Minister of Youth pleads for the empowerment of the boy

Deputy Minister for Youth and Children, Sarah Nyirabashitsi Mateke, said including boys in mentorship programs would help them to become more responsible members of society.

Ms Mateke made the call yesterday during the second staging of the Mentorship and Leadership Program for Women Parliamentarians at the UK High Commissioner’s Residence in Kampala.

The program is funded by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and supported by the British High Commission.

“I was somewhere recently and the boys were testifying that we always put the girls first, but [they] have now proven to us what they can do, which is impregnate girls,” Ms Mateke said.

Ms Mateke’s remarks come at a time when there is a sharp rise in teenage pregnancies, with observers blaming it on pandemic restrictions that have left many young people inactive.

“As we talk about mentorship for girls, let’s not forget about boys either. Let’s lead both,” Ms Mateke stressed, echoing what Vice-President Anita Among told Parliament last week.

At the same ceremony, Ms. Kate Airey, British High Commissioner, stressed the importance of ensuring that knowledge and skills continue to develop, especially among women.

“We need to make sure the talent funnel continues to grow through this system so that we continue to have the best female leaders fighting for women’s rights. That means the sisterhood will continue to thrive…” said Mrs. Airey.

Still in the spirit of sisterhood, Ms. Mateke advised women in high-level positions to mentor those in junior positions. “If you continue to rise on your own, you will leave behind generations of women,” she said.
Ms. Adekemi Ndieli, UN Deputy National Representative for Women, said women in leadership positions should be useful spokespersons.

“These women, including women legislators, can be helpful in advancing the agenda of others who are not at the same level as them,” Ms Ndieli said.

The one-year mentorship and leadership program for women parliamentarians launched yesterday will enable them to effectively carry out their parliamentary roles, promote gender equality and the leadership agenda.

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