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President Museveni Calls for Economic Empowerment to Overcome Challenges Facing Women


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President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has called upon Ugandans to work towards achieving wealth for all in order to deal with the challenges affecting women.

“We are moving well but we must move faster. What we want is wealth for all of us. If we have wealth for all, we shall not be having challenges facing women. We shall not be selling our girls in the form of bride price,” President Museveni said.

The President made the remarks today while officiating at the International Women’s Day 2024 Celebrations, held at Boma Grounds, Katakwi District.

The celebrations ran under the theme: “Accelerating Gender Equality Through Women Economic Empowerment”.

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According to the President, many families have the potential to be rich because they have land and they must use that natural resource to fight under-development through commercial agriculture with “ekibaaro” (calculation).

“Once families develop, even this issue of women emancipation will not be there. Women emancipation must be organic not through legislation,” he said.

The President also urged leaders to work towards transforming the lives of Ugandans, explaining that the much-desired socio-economic transformation can only be achieved through two ways which include; mass education and getting every adult into the money economy.

“When people are educated, it is much easier to know what to do than when they are not educated. That is why NRM introduced free education in government schools.But the elite group is against free education. The school managers who are not supervised properly by their leaders’ introduced charges and that is how children drop out of school and some of those who drop out are girls. We are soon introducing a new campaign to enforce free education in schools,” he said.

President Museveni further advised the women’s movement to ensure free education for all in order to set the girl child free from any impediments.

“To consolidate the emancipation of the girl child you must insist on the free education in government schools. The rich people can take their children to private schools,” he said.

“The Second channel is ending the phenomenon of working only for the stomach. If you want the whole society to move, including women, implement the program of the NRM of working for food and income security with ekibaaro. Ensure that families get involved in commercial agriculture with ekibaaro, in artisanship and industries, services and ICT. This is the way to empower women and also men.”

President Museveni further expounded that there may be some residual problems of balancing but if the whole society has moved progressively, it is very easy to deal with the challenges of women.

“There have been success stories of socio-economic transformation in the country. In the cattle corridor, the families have moved out of poverty because of commercialisation and industrialisation of the dairy sector. In Kalangala people have moved out of poverty due to the oil palm project and in Bundibugyo people have moved out of poverty because of cocoa, palm oil and coffee growing.”

President Museveni on the other hand, assured the people of Teso that the government is going to expand the fruit factory in Soroti so that it is able to buy all their citrus.

“In addition to citrus, I want to encourage fish and dairy farming, then poultry and those who want pigs can go for them also.”

The President also commended the Vice President, H.E Jessica Alupo for leading an economic war in Teso and acting as a role model for the girl child.


President Museveni informed the gathering of how grateful he feels to attend the International Women’s Day which he said brings him great joy.

“When I come for these occasions, I’m very happy to see what people were laughing at is now a serious movement,” H.E Museveni noted while recalling the importance of recruiting women in the national forces which never used to be the case like in the 1978/79 war against Idi Amin.

“Following the defeat of Idi Amin, the challenge arose when forming a unified army with other groups, as some undermined the role of women within the military. Nevertheless, we affirmed that women were capable marksmen, dispelling any doubts about their abilities.

Now you can see all this compound is full of women,” Gen. Museveni observed.

“When you talk about stability now in Uganda, we have a stronger army, strong national institutions, and a strong political party that can win in the first round with more than 60%,” H.E Museveni added.

On the issue of political leadership, the President said Uganda is one of the few countries that has embraced women in key leadership positions.

President Museveni also signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) aimed at building capacity and supporting women entrepreneurs under the Generating Growth Opportunities and Productivity for Women Enterprises (GROW) project.

At least Shs9 billion GROW funds was also given out to women in business in four districts of Katakwi, Kaabong, Lira and Amuria.

During the same event, 53 exemplary Ugandans were awarded for their immense contribution to Uganda.

Among the noticeable people who received medals include the H.E Jessica Alupo and Mr. Amos Mukisa who pursued and captured assailants who murdered the Ndiga clan head, Eng. Daniel Bbosa who was shot dead last month near his home in Lungujja, Rubaga Division.

