Kampala, Uganda, 31/3/2015: Former Uganda Vice President Dr. Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe has assured Ugandan women that the time is NOW to reignite processes for ensuring gender parity by 2030. She was speaking at a Dinner held at the Serena Hotel and organized by the UN Women in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action. The Dinner brought together over 40 women achievers from across the country.
Dr. Wandira-Kazibwe emphasized the need for women to actively engage in elective politics at all levels as a precursor to realizing their dreams. She noted with concern that women have traditionally been offered lesser positions in government, and underscored the importance of having a woman among the top three executive positions in the country. “Let us make women enjoy voting fellow women. Let us work as a team,” she anchored.
The former VP, encouraged women to enjoy being called by their own names, live by them and not to always move in their father’s or husband’s shadow. She also particularly spoke about the names parents choose for their children, saying that the meanings of the same sometimes follow them into their adult life.
At the Dinner, one by one, the women rose to their feet and enumerated scores of their personal achievements at various levels. They included businesswomen, politicians, career diplomats, educationists, agriculturalists, heads of NGOs, and members of Ugandan security Forces.
Addressing the guests via Video link, the Assistant Secretary General, also Deputy Executive Director UN Women Ms. Lakshmi Puri noted that the world had experienced a transformational effect at the 1995 Beijing Conference, and would never be the same again. She urged all women in Uganda to make Gender equality a personal project and to hold leaders accountable for their commitments on women issues.
Dr. Wandira-Kazibwe led the African women’s delegation to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing (1995), which set a path-breaking agenda on women’s rights. Since this memorable occasion, the world has seen a paradigm shift with women taking the bull by its horns and catapulting themselves into top positions world over. Women world leaders in recent times include; Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Dilma Vana Linhares Rousseff of Brazil, Atifete Jahjaga of Kosovo, Helle Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark, Portia Simpson-Miller of Jamaica, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of South Africa, Park Geun-hye of South Korea, Erna Solberg of Norway, Laimdota Straujuma of Latvia, Michelle Bachelet Jeria of Chile, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca of Malta, Ewa Kopacz of Poland, Simonetta Sommaruga of Switzerland, and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović of Croatia-the list is far longer.
And as Dr. Wandira-Kazibwe walked out of the Serena at the end of what could well be described as a sumptuous and deserved Dinner, young women swarmed around her, their faces beaming with anxiety. They asked, “How can we be like you?” She responded, “We’ll help you”.
Tumusiime K. Deo
Communications Assistant to
Dr. Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe
Member, African Union Panel of the Wise (PoW);
Senior Presidential Adviser Population & Health/
Vice President Emeritus-Republic of Uganda
Plot 42 Luthuli Rise, Bugolobi – Kampala
P.O. Box 22768, Kampala – Uganda
Tel: +256 414 220 657
Cell: +256 785 783 554
Or C/o MINISTRY OF HEALTH
Plot 6 Lourdel Road, Nakasero
P.O.Box 7272 – Kampala, Uganda