Invest Heavily In The Girl Child — Oulanyah

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The
Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, has urged the public to promote
femininity and support the girl-child in order to impede the escalating levels
of gender-based violence and other sexual offences committed against women.

The
Deputy Speaker said there is need to invest in the girl-child from the time
they are babies to when they are of age and ready to have children because they
are an integral part of the society.

Oulanyah
made the remarks while addressing a UN Women region meeting on fostering
positivity masculinity for gender equality at the Lake Victoria Serena Golf
Resort and Spa in Kigo.

“Without
women, we would not exist because they contribute to life. We need to make sure
girls have a fruitful childhood so that they can grow up to control their lives
and prohibit situations when they are looked down on,” he said.

The
Deputy Speaker urged men to prepare for and support the growing influence of
women in the world as they take over several leadership positions.

“The
training of respectful men starts from their families; when a boy is born into
a family where his father beats his mother or talks down on her, then that
family is manufacturing a monster. If he is raised by father who shows
affection and respect to women, then he will turn out well,” he said.

Oulanyah
commended the UN Women for the dialogue and said it was the right and natural
thing to do and because we are late to promote the idea of femininity.

“The
time is now for us to act on these issues. Women are being killed, beaten and
harassed under our watch and we are doing nothing; women are still being
marginalised and objectified,” he added.

The
Deputy Speaker said that children should be treated without extending bias to
their sexuality.

“Children
of different sex have the same capabilities and strengths. We should try to
make sure we do not glorify masculinity,” he added.

He
said Parliament has passed laws to enforce gender equality like the Equal
Opportunities Commission which stipulates that for the budget of a government
institution to be passed by Parliament, the institution must meet certain
gender equity requirements like staffing.

The
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development,
Pius Bigirimana added that both men and boys need to be sensitised to realise a
change in the society.

“It
is unacceptable that some men think women are second class citizens who are not
of equal value.  We need to tell the men
about the dangers of things like gender-based violence and urge them to hold
women in high regard,” he said.

Bigirimana
said that the Ministry is empowering women through a number of initiatives
including the Women Entrepreneurship Programme that involves supporting women
entrepreneurs and businesses.

He also noted that through the Youth Livelihood Programme, the Ministry recommends that at least 30 per cent women make up each youth group.

Parliamentary News



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