Friday, July 23, 2010

Uganda Ratifies the AU Protocol on the Rights of Women

Press Statement
Thursday July 22, 2010

Uganda Ratifies the AU Protocol on the Rights of Women

Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) coalition joins Women First (the Ugandan Women’s Rights Coalition to welcome and congratulate the Republic of Uganda for depositing its instrument of ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa at the opening of the 17th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union, at Munyonyo, Uganda, 22 July 2010.  Uganda becomes the 28th member state of the African Union and the third East African Community Member to ratify the Protocol on the Rights of Women after Rwanda and Tanzania.

This would not have been possible without the close partnership between the government of Uganda, Ugandan Women’s Civil Society Organisations and the Uganda APRM National Governing Council. We commend all their efforts to ensure ratification of this Protocol and applaud the collaboration between the three line ministries in charge of the ratification: Gender, Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Foreign Affairs.

SOAWR calls on the government of Uganda to continue the partnership with the Ugandan Women’s Rights Coalition to popularize the Protocol and put into place a process and mechanisms that will guarantee that the Protocol is translated into laws, policies and services that will promote and protect the rights of women in Uganda.

We also urge the government to dedicate adequate human and financial resources that are required for the rights provided therein to be realized and enjoyed by women.

Given the leadership that the government and the people of Uganda have demonstrated in upholding women’s rights, including being the first country to appoint a female vice president and adopting the affirmative action policy to boost women’s participation in politics and decision-making at all levels, we are confident that the Protocol will be implemented to become a force for freedom for all women in Uganda.

Finally, we express our gratitude to all SOAWR members across Africa who have supported the Ugandan Women’s Rights Coalition in their advocacy efforts towards the ratification of the Protocol by Uganda.

Solome Nakaweesi-Kimbugwe, Akina Mama wa Afrika/SOAWR; Tel. +256772 463 154 / +256-752 463 154
Faiza Jama Mohamed, Equality Now/SOAWR; Tel. +254 722 805 539
Mary Wandia, Oxfam GB / SOAWR, Tel. +256 757 413 917
Norah Matovu-Winyi, FEMNET / SOAWR Tel; +256 772 825 829 / +254 729 571 544

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Violence against women is a worldwide yet still hidden problem. Freedom from the threat of harassment, battering, and sexual assault is a concept that most of us have a hard time imagining because violence is such a deep part of our cultures and lives.