Africa MPs moot marriage, succession & property laws

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Hon Anifa Kawooya making her contribution at the Women's Caucus debate at the PAP.

The 3rd Deputy Chairperson of the Women Caucus at the Pan African Parliament, Hon. Anifa Kawooya, has called for the follow up and implementation of the numerous laws and resolutions passed by national assemblies and conferences that are geared towards the respect of women’s rights.

Kawooya, who was speaking at the 12th Pan African Parliament Women Conference, said several resolutions adopted at the end of conferences are meant to improve the lives of women in Africa.

“We have many nice laws about women in most countries in Africa, like Rwanda, Ethiopia and Uganda is also following them. We have spoken and now should start acting,” she said.

The two day conference under the theme: 2019, the year of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons: towards durable solutions to forced displacement in Africa, is being held at the Pan African Parliament headquarters in Midrand, South Africa, 14 – 15 October 2019.

The session was discussing ‘Promoting women rights: discussions on strategies for the implementation of women’s rights particular reference to the Maputo Protocol, the situation of women refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons.’

Hon. Kawooya however decried the lack of government commitment and political will, which are required to advance the rights of women.

The conference, held annually during the October session of the Pan African Parliament, brings together women legislators and individuals from the civil society mostly involved in promotion of women rights.

In addition to Uganda’s two female representatives to the PAP, Kawooya (NRM, Sembabule district) and Hon. Jacquiline Amongin (NRM, Ngora district), the country was represented by the Chairperson of the Uganda Women Parliamentarians, Hon. Pamela Kamugo (NRM, Budaka district), Hon. Robina Rwakoojo (NRM, Gomba) and Hon. Justine Khainza (NRM, Bududa district).

Hon. Kamugo appealed to governments and parliaments to pass relevant laws that protect women’s rights including laws on marriage, succession, and ownership of property like land.

“Some countries have not passed women’s rights laws. In Uganda we are still struggling with passing the succession law,” she said.

She also urged governments to consider women refugees taking up jobs in fields where their skills are applicable.

The 2nd PAP Vice President, Hon. Haidara Aichata Cisse, opened the conference and advocated for the teaching of peace studies in schools for children to grow up with knowledge and desire of peaceful resolution of conflict. She also called for cultural diplomacy as an approach to resolving conflict through acknowledging and appreciating the cultural differences among communities.

Hon. Aichata Cisse said that PAP had established committees comprising MPs and persons from the civil society to follow up on resolutions and laws in the different countries, but were hampered by lack of funds. She promised that the Bureau would consider how to reconstitute and fund the committees.

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