Background and Key Issues to the Thematic Pillar: Institutional Mechanisms for the Achievement of Gender Equality
The Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development (MGSLD) is the government machinery for promoting the mainstreaming of gender and women’s rights. The Ministry through various laws, policies and programmes in partnership with the other MDA’s, has embarked on ensuring gender equity and equality. The establishment of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), development of gender oriented sectoral policies, gender guidelines, legal instruments and the gender budgeting initiatives, provides Uganda with a good foundation for mainstreaming gender and promoting the rights of women.
However, there are a number of challenges regarding the institutional mechanism, which hinder it from being effective in achieving gender equity and equality. More needs to be done to increase women’s access to economic opportunities and to build capacities, funding and institutional support to the MGLSD. Access to productive resources for the youth and women should be prioritised, as a means of eradicating poverty and creating sustainable livelihoods and economic growth.
The ultimate success of gender equity and equality can only be measured from results at the lower levels. Hence, the focus should be on increasing local revenue for Local Governments and the promotion of broad-based participation in development, by all stakeholders at all levels. Other issues for consideration are: decentralization, a review of the tendering and procurement processes; capacity building of elected leaders and local communities on the effective participation of women, youth and PWDs in planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation processes.
The MGLSD is too congested with too many marginalised groups and under resourced in terms of human, financial and logistical support. This state of affairs undermines the principle/primary function of promoting mainstreaming gender and women’s rights, in all government institutions. Government needs to review this and develop a structure that is more effective in addressing these gender concerns.
The Change we want to See
1. Decongestion of the MGLSD through institutional restructuring at Ministry level so as to make the MGLSD more effective
2. Establishment of the position of Gender Officers to ensure gender mainstreaming in all sectors and ministries
3. Increased budgetary and financial support to the current MGLSD, to enable it play its role effectively