultural membership and tolerant to divergent views.
“NRM has learned so much from the mistakes of UPC. That’s why we are not experiencing the same challenges,” he stated.
Todwong noted that the purpose of inviting the former UPC stalwart and FDC legislator mama Cecilia Ogwal was informed by her experience in leadership and business. “We wanted her to share her experience with us”.
Hon Lydia Wanyoto who chaired the session described Hon Cecilia Ogwal as the mother of the women’s movement in Uganda.
“She has mentored many of us into leadership roles,” said Wanyoto, the National Chairperson of the NRM Women’s League and a member of the Central Executive Committee (CEC).
While thanking the Secretary-General for giving her the opportunity to speak, Hon Wanyoto said the NRM is a big family “so it’s not true that am here because I am the chairperson”.
“We are many and we are an open bus that keeps picking people along the way as a train but I am honoured that you thought about me to come and listen to a very prominent Ugandan, a Ugandan that we are all proud of, a Ugandan that has mentored many of us, a Ugandan that runs the history of women’s movement,” she noted.