By Ms. Noor Nakibuuka
Today, Uganda joins the rest of the world to commemorate the International Women’s day. As a woman, mother and an advocate for women’s rights, it can’t go without saying that this day brings memories to me but also the institution I work for.
For years, the Center for Health, Human rights and Development has stood out as an institution that among others, advocates for women’s rights. Today we celebrate the women we have empowered, advocated for, and those that have benefited from our services as an institution.
At CEHURD’s inception in about 2009, the maternal health rate for example stood at about 438/100,000 live births in Uganda. As we #pressforprogress, we celebrate 336/100,000 live births today. Our contribution as an institution cannot go without notice. We have litigated, sensitized communities, held talk shows, and engaged various line ministries, local governments among others to ensure that women’s rights are upheld and respected. These successes wouldn’t have been, but with women, the mothers of this nation.
On such a day, one usually wants to recall the country’s progress towards women. Allow me commend the state for its efforts towards ensuring that women access health care, that the legislation protects their rights, land rights are not violated, and violence is restricted in homes among others. This is not to say, that these have ceased being challenges but it’s important to give credit for the progress we have achieved this far. Indeed the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda accords women special treatment with specific provisions that uphold their unique status and natural maternal functional role they play in society. The Domestic violence legislation, penal code Act, HIV prevention and Control Act, Land acquisition Act among others in one way or another protect women and we cannot fail to highlight this as progress in realizing women’s rights
While I commend the state for this progress, I want to give special attention to women at various levels that have worked so hard to ensure that the legislations and all strategies targeting women are indeed put into practice. Women ministers, women members of parliament, women in various positions within various institutions including civil society organizations, academia, agricultural sectors, local government levels, health institutions, media, stay home women, market vendor women, etc we celebrate you, we are proud of you, for you the nation was born.
I want to thank you for being women, for enduring all that it takes to see the nation smile, for being great mothers, advisors, counselors, teachers, service providers, musicians, for being the voice of the voiceless. We celebrate you
Happy women’s day