In order to promote overall demand for gender indicators, Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) with partners held the second Annual Gender Statistics Forum- AGSF II 2018 at Hotel Africana in November 29, 2018.

This according to Norah Madaya the UBOS Director Statistical Coordination Services is part of the efforts to institutionalize gender statistics and promote gender equality.

The forum discussed the results and policy implications of the gender module of the National Governance, Peace and Security Survey (NGPSS) 2017.

NGPSS findings show that mobile phone usage was low among women and that only 7 percent of women own land. Dr. Mildred Barungi, a Research Fellow at Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) said this must be addressed since organizations such as the East African Grains Council use phones to extend vital agriculture extension messages on prices and markets to farmers.

Phones also aid mobile money transactions, the most easily accessible means of financial inclusion and facilitate payment of utilities as well as access to information on career opportunities.

Barungi observed that with few women owning land, access to credit, which in most cases requires collateral will not be guaranteed. It also means inability to practice modern farming like use of fertilizers hence low productivity. This according to Barungi calls for policy interventions to promote women land ownership.

 AGSF 2018 Mildred

Barungi shared insights on women’s economic empowerment while partaking in a panel discussion. She expressed worry that women’s voices are in most case unheard since only decisions of those who own money are taken seriously.

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Referring to UN standards, Barungi reminded the meeting that an empowered woman is one with access to quality education, health care and has decent work, owns property and participates in economic decision making among others.

Barungi also called for gender parity in access to higher education. “Gender parity has been achieved at primary level but has not been achieved at secondary and higher institutions of learning,” she said.

Discussing Women’s participation in political leadership, Hon. Jovah Kamateeka, the Mitooma Woman Member of Parliament called for sensitization in order to ensure that both women and men engage in productive politics.

She decried high drop out rates for school going children calling upon stakeholders to reinstate family structures, which have been ruined and cannot protect the girl child against acts of sexual violence.

Janet Kakupi, the Programme Officer, Raising Voices urged all parties to move beyond statistics and engage everybody to ensure that policies are put in place to address violence against women, whom she described as  the epitome of community peace and progress.

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