Various stakeholders have tipped women’s rights activists on investing more in pushing for gender equity than equality, noting that equity leads to equality but the reverse is not true.
In a stakeholders meeting involving Members of Parliament, officials from the Ministry of Gender, women representatives and members of the Civil Society held in Kampala, it was resolved that there is a need to amend a number of laws to clear barriers affecting women empowerment.
Presenting the CSOs National Paper on Women’s Labor Rights, Drake Rukundo noted that their findings have established that although several individuals and groups have been advocating for women equality, it has not performed to expectation as far as women empowerment is concerned.
“Let’s do more equity than equality based on justice, human rights and non discrimination of the girl child. Equality gives people the same platform but with equity, all people are treated fairly with justice,” advised Rukundo.
He tasked the Members of Parliament present to fast track the passing of the minimum wage law as well as amendment of the National Employment Act 2006 which refers to workers as people employed on contract yet over 75% of Ugandan women are working without contracts.
“Let’s advocate for equal pay of all women and men at places of work especially in the private sector where women who do the same job as men are paid less,” he added.
Hon Sarah Opendi, the Tororo District Woman Member of Parliament, noted that as women in Parliament, it’s their duty to ensure they bring forward issues of women in Uganda.
“We hear you loud and clear on the issues of equity and we will put forth the issues that affect the market women since they make the majority of population in the markets,” Opendi said.
Hon Chemutai Evelyn, Women Member of Parliament for Bukwo, on behalf of the Ugandan Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA), assured the public that through Parliament, they will do whatever is possible to pass laws strengthening women empowerment.
“As we empower women, let us also put extra attention on children, ensure that they can be able to earn something in the future since today most of the men prefer marrying somebody who will bring something to the table,” she said.
Xavier Ejoyi, the Executive Director of Action Aid, applauded the Legislators for being ready to spare time and meet with women representatives to discuss and find solutions to issues affecting females at all levels
Other Legislators who were present include Hon. Mbwatekamwa Gaffa, Hon Patricia Ochan and Brandon Alex.