First lady calls for women empowerment to fight poverty


Kyankwanzi. First Lady, Janet Kataha Museveni, has called for the empowerment of women and the girl child to help less privileged groups out of poverty. Ms Museveni made the call on April 18 during the belated International Women’s Day celebrations in Ntwetwe Town Council, Kyankwanzi District. In her speech delivered by Lands minister, Judith Nabakooba, the First Lady asked women leaders and those of influence to uplift their counterparts and the vulnerable.

“Let us create awareness to help women utilise the resources provided to them under the current Parish Development Model,” the First Lady said. She implored the women of Kyankwanzi to form a Saaco to promote economic empowerment and asked them to ensure no woman is left out. “This way, we create a sense of sisterhood that is centered on bringing everyone to the place where we can all benefit from the prevailing socio-economic transformation,” H.E Kataha said as she supported the Saaco with Shs50 million.

The First Lady urged leaders to ensure the right beneficiaries receive their PDM cash and are guided on the utilization and recovery of these funds, saying it is through these initiatives that vulnerable women are uplifted, making sure they are included and have a voice at the decision-making tables. In her docket as the Lands minister, Nabakooba gave hope to the residents of Kyankwanzi who expressed fear of eviction from their land.

“President Museveni issued a directive to the district security committee led by the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), not to allow any forceful evictions,” Nabakooba said.
She said no persons should claim ownership of the land without legal documents which have to first be subjected to the lands ministry for verification. “We have seen forgeries especially in the land sector with the intention to grab people’s land. We therefore need to verify their authenticity.”

She asked the residents to work closely with the ministry to ensure their land issues are resolved. Christine Bukenya Ssendawula, Kyankwanzi Woman Member of Parliament, appreciated the first lady for her kind heart and empowering women. She revealed that they are going to start up a bank coined ‘Maama’ Bank to provide credit to women in the district without asking them for collateral.

“I am going to ensure that I top up on what the first lady has given us to make Shs100 million and we start borrowing this money to empower our women economically,” Ms Bukenya said.
She called upon women to get PDM money and startup commercial agriculture to produce food for both home consumption and surplus for sale. Kyankwanzi has 21 registered groups of women throughout the district who have benefited in Uganda Women Empowerment Programme (UWEP), PDM, and Emyooga.

Hajat Faridah Kibowa, the chairperson of the National Women’s Council (NWC), asked the ladies to be hardworking and invest in projects that will generate incomes to change their living standards. She pledged to organize an economic empowerment seminar to tip Kyankwanzi women with developmental information. “The seminar will be organized before this quarter ends and we shall ensure local leaders at all levels attend to disseminate the information to all women,” she said.

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