An investigation team of 8 women legislators has been appointed to investigate sexual harassment at parliament.
Hon Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, speaker of parliament has established a women’s committee at parliament to conduct investigations into the alleged sexual harassment by their male counterparts.
It’s reported that male legislators sexually harass their female counterparts and other female staff at parliament.
In this team, Kadaga only allotted MPs who have been in parliament for more than once, stating that they know much about parliament and no one will intimidate them.
These includes; former commissioner of parliament and Dokolo woman MP Cecilia Ogwal, Pamela Kamugo Nasiyo Budaka woman MP, Winnie Kiiza, MP Kasese woman MP, Amelia Kyambadde Mawokota MP and Minister of Trade and Industry.
This team of women legislators, is expected to hold a meeting with the Speaker before setting off.
Female personal Assistants at Parliament under their umbrella, Uganda Parliamentarians Personal and Research Assistant Association earlier this month presented a petition before Speaker Kadaga accusing male MPs of sexual harassment.
Daina Bakaire, a member of the Uganda Parliamentarians Personal and Research Assistants Association revealed that many women working for parliamentarians are forced into sex for them to retain their jobs.
Madam speaker on behalf of my fellow members, young girls from universities and secondary schools are finding it hard to keep their jobs at parliament after being sexually exploited but can’t speak out and pleaded the intervention of the Speaker.Bakaire stated
2018 Inter-parliamentary Union report indicated that 40.5% of the women suffered sexual harassment, and 69.2% was from their male counterparts.
50% confessed that they received sexual proposals from 61% of their male counterparts.
Nonetheless, 25% female MPs and 6% parliament staff reported the case.
Gabriel Cuevas, President Inter-parliamentary Union during the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women said that parliamentary politics, sexual harassment and abuse are a widely spread in a male-dominated world.
Today, with more women MPs exposing the extent of the problem, the entire parliamentary community needs to step up and end gender-based violence now in our workplace and beyond.she said
She also said that;
As women parliamentarians, we have heard countless stories from female colleagues of violence, abuse and harassment. We are alarmed and shaken by how endemic this behaviour is –even in the most developed democracies.
Cuevas continued to state that parliaments should be places of unity, trust, safety and respect but not violence.
Parliaments should be places of unity, trust, safety and respect. They represent democracy’s ultimate aspiration of inclusive and participatory politics for every citizen. If the fundamental human rights of women are being constantly violated in parliamentary chambers and workplaces then we, MPs worldwide, have failed our constituents-young and old, and ultimately have made a mockery of the basic tenets of democracy.