On Wednesday October 11th 2017, Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE) brought together Members of Parliament (MPs) from education and health committees for a workshop on gender and equity budgeting. The interactive workshop, facilitated by Eric Tumwesigye, led to an exciting dialogue between the MPs on gender and equity.
With her opening remarks, FOWODE’s Patricia Bamanyaki pointed out that the main objective of the training was to enhance the capacities of MPs to execute their role of ensuring compliance of gender and equity in Ministerial Policy Statements and Budget Framework Papers.
Through a series of activities, Tumwesigye informed the MPs on the importance of tackling stereotypes, the difference between equity and equality as well as the key gender and equity issues to prioritize in the year 2018-2019 (FY2018/19).
The main activity that led to a heated discussion, required participants to write one word describing a typical man and one word describing a typical woman. Tumwesigye then asked the MPs to exchange notes and discuss whether they agreed with the describing word or not. Many of the words used to describe a typical man included leader, commander, father and animal. On the other hand, the words used to describe a typical woman were servant, caretaker and submissive. As the group debated, they realized that Tumwesigye was showing them the importance of discussing and dispelling stereotypes within their communities.
The workshop ended with the participants coming up with a list of commitments for FY 2018-2019. Within the education sector, some of the priority actions are to construct more schools in hard-to-reach areas and to ensure implementation of government policies such as primary schools in every parish.
Within the health sector, some of the priority actions included establishing youth friendly health services in all health centers and recruiting more midwives.
The MPs present vowed to commit to these actions and ensure that the health and education sectors in the country improve.