The UK highlights its work to promote and protect women's rights in Uganda
Today is International Women’s Day. This is a great day to celebrate women and their achievements. But it’s also important to reflect on what can be done to tackle the challenges they face.
The Global theme for International Women’s Day is “Equality for Women is Progress for All”. But countries also pick a theme of their own. Uganda’s theme is “In partnership with men and boys to empower women and girls”. The UK will focus on “women’s economic empowerment and raising girls’ aspirations”. These are three important messages.
The UK is looking closely at what it can do to improve women’s rights at home. Today the UK Home Office is publishing a refreshed “Violence against Women and Girls Action Plan” which will outline new actions to be taken forward across the UK Government.
The UK is also committed to the promotion and protection of women’s rights overseas. It is one of its six key human rights priorities. Furthermore earlier this week the UK parliament passed the International Development (Gender Equality) Bill. This makes it law for the UK government to consider, before providing development assistance and alongside other considerations, how the assistance will contribute to reducing gender inequality. This highlights the role that Women’s rights have in its work overseas.
This focus guides the UK’s work in Uganda. In 2013/2104 alone the British High Commission in Uganda has:
- Worked with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and others to ensure that national budgets promote gender equality;
- Trained women parliamentarians on media communication skills;
- Supported girls to access education;
- Provided remedial services to women who have experienced gender based violence in ten districts of Uganda, as part of the Gender Based Violence safety shelters initiatives;
- Supported the prevention of sexual violence in two districts in Northern Uganda. Look here for more information on the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, including the upcoming Global Summit in the UK;
- Worked with leading women’s organisations to improve international guidance on investigating and documenting sexual violence.
This work would not be possible without partners in Uganda. The British High Commission takes this opportunity to thank all the organisations promoting women’s rights in Uganda and the inspiring women it works with.