During the past two election periods, I have heard from a section of voters say: Mwe abakazi mwe mutusibyeko Museveni. Literally translated as: It’s you women that have kept Museveni in power despite our disapproval. Women have stood with President Yoweri Museveni and the NRM party at every election. There are good reasons for this historic voting pattern which most people know but at times choose to ignore.
Before 1986, the place of the woman was the kitchen. Women were seen as creatures meant to entertain society and more so men. Worse still, during the Idd Amin and Obote II regimes, many a woman will tell you how it was difficult to go past road blocks mounted by soldiers without getting raped. Such was the situation of women in the Pearl of Africa.
Out of despair, some women surrendered their youthful years and beauty into the jungles of Luwero after learning that there were patriotic Ugandans that had also sacrificed to liberate this country. Our senior women like Maj. Gen. Nalweyiso, Hon. Gatrude Njuba, the late Joy Mirembe will tell you that it was not for fun that they went to the bush at the prime of their lives.
After five years in the jungles of Luwero, under the leadership of President Yoweri Museveni, the women of Uganda started to witness tremendous change. Since 1986 we have seen women bring out their God-given potential in various fields.
The Right Honourable Rebecca Kadaga, as Speaker of both the 9th and 10th Parliament, has made us proud as women. Allen Kagina’s success story in Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) speaks for itself and we hope she will do the same in Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA). Jennifer Musisi as the Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority is flying the women flag higher and her work has restored the pride of Kampala.
Today, women know their rights too well that you would be mistaken to play around with them. Women have the courage and confidence to compete with men in almost all fields of life.
In the past, it was not common to see smart ladies dressed in police or army uniforms. But these days the beautiful faces of young police and army officers in their smart uniforms has become now the face of the forces.
Therefore as the country prepares for a historic referendum, the side on which the women of Uganda will stand is very clear, and that is the side on which the son of Kaguta will stand. Numbers don’t lie. Now that democracy is the game of numbers, women alone are enough to have President Yoweri Museveni and the NRM carry the day in the fourth coming referendum.
When you have women on your side you will never have it wrong when it comes to winning an election. Our colleagues in the opposition should brace for a resounding defeat. The NRM government having introduced the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Program that has given chance to the rural women to stand on her own, don’t expect such a woman to gamble with her vote on a side she is not sure of.
Lastly, Ugandans have every reason to join the rest of the world to celebrate the international women’s day. This years’ theme; Empowering the Rural Women and Girls; Opportunities and Challenges” is spot on. Emphasis must be put on uplifting the rural woman and girl so that they can realize their full potential. Remember that when you empower a woman you have empowered the whole nation.