12 August 2016

Women leaders told help the less privileged


Two prominent African women say the women in influential positions should assist the less privileged to break the glass ceiling.

International Court of Justice judge Julia Sebutinde and the Graça Machel Fund founder Ms Graça Machel said if they help, their lives would have meaning.

They said those now in powerful positions got there because their mothers sacrificed so that their offspring could have better lives.

The two said this on August 10 while meeting select women in Kampala; women Ms Machel said are powerful, successful and are doing extraordinary things.

“We need to acknowledge that with success comes responsibility. You are successful because the generation of your mothers sacrificed,” Ms Machel said.

“But our lives will only have a meaning if each one of us can say ‘I was able to bring 15 or 20 women along with me’. Don’t climb alone, climb with others.”

Justice Sebutinde added that women in Uganda are ‘too fragmented’.

“We are too fragmented in this country for our own good. We should complement each other,” Justice Sebutinde said.

“As African women, we have a common enemy. As we try to move forward, there is an equally opposing force keeping you backwards. The more you are fragmented, the more you are not going to succeed,” the ICJ judge said.

Justice Sebutinde said whenever she has an opportunity she mentors many women.

Bearing in mind that there are many organisations working to improve the status of women, Ms Machel counselled women to ‘build on the skills, the abilities and the power of different organisations to build the capacity they need to thing things’.

Two months ago, the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga called for the appointment of more women to senior positions in the Cabinet.

Speaking during a national dialogue of gender, she said were more women to be appointed to senior cabinet positions, they would have the critical mass to frame and influence many of the government policies.

Critics though have time after time pointed out that Uganda has good laws and policies but it does not implement some of them.


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