Mr. Mukisa was accompanied by his colleague, Mr. Abdul Katabaazi with whom they executed the mission. Mr. Katabaazi was awarded with the Nalubaale medal by President Museveni on 4th March, 2024 at State House, Entebbe for his bravery in capturing the killers.

On her part, the Vice President, H.E Jessica Alupo praised President Museveni for his dedicated and strategic leadership that has enabled the promotion of women emancipation and empowerment.

“I congratulate you, Your Excellency and all the people of Uganda upon commemorating the International Women’s Day 2024. Your Excellency, this year’s theme resonates very well with the strides the NRM government has made in the inclusivity of women and girls in the development of the country,” H.E Alupo said.

“The women and girls are the biggest beneficiaries of peace and security you have established in Uganda, access to Education through UPE and USE is the component that has brought the girl children to the limelight that has enabled them to compete favourably with men,” she added.

The Vice President also noted that the special development programs put up by the NRM government have enabled women to manage and grow their businesses, thus promoting economic prosperity.

“The NRM government also came up with conducive laws that have enabled women to get protection from abuse.”

H.E Alupo further pledged to the President that as women, they are committed to continue working with the government to socially and economically transform Uganda.

“We do commit to continue extending our support to you in the 2026 elections,” she emphasised.

The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon. Betty Amongi said the policies and programs of the NRM government under the stewardship of President Museveni have supported affirmative action that has promoted women empowerment and emancipation.

“You have always advised us to focus on tackling the root causes of women disempowerment and emphasise women empowerment,” the Minister said.

“Affirmative action has paid off. Our mandate as Gender Ministry has enabled us to focus on programs that empower women like Parish Development Model (PDM), Emyooga, GROW, among other programs.”

On the other hand, Hon. Amongi explained that GROW aims to unlock the potential of women entrepreneurs in Uganda and the project supports a multi-sectoral program of customised services that empower women entrepreneurs and transition their enterprises, from micro to small and, from small to medium, as well as improve their productivity.

The Minister of State for Gender and Culture, Hon. Peace Mutuuzo appreciated President Museveni for prioritising women in the socio-economic transformation endeavours of the country.

“Your Excellency, as women of Uganda we are privileged to be here with you as we celebrate the contribution of women to the development of Uganda,” she said.

“Ugandans are firmly behind you as you take the lead in transforming Uganda.”

The UN Resident Coordinator to Uganda, Ms. Susan Namondo Ngongi congratulated the government of Uganda for the progress it has made in promoting gender equality and empowerment in Uganda.

“Uganda’s legal framework is really robust in promoting gender equality. We continue to invest in the programs that really empower women in Uganda. As UN, we remain committed to work with the government of Uganda to accelerate progress in the country,” Ms. Namondo said.

The Ambassador of Austria to Uganda, H.E Katja Yvonne Kerschbaumer, who represented the development partners in Uganda commended President Museveni for his strong interest and unwavering support towards promoting gender equality in Uganda.

“Participation of women in socio-economic transformation is key in inclusive economic growth of the country,” she said.


She however noted that there are still some gender gaps in labour force and economic empowerment as well as other challenges like social and cultural norms and gender-based violence that hinder the progress and advancements of women in the country.

“Advancing gender equality is a key priority to achieve equitable growth,” Ambassador Yvonne added.

“Together with the government of Uganda, we are committed to investing in gender equality to ensure that no one is left behind.”

The National Women’s Council-Uganda Chairperson, Hajjat Faridah Kibowa thanked President Museveni for his unwavering commitment of championing women empowerment and emancipation in all spheres of society.

“I can assure you that the women are proud of you, and you remain as our choice in 2026,” Hajjat Kibowa said.

“This year, the National Women’s Council celebrates 30 years of existence, and the council produces excellent women capital ready for your deployment any time,” she further informed the President.

Hajjat Kibowa however decried the existing challenge of gender-based violence in Uganda.

“To deal with this challenge we must advocate for programs that promote Gender equality and women empowerment,” she urged.

The function was also attended by the Chief Justice, His Lordship, Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja, the 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Community Affairs, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, 3rd Deputy Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Rukia Nakadama, Ministers, Members of Parliament, members of the Diplomatic Corps, religious and traditional leaders, among other dignitaries.


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