The first lady and Minister for Education and sports, Janet Museveni has said that gender inequality significantly hinders the ability of individuals to participate fully and contribute to their families and communities, economically, politically and socially.
The first lady noted that gender inequalities particularly limit the ability of women and girls to fully participate in, and benefit from, development programmes in their nations.
She made the remarks, in a speech read for her by the Vice President-Jessica Alupo-at the International Gender Conference currently going on at Makerere University.
Mrs Museveni cited the roles that institutions such as marriage, as well as social and cultural practices play in perpetuating gender inequalities, calling for increased awareness to address this.
The first lady called for total liberation of African women as one of the means the continent will take her place at the table with other nations.
“Africa’s women that form half of its population need to be fully liberated and enabled to participate in the continent’s development”, she said
Adding that Africa is the most endowed continent on the planet, in terms of natural resources, with a potentially dynamic youthful population, yet still lags behind.
The message was aired to the African Women attending the International Conference on Gender Studies in Africa taking place at Makerere University.
She also reiterated NRM Government commitment in promoting gender equality and providing opportunities for women to explore their full potential by taking full participation in the socio- economic spheres and contribute to the development of the country.
The conference being addressed by several Africa’s women scholars both virtual and physical according to Makerere Vice Chancellor Barnabas Nawangwe, was supposed to take place In 2021 but was delayed due to COVID situation.
According to the head of the faculty of Gender Studies at Makerere University Prof. Ruth Nsibirano, the conference also concedes with 30 years of teaching Gender Studies at Makerere.
“This conference also marks a great milestone to celebrate, the existence of the School of Women and Gender Studies of Makerere ” she said.
The three-day conference has brought together 250 international scholars in the field of Gender Studies in Africa and is aimed at bringing together international expertise from academia, science granting councils, government, industry as well as civil society to deliberate on the space and place of Gender Studies in the academy and in development practice in Africa.
It will be conducted under a Pan African celebration of Gender Studies on the continent and the global South as a site of production of Gender knowledge and Feminist scholarship.
The conference is to enable a conversation on the space and place of Gender Studies in Africa, reviewing the past and reimagining the future.
It will bring together different Gender units in Africa to share experiences of teaching and researching in Women and Gender Studies in Africa and examine the contribution of Women and Gender Studies to Africa’s development
The conference will also examine how the crises of wars, HIV/Aids and neoliberalism have shaped the teaching of Gender studies in the academy and assess the link between Women’s activism in Africa and the subject of Gender studies in the African Academy to reposition Women and Gender Studies in Africa for the future.