In December 2019, as the keynote speaker at the first ever Karamoja Women’s Conference, I asked women of Karamoja thus:
“Through a qualitative lens, are you, the women of Karamoja, convinced that the two Karimojong men in Cabinet are able and are fully equipped to represent the Karimojong women’s voice during policy initiation and discussion sessions in Cabinet?
What about the two men of Bantu ancestry currently appointed ministers for Karamoja Affairs? Are they the ones that are the most qualified and most competent to present, defend and advocate for the views of Karimojong women, during Cabinet sessions?”
Read more in CRY KARAMOJA WOMEN
And now I have the answers to my questions, not only in word, but in the achievements of the women of Karamoja who post conference did all that it took, including petitioning the appointing authorities.
And within a short period of time, from having no Karimojong women in the Cabinet, for the first time in the history of the nation state Uganda, we now have two:
Hon. Anyakun Esther Davinia, State Minister in the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness and Refugees
Hon. Akello Rose Lilly, State Minister in the Directorate of Ethics and Integrity in the Office of the President of the Republic of Uganda.
Celebrating the appointment of Karimojong women into the Cabinet for the first time in the history of Uganda, Lomuria Konyen Betty wrote:
“Ija Alinga Norah Owaraga the women are celebrating, kindly join us for your key note address provoked women and you led the women through this conversation during the conference.”
You see, during my keynote address, in the section of my speech, “ARISE WOMEN OF KARAMOJA, MAKE HISTORY”, I asked:
“Since most ministers are chosen from elected members of parliament (MPs), does Karamoja not have women MPs? We do? What is wrong with our women MPs that the appointing authority does not entrust them with government ministerial duties? Or is the problem the appointing authority?”
And again, now we have the answers to my questions.
I am thrilled for we all need affirmation. And of course, I am happy that the Women of Karamoja are rising! Hearty congratulations to the women of Karamoja who took our conversations forward into action; and to the wider women’s movement of Karamoja.