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Empowering Women in Politics: Breaking Barriers Amidst Commercialization

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  • This pressing matter was the central focus of a symposium arranged by Akina Mama Wa Afrika in collaboration with Uganda Women's Network, with a specific emphasis on the roles of women in politics and leadership.
  • Phiona Nyamutoro, the Minister of State for Energy and Mineral Development, acknowledged the hardships faced by women across various domains and stressed the necessity of nurturing a supportive environment conducive to women’s progress.

Women engaged in politics and civil society have voiced their concerns about the current state of affairs, condemning the excessive commercialization of politics that effectively marginalizes numerous women from fully engaging in electoral processes and governance.

This pressing matter was the central focus of a symposium arranged by Akina Mama Wa Afrika in collaboration with Uganda Women’s Network, with a specific emphasis on the roles of women in politics and leadership.

During the symposium, Victoria Sekitoleko, a former Minister of Agriculture, highlighted the leadership potential of women but lamented the persistent obstacles they encounter due to the dominance of money-driven election procedures that overshadow substantive issues.

“If you are a young woman contemplating entry into politics, refrain from rushing your decision. Begin preparing now, as your past actions and current endeavors will shape your success. Despite the regrettable monetization of politics, I am confident that Ugandans still value merit. Women must learn effective strategies to overcome these hurdles; it’s not merely about being popular,” she advised.

Phiona Nyamutoro, the Minister of State for Energy and Mineral Development, acknowledged the hardships faced by women across various domains and stressed the necessity of nurturing a supportive environment conducive to women’s progress.

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She emphasized the importance of solidarity among women in understanding their roles and striving towards intentional outcomes. Nyamutoro called for a reassessment of the women’s movement, expressing concern over its waning influence and urging women leaders to devise fresh strategies to rejuvenate its original vitality.

“The essence of the women’s movement has been diluted. We must redefine womanhood and clarify our objectives,” Nyamutoro remarked.

She further highlighted the inadvertent reinforcement of patriarchal norms and advocated for the unity of women from all sectors to actively engage in the movement.

Nyamutoro stressed the importance of women being intentional about their desired outcomes, urging them to assume prominent roles, speak up assertively, and empower one another.

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, former First Lady of Ekiti State in Nigeria and founder of Akina Mama Wa Afrika, delivered a keynote address where she encouraged women to forge networks to surmount these challenges.

She underscored the significance of strategic planning and prioritizing quality over quantity.

Eunice Musiime, the Executive Director at Akina Mama Wa Afrika, drew attention to the financial barriers confronting women in terms of official election registration and campaign funding.

She shed light on the hurdles stemming from the commercialization of politics for women.

“There is much work to be done, but certain changes cannot be realized in the short term. Transforming our political culture and environment is a protracted process. Allow me to address the issue of political monetization. A considerable sum of money is expended on politics and the political process, and few women have access to such funds for voter outreach. We must raise awareness and address this matter,” she asserted.

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