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UWOPA Backs Kadaga for Speaker

UWOPA, established during the 5th Parliament (1989-1994) is a caucus comprising of female Members of Parliament but also open to male members as associates or horary members. It aims at engendering the legislative process, creating awareness campaigns and encouraging lobbying and advocacy. Currently, the 10th Parliament has a total of 152 female MPs of while 20 are on direct seats. The 11th Parliament set to open in May, 2021 will have a total of 173 female MPs out of a population of 529 legislators. These include District Woman MPs, directly elected women and others.
A section of UWOPA members addressing journalists at parliament.

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Members of Parliament under the Uganda Woman Parliamentary Association –UWOPA have thrown their weight behind Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga for the position of Speaker.

Both Kadaga and her Deputy Jacob Oulanyah are set to faceoff for the top job when the 11th Parliament opens in May 2021.

This is Kadaga’s third bid for the Speakership and a second attempt for Oulanyah who has served twice as Deputy Speaker. Recently, Kiira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda also expressed interest in the top office in Parliament of Uganda.

Addressing journalists at Parliament on Thursday, UWOPA Chairperson Pamela Kamugo said that it’s their position to have a female Speaker head Parliament because the Executive and Judiciary are being headed by men.

UWOPA, established during the 5th Parliament (1989-1994) is a caucus comprising of female Members of Parliament but also open to male members as associates or horary members.  It aims at engendering the legislative process, creating awareness campaigns and encouraging lobbying and advocacy. 

Currently, the 10th Parliament has a total of 152 female MPs of which 20 are on direct seats.

The 11th Parliament set to open in May 2021 will have a total of 173 female MPs out of a population of 529 legislators. These include District Woman MPs, directly elected women and others.

“We have seen for the last 10 years how women have performed in leadership at Parliament, where the Speaker, Leader of Opposition and Government Chief Whip are all women,” Kamugo said.

Dorothy Azairwe Nshaija, the UWOPA Treasury said that it is the desire for Uganda’s women in parliament to have a female Speaker. She appealed to Members of the 11th Parliament to retain the Speaker position for a female.

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Margaret Baba Diri, the Koboko Woman MP said that they will ensure that a woman retains the speakership position.

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Meanwhile, UWOPA is also seeking the appointment of more women in key decision-making positions by the President.

“Judiciary right now has men leading as Chief Justice and Deputy. This has also been evidenced in the Executive arm of government where for a long time no woman has been appointed Vice President of Uganda and none as Prime Minister. We, therefore, demand that women be appointed in such positions of leadership,” said Nshaija.

She also cited a need for the President to appoint more women as ministers in key strategic ministries like Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Water, Ministry of Lands, Ministry of Trade and Ministry of Environment.

UWOPA says that the appointment of women in these ministries will enable them to make decisions that positively affect the lives of people in the rural and urban areas. All these ministerial positions pointed at by UWOPA apart from the Finance Ministry are currently headed by female ministers.

Cabinet currently has 78 Ministers and out of these 24 are female. President Yoweri Museveni is expected to choose his new Cabinet after the May swearing-in ceremony.

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