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Uganda NGO FOWODE organizes a conference on women in politics

Theme: “SETTING THE TUNES OF DEMOCRACY: Towards an Agenda for political Accountability.”

As Uganda prepares for the 2011 elections, it is imperative that the women of Uganda irrespective of political affiliation reflect on the past 5 years of multiparty democracy and agree on a women’s agenda for elections and beyond.

Uganda woman voting

Uganda woman in elections (AFP)

The Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE) whose mission is to promote gender equality in all areas of decision making through advocacy, training, research and publication is organizing a conference scheduled for 13th – 16th June 2010 at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala to set the agenda for political accountability to women in the upcoming 2011 elections. The conference will bring together selected women politicians from all over Uganda for alliance building, solidarity and knowledge generation.

Objectives

The broad aim of the conference is to galvanize women’s voices from all regions of Uganda to set the agenda for 2011 and beyond. The specific objectives on the other hand are:

  • To agree on and concretize the women’s political agenda for 2011 and beyond
  • To devise strategies for accountability to women
  • To set the platform for increased visibility for the women’s agenda for 2011 and beyond

Conference activities

To kick off the activities, FOWODE conducted a series of regional and national consultations with women NGO’s, female politicians, the public and other stakeholders to gather a set of concerns for women for their agenda. The views gathered from the consultations will form the basis of the discussion of the women’s agenda at the conference.

The conference will begin with a keynote address that will set the pace for the conference. Following the keynote address, a paper on the ‘Dynamics of a multiparty Democracy: Challenges and Opportunities for women’ will be presented and discussed. This paper will bring to the fore the challenges a multiparty environment presents and the opportunities that women can take advantage of.

Subsequent to the paper presentation, three sub themes will be discussed during parallel workshops:

Subtheme 1: ‘Playing the Men’s Ball Game?: Parties as Institutions of Accountability to women’. This will be facilitated by a panel of dynamic female politicians from different political parties. Among the issues, for deliberation in this session will be accountability mechanisms within parties; positioning of women, gender wars within parties and women’s voice within parties.

Subtheme 2: ‘Earning Our Trust: Holding your Leaders Accountable’. This theme will focus on what it takes to demand accountability from leaders. It will include a presentation of a case study highlighting how leaders have successfully been held accountable in different areas other than politics.

Subtheme 3: ‘Women Holding up Half the Sky: Success Stories from Rwanda’ will be the third theme. Rwanda boasts of having the biggest numbers of women in decision-making. This theme will provide the opportunity to share the strategies that have been used to ensure the high numbers of women in Rwanda and will offer some inspiration to the women of Uganda as they struggle for parity. The possibility of replication of strategies used in Rwanda will be explored. The conversation of the involvement of young people in leadership is a critical one. A panel of young leaders will discuss ‘Passing on the Baton’ Specific focus will be on the opportunities and challenges of the next generation of leaders.

Political parties have been ‘operational’ in Uganda for the last five years; however, women’s involvement in politics has remained minimal. No of party has achieved the agreed quotas for women’s representation in their manifestos. More generally, party manifestos, constitutions and strategic plans do not have concrete commitments to women. During the conference women will meet with their political party leaders, discuss, and agree on the strategies to improve political parties’ accountability to women.

Expected outputs of the Women in politics Conference

i. Vibrant debates on women and politics

ii. Linkages formed between organisations and individuals

iii. Communiqué to leaders of political parties

iv. A women’s political agenda set for 2011 and beyond

Expected outcomes of the Women in politics Conference

i. Accountability to women in political parties improved

ii. Visibility of women in politics enhanced

iii. Partnerships on common goals among women from different regions developed.

Target group

The conference will be attended by100 women politicians at national, district and sub county level from all over Uganda, individuals from women’s NGOs, young women, women in post-conflict areas and women with disabilities.

For more information about the conference, contact FOWODE on P.O Box 7176, Kampala Uganda, Tel: +(256) 041 4 28063, Emails: fowode@utlonline.co.ug/fowode@fowode.org

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