Byanyima Dedicates Honorary Doctorate to Deceased Mom

Former Mbarara Member of Parliament last night paid an emotional tribute to her deceased mother Gertrude Byanyima, drugs who together with her grandmother she said, viagra order shaped her current successes as a celebrated champion of women’s rights and emancipation.

Mrs. Byanyima, what is ed who is the current Executive Director of the London – based Oxfam International was Wednesday night awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Manchester, where she obtained her Bachelors degree in aeronautical engineering to become the first female Ugandan aeronautical engineer.

This was during the university’s Foundation Day celebrations where it marked its inauguration day in 2004. According to Vice Chancellor Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, this is their most prestigious day on the calendar.

Prof Nancy said of Mrs. Byanyima, “We are proud to say she is one of our graduates.”

When called upon to deliver the night’s key note address, Mrs. Byanyima used the opportunity to extol her late mother and her grandmother, on whose shoulders she said she still stands, although she took a different path from their old time struggles.

Gertrude Byanyima passed away at Mulago Hospital in Kampala in November 2008, where she was rushed with a stroke.

The former National Resistance Army combatant recalled that her mother was taken away from her mother aged only five, and was raised and educated by French Canadian nuns.

“The catholic convent where she spent her livelihood may not seem the most radical of political environments but in many ways it was,” she said.


“She became a teacher at the time of independence and developed an art of nation building. She understood that she could have a public voice.

“When she married and had children and gave up teaching, she didn’t lose her sense of public role. She went into community organizing, founded women village clubs, fighting for girls’ education and against early marriage.”

Byanyima says her mother opened a hardware store in Mbarara town; not just a first business on the High Street owned by a woman, but the first owned by an African and not an Asian.

“I joined my mother in her groups and from this came a conviction that experience of power for a woman is both personal and political.”

Grand mother

Byanyima’s grandmother, she said, overcame a lot more odds to die a very wealth woman well after her 90th birthday.

“My grandmother was born at the beginning of the 20th century; she was married off as a teenager to her father’s good friend as the youngest wife in a polygamous family. This was considered an honor.

“When she was widowed at 23, she suffered the indignity of being inherited by her own step son; A young man of her own age. Her rebellion against this defined the rest of her life. When left to go she left with nothing, not even her children

“She lived a single woman, a pastoral nomad and died well after her 90th birth day a wealthy woman.”

Byanyima noted, “From an inherited widow to a school teacher to an MP, my family story is one of emancipation at a supersonic speed”

“I have devoted my life to organizing politically with women in Africa and now globally. I do that proudly leading Oxfam. Our (family) story is reflective of progress in Africa”

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