Minister urges girls to take sciences to compete for job slots
MBARARA – Minister of State for Gender and Culture Peace Regis Mutuuzo has encouraged girls in the country to study sciences if they are to compete favourably with men for scarce jobs.
While meeting chairpersons for the women’s councils in the western region in Mbarara City, Mutuuzo, appealed to parents to push their girls for sciences if they are to get good earning jobs.
This comes at a time when Ugandan women are yet to join the rest of the world on March 8, 2023, to celebrate International Women’s Day [IWD] under the theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”.
This year’s national theme for IWD is “Addressing the DigitAll Divide the gender gaps in transforming and in assessing achievement of STEM” which stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Mutuuzo said the myth of saying that women are inferior and have weak brains to study science courses should stop thus urging parents to encourage their girl children to take up science subjects.
“I want to appeal to women and youths to take sciences seriously because our economy is right now stagnating. And it is girls who suffered most during Covid-19.”
She added that studying sciences would also help women to utilise Africa’s minerals and become wealthy.
“Africa is one of the continents that are rich in minerals and we want to have our own children study science so that they can participate in the sector by adding value to the minerals mined.”
“We don’t want to export raw gold. We want to export its products like jewellery so that we can create more jobs for Uganda’s population.”
She said the government has constructed a dairy factory in Sanga, Kiruhura district that will be commissioned by President Yoweri on International Women’s Day to allow women to add value to the dairy products from livestock.
She also appealed to men not to look at women as marriage materials but rather support them in financial inclusion.
She Sid the number of women in science fields is lower than that of men. “Out of about 6,800 medical practitioners in Uganda, women are just 2,000 and among the scientist engineers women only constitute about 20 percent yet women have the same brain as men. We must change the mindset that we women cannot do sciences,” Mutuuzo added.
She pledged to engage government to have a policy where 40 percent of the government procurement is reserved for women entrepreneurs.
This idea of engaging women in basket-making is not good. Women can run factories or engage in mega investment projects. We shall make a law and policy for them to take shares in government procurement.
She also encouraged district women leaders to continue mobilising other women to embrace government programmes like the Parish Development Model (PDM] and Ugnd Women Entrepreneurship Programme [PUWEP].
“As women leaders, you should be working with the district chief administrative officers s and district community development officers to ensure that women’s programmes are well monitored and supervised,” she said.
Jennifer Kengaju, chairperson of the women’s council Bunyangabo district said UWEP has transformed a number of families in the district.
However, she said the funds are not enough, urging government to provide more so that all women in the communities benefit.
“Since the inception of UWEP in 2014, Bunyangabo received about Shs 670 million and the recovery is about shs 250mln. “Women are loyal and good at utilising the government funds but the programme has not reached most of them in the district because the funds are few compared to the beneficiaries,” she said.
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