Specioza Kazibwe – Uganda

Linked with our presentation of African Women Committee on Peace and Development AWCDP.

She says: “My mission is to see the emancipation of rural women through functional skills development and access to micro-financing to ensure internally generated improvement.”

Specioza Naigaga Wandira Kazibwe was the elected Vice President of Uganda, serving from 1994 until 2003, being the first woman in Africa to hold that position. Dr. Kazibwe has been an advocate for women in their position in Africa. In collaboration with the Organization of African Unity and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, she founded the African Women Committee on Peace and Development (AWCDP) in 1998 to help enable women’s participation in peace and development processes on the continent, an organization which she has chaired. Dr. Kazibwe has also been chair or a member of various national interest groups, including the Senior Women’s Advisory Group on the Environment, the Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited, and the Uganda Women Doctors Association. In 1998, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) awarded her the “Ceres Medal” for her “contribution to food security and poverty eradication” (see wikipedia).

Specioza Kazibwe – Uganda

As Africa’s highest-ranking female politician she tackles wife-beating taboo. She had spoken out about the beatings which she said were responsible for her separation from her husband. Wife-beating is not uncommon in Uganda where culture dictates that a man overrules a woman in every decision in a home. (Read the rest of this article on this page of BBCnews).

Dr Kazibwe has dedicated her life to “advancing women, reducing poverty and the high level of illiteracy, and promoting social justice.” Since her election as Ugandan Vice-President in 1994 she focused her objectives on women’s concerns, on reducing the high level of illiteracy and on promoting social justice in her country. A great deal of her time and energy goes into advocating for affirmative action for women and other marginalised groups, including the elderly and disabled. An educated woman herself, she feels that education is the key to the emancipation of women in Uganda. Her position in the government provided in her a role model to girls throughout the country. It also underlined the role of women in the overall development of society. Indeed her active campaigning for gender, peace and development issues contributed to the creation of the AWCPD, a committee jointly established by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), to which Committee Dr Kazibwe is currently chairperson. The Committee aims to bring women into the mainstream of efforts to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts, while ensuring their full and active participation in development initiatives at the highest decision-making level. Dr Kazibwe is an active member of a wide range of local organisations. She is Chairperson of the Senior Women’s Advisory Group (SWAG) on the environment, and a member of both the Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited (UWEAL) and the Uganda Women Doctors Association. She is current Chairperson of the newly created African Women’s Committee on Peace and Development (AWCPD). (Read all on Kituo cha katiba).

She first began serving the administration of Yoweri Museveni in 1989, when she was appointed Deputy Minister for Industry. In from 1991 to 1994, she was Minister for Gender and Community Development. Dr. Kazibwe was born 1 July 1995 in the Iganga District of Eastern Uganda. She studied medicine at Makerere University in Kampala. She has four children from her first husband and has adopted several other children. (Read the rest of her bio on wikipedia).

… She publicly critiqued the romantic prowess of African men. Once she made headlines after complaining that the socks of male members of Parliament smelled.
But nothing approached the public opprobrium following Ms. Kazibwe’s decision to leave her husband of 20 years. “Enough is enough,” she said in a March speech before filing for divorce on the grounds that Charles Kazibwe had routinely beaten her, philandered, and fathered two children by another woman. Nearly 10 months later, she has resigned and left the country. But her influence is still felt as Uganda debates new laws that would outlaw marital rape, ease divorce for women, grant property rights to wives, and regulate polygamy, which remains common throughout Africa … (See the whole article on Christian Science Monitor).

links:

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Top African Woman steps down;

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa described in wikipedia;

The Perils Of Being VP Kazibwe;

Answers.com.

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