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Kadaga: Why I can’t leave speaker job for a man

Speaker candidates Jacob Oulanyah, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda and Rebecca Kadaga. Courtesy Photos

Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga told a meeting of women leaders in Kampala on March 25 that it wouldn’t be prudent for her to quit the speaker office for a man yet males dominate majority of top government positions.

On Thursday, Kadaga opened a ‘Women in Politics Conference,’ organised by FOWODE in Kampala.

In her remarks, Kadaga told women their struggle was still on, urging them “to put in more time in our mission’ because “the journey is still long and we must work harder.”

She then rebuked Women MPs and other high ranking politicians who are telling her to leave the speaker race for a man.

Kadaga launched her reelection bid at Speke Resort Munyonyo on March 24.

She seeks to retain the speaker position, the third topmost in the country’s political hierarchy after the president and vice president.

Kadaga is the incumbent speaker, after taking over from now 10-year-long vice president Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi in 2011.

Before becoming speaker, Kadaga was Speaker Ssekandi’s deputy.

In the race due in May 2021, Kadaga is facing her deputy Oulanyah, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, and Democratic Party (DP) Bukoto Central MP-elect Richard Ssebamala.

Some MPs like outgoing Kiboga Woman Representative and government chief whip Ruth Nankabirwa have been telling Kadaga to respect National Resistance Movement (NRM) Central Executive Committee (CEC) 2016 decision for her to stand down for her deputy Oulanyah to take over after she has served her 10 years.

Kadaga swore not to leave the third highest job in the land for a man yet males already dominated the top 29 leadership positions.

“It’s however sad to note that some women join the patriarchal bandwagon and try to pull sisters down! In my case, it’s surprising to hear some women say that I should cede the Speakership to a male; and yet out of 29 topmost national leadership positions in this country, only one is occupied by a woman,” said Kadaga.

“We still need this position because it’s part of the space in which policies, legislation and budgeting — which impact us as a gender — are made. For example, the Gender and Equity Budgeting law — the only one of its kind in the world — did not just happen. It took me, and other women, a total of 11 years to have it enacted.”

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