By Najibu Mulema
As we celebrate the International Women’s Day tomorrow on 8th March, Watchdog brings you the 12 Ugandan women which must be honored for their exceptional works towards the development of Uganda as well as their strong fight for Women emancipation.
A lawyer and politician, Kadaga has been in the chair of the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament since 2001, first as a deputy and later as Speaker. She is also the current Member of Parliament (MP) for Kamuli District since 1989. She is known as a king maker in Busoga politics.
On many occasions, Kadaga has stood for women emancipation and has done tooth and nail that women are equally treated like men in all aspects of life.
Janet Kataaha Museveni
You cannot mention women to be honoured on Women’s day in Uganda and you don’t mention Janet Museveni. The lady is a driving force of its own, unlike most First ladies who are comfortable rallying behind their men and doing small charities here and there, kissing sick babies all over the world. Mrs. Museveni took the bull by the horns and joined politics,she is the current Minister of Education and Sports.
Prior she served as Minister for Karamoja and also she is a former MP for Ruhama county. He works has inspired very many young girls in Uganda.
In 2016, Winnie Kizza became the first woman to occupy the position of Leader of Opposition(LoP) that was re-instated in the Ugandan parliament after the country moved from a movement political system to multi-party-ism.
Kiiza followed in the footsteps of fellow FDC leaders such as Prof. Ogenga Latigo, who was Leader of Opposition in the 8th parliament (2006-2011) and Wafula Oguttu and Nandala Mafabi who led the opposition in the 9th parliament.
Kizza who is the woman MP of Kasese is one of the influential women in politics and she has done a lot to fight for women’s rights.
Sarah Kagingo is the former Special Presidential Assistant for Communications at State House and she is the woman who opened the eyes of President’s office that social Media also exists.
She became the second female guild president of Makerere University in 1997 after Norah Njuba making her one of the few women to lead Makerere Guild.
Her achievements as a woman have inspired many young girls to follow her footsteps.
Prof. Lilian Tibatemwa
She was the first woman to acquire the award of full Professorship of Law in East Africa. Currently the deputy vice-chancellor, academic affairs, at Makerere University, Tibatemwa became a full professor in June 2009.
Beatrice Anywar is the current MP of Kitgum and she is also known as Mama Mabira, after the forest she saved from government sale which brought her into the limelight. She has since earned many accolades both local and international and she is of the few strong opposition members.
Dr Maggie Kigozi
Dr Maggie Kigozi has won a lot of acclaim for selling Uganda as a potential investment destination to foreign investors, in her capacity as her as executive director of Uganda Investment Authority – a job she has carried out diligently for the last 11 years. She has also served over the years as the Chancellor of Nkumba University, Chief Scout of the Uganda Scouts Association, Director of the Uganda Export Promotions Board and Crown Beverages, and Focal Point Officer of the Africa Asia Business Forum.
You cannot talk about Journalism in Uganda and not have her name brought up, Nancy recently won the enviable BBC Komla Dumor Award in 2015 that put her at the top of her colleagues in Uganda. She has inspired many young journalists in the country and some have achieved their goals because of her.
Nabagereka Sylvia Nagginda
The Queen of the Buganda Kingdom is one of the most revered women in this country and not just by the Baganda people, but by the rest of Uganda. Through her reign as Queen, the Nabagereka has been vocal about women’s rights, the girl child education and educating the young generation about the Buganda culture. She is not just a Queen but a woman that is leaving a mark on this country.
Someone would regard her as too young to have achieved so much in her 20s, but Flavia is one of the most influential young women in the media business. She started on a children’s show during her teens and has risen to being a news anchor on one of the best prime time television stations.
Miria Koburunga Matembe
Ms Matembe, served as a Minister of Ethics and Integrity from 1998 to 2003. She was dropped from Cabinet after speaking out against a plan to remove term limits in the 1995 Constitution. Right from 1989 when she became a member of the National Resistance Council, Matembe was a strong advocate for women’s rights. She has also served as a member of the Pan African Parliament. She continues to advocate for women’s rights and is a co-founder of the Action for Development, a leading women’s advocacy organization.
Ms Kyambadde was part of the President’s inner circle for over 30 years. She would determine which people and which documents Yoweri Museveni sees, implicitly controlling the outcomes. She is currently MP elect for Mawokota County in Mpigi district as well as Cabinet Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives.
She is one of the few influential women who have been in Ugandan politics for so long so they have seen it all.