Civil society organizations have requested the government to strengthen women’s labor rights and well-being in the informal sector.
They made these remarks during a policy dialogue which is organized by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) with the officials from the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development, Equal opportunities Commission, Parliament, Uganda Bureau of Statistics, women’s groups in the informal sector, and civil society organizations.
The discussions were part of a series of engagements that followed an ICRW multi-country scoping study in 2021 that assessed the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on informal women workers in Uganda and Kenya’s urban areas.
The policy dialogue and study are part of ICRW’s efforts to advance women’s economic empowerment, the funds of this given by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
This work is creating proof in order to strengthen programs for women working in the informal sector.
According to Peggy Clark, CEO and President of ICRW, this is a critical time to address the multi-layered impact of COVID-19 on women in both manners “formal and informal” work in Uganda and Kenya worldwide.
This is high time that government, the private sector, civil society organizations, and women groups can come united in a bid to create solutions that will address the current challenges, but, at the same time, it will be systematic and standardized inequities that perpetually serve as barriers for women in the world of work.
According to the studies of ICRWs, which revealed that due to COVID-19, women in Uganda make up three-quarters percent of the labor force in the informal sector due to ease of entry and exit, at the same time, flexibility of informal work in housing women’s childbearing roles and care responsibilities.
Moreover, research revealed the women’s vulnerability, their uncommon income flows, and pre-existing challenges – such as gender-based violence, which increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The aim of the discussions was to obtain these challenges to light and to urge the policy actors present to address them, as well as to ensure that social protection for women in the informal sector is formalized and meaningfully addresses the challenges women face.
These initiatives were discussed, while other initiatives to address underlying inequities and long-term solutions began to take shape.
According to Naome Wandera, ICRW’s Africa’s Senior Research and Evaluation Specialist, to make change for women, their families and communities, and the local and global economies, we need to gather all stakeholders under one rooftop to examine the solutions that work. Today’s discussion was a promising one. Everyone at the table is awarded in women’s economic empowerment and is committed to working together towards that goal.
Apollo Onzoma from the ministry of Gender reported that the ministry has established a single registry for social protection about data management in all sectors and encouraged everyone in the informal sector to get involved in the National Social Security Fund Act.
According to Irene Nafungo of the Equal Opportunities Commission, a government agency responsible for ensuring equal opportunities for all, informal women workers are among the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in society because they are not socially protected and have limited access to funds.
According to Flavia Rwabuhoro Kabahenda, the Kyegegwa District Woman MP that the idea of social policy is a new paradigm taking the right course.
According to Kabahenda, the Uganda Women’s Parliamentarians Association, all women in all sectors and their needs/issues are catered for. They articulate women’s issues to ensure that they are gendered.