President Museveni has presided over the International Women’s Day celebrations at Busubizi Primary Teachers College Grounds in Mityana District.
He said women are the base of society, however, for some unknown reasons, old societies decided to marginalise women.
According to the president, NRM does not believe in marginalising women.
“That is why we recruited them in the army at a time when this was unheard of and discouraged.”
He said in 1979, women soldiers in FRONASA were rejected by his partners hence agreeing to disband the women units.
“However in the 1980s because we were fully in-charge, we actively recruited women and we let them participate in the struggle.”
Apart from the army, NRM has empowered women in politics, and created space in political structures, both directly and indirectly.
“In the education system, we have also empowered them, by adding 1.5 points for university entry.”
The president noted that there is a practice of discriminating by parents, regarding inheritance on basis of gender.
“I urge parents to allow girls and widows to inherit property. If they cannot inherit, help them create their own wealth.”
Government has enacted a law that does not allow sale of a matrimonial home without the consent of the wife/woman.
“I want to appeal to the MPs, after they have allocated funds in the national budget to critical sectors like infrastructure, security, health, education to allocate more money to the youth, women and micro finance funds because these will enable women create their own wealth.”
He added: “If we empower women and grow our cottage industries, we shall enhance import substitution and export promotion.”
About infrastructure, the road to Mityana is strained because of heavy cargo trucks.
“We are going to solve this by rationalising transport so that the railway is used for such heavy cargo. We shall repair the old railway line that passes here and also the SGR is coming.”
Petty tax on roadside vendors is inappropriate, Museveni said, proposing taxing what they will be consuming. He said cabinet shall sit and discuss the issue.
Finally, on domestic violence. Men who beat women are foolish and cowardly. Religious institutions should speak against this, the president advised.
“Follow Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her.”
He added: “I ask parents and all leaders to end the practice of early marriages. Girls and boys should only get married after attaining the age of 18.”