President Yoweri Museveni has warned that Africa is unlikely to achieve gender equality in its current pre-capitalist state.
Museveni said Tuesday that gender equality can only be achieved in societies that have transformed and modernised.
Speaking at this year’s International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) in Nairobi, Museveni said while Uganda is committed to attaining gender equality, a lot needs to be done first to economically transform society.
“You cannot keep a pre-capitalist society in existence and you think you will easily achieve gender equality and other goals,” Museveni said.
“Even Europe has only made these strides after their societies transformed. As recent as 1911, women were not allowed to vote in the UK. You cannot keep a traditional society and then make it achieve middle-class goals.”
He added, “Job creation is therefore important in the gender equality push because jobless people are vulnerable and susceptible to exploitation. Even good laws would run into implementation challenges if there are no jobs.”
Museveni in his speech called on people, to engage the elders as consultants when making a case for gender equality.
“I say this as a veteran husband, father, grandfather and freedom fighter,” he said.
“Otherwise Uganda is committed to ending child marriages, teenage pregnancy, all forms of gender-based violence and reduce unmet access to family planning methods from 28% currently to 10% by 2020. Uganda will also operationalise the national sexuality educational policy framework that the ministry of education launched in 2018. We will do this while upholding positive cultural and religious values of our country.”
The conference at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, which this year marks its 25th anniversary, attracted over 800 delegate to discuss among others reproductive health and human rights.
The summit is a platform that brings together governments, United Nation agencies, civil society, private sector organisations, women’s groups and youth networks.
Attending delegates have the opportunity to discuss and agree on actions to accelerate the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action, which is critical to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.