Male legislators launch own platform to advocate for gender related issues

Hon.Kintu Brandon, the chairperson UMEPA emphasized that the initiative is not here to fight.

Hon.Kintu Brandon, the chairperson UMEPA emphasized that the initiative is not here to fight.

KAMPALA – Male Members of Parliament have launched a platform dubbed the Uganda Men Parliamentary Association (UMEPA). The MPs said the forum will bring together Men in the house to advocate for their gender-related issues.

Alex Brandon Kintu, the Member of Parliament for says the platform has not come to enhance male superiority but to bridge a gap between men and women.

Legislators who attended the launch in Kampala on Thursday noted that male MPs have been suffering domestic violence in silence with nowhere to run for rescue. Some MPs revealed that they are sometimes beaten by their wives and denied conjugal rights at home.

Mbwatekamwa Gaffa, the Igara West Legislator, a strong advocate of the rights of the boy child, says the forum will mitigate issues of DNA, where men are taken advantage of by their wives to look after children that are not biologically their offspring.

Many times, the Speaker of Parliament has complained of MPs who neglect their children and wives when they ascend to parliament. Still, Male MPs believe that this association shall provide a forum where such women can report their husbands.

The event was graced by several women members of Parliament, who endorsed the association for their counterparts, saying it’s a good platform where male MPs who perpetuate violence against women can be brought to order.

The chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission Safia Nalule Juuko underscored the involvement of men in the quest for gender equality.

The minister of state for the elderly Dominic Gidudu Mafabi launched the Uganda Men Parliamentary Association with the call for men to advance their involvement in family work.

The association was launched with support from Uganda Youth and Adolescent Health Forum (UYAHF), a youth-led advocacy group established to address the health and livelihood needs of young people in Uganda.

Joyce Nakato, the Project Officer at UYAHF said the platform will help to challenge the negative social norms in the communities.

She said so many young people go through so many challenges including drug abuse, unemployment, child marriage, and teen pregnancies.

“Whenever we are giving support to the girl child, we shouldn’t leave out the boy child because we believe that boys too play an important role to our nation,” she said.

She commended the male for launching the platform.

“We have always wanted to see something that is putting the men as people as people who are very important to the nation and that take the lead in the development. We commit to continue working with you especially the association to help challenge the negative social norms.”

UMEPA comes against the backdrop of the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) caucus comprising all Women Members of Parliament which was established during the 5th Parliament (1989 – 1994) with the aim of engendering the legislative process, creating awareness on women’s rights, encouraging lobby and advocacy, networking, training and ensuring organizational capacity building.

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