Female legislators have vowed to combine efforts and ensure that Speaker Rebecca Kadaga is voted for the third straight term once the 11th Parliament commences.
The development comes a day after a section of Members of Parliament (MPs) openly engaged in a verbal exchange on the floor on how supporters of the Speaker and her deputy Jacob Oulanyah were campaigning for their candidates.
The MPs are expected to vote for the Speaker on May 20 when the 11th Parliament starts its sitting.
During a retreat in Kampala yesterday, the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) executive director, Ms Mary Harriet Lamunu, revealed that they have resolved to back Ms Kadaga as it is the only given assurance that the female fraternity can have to head one of the arms of government.
“We have three arms of government, shall we just sit back and say the women have served for 10 years and say we go back? Whether we win or lose we would have given our line as women. We believe that women understand the challenges that women go through. Society will not speak for us if we don’t position ourselves,” Ms Lamunu said.
She added: “We don’t care whether the Speaker and the deputy are all female. We shall have made our position known as UWOPA because we speak for the woman.”
If elected, Ms Kadaga will be destined to superintend over Parliament as speaker for 15 years.
She has already served twice as the Deputy Speaker under Mr Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi.
Ms Lamunu urged other female Members of Parliament to compete or strategically position themselves for the other leadership positions in Parliament which among others include superintending over committees.
“We are not only going to Parliament, for the position of speakership, we also want the authority to appoint women in those key positions like the Prime Minister, ” Ms Lamunu said.
The retreat was organised to induct newly elected female lawmakers to be sworn at the onset of the 11th Parliament in May.
Also, the chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), Ms Slyvia Ntambi, backed the decision saying that it is through such a move that the female MPs will strongly advance their needs and secure their space in the political realm.
“The women’s space will shrink if we don’t speak. As UWOPA, we want women to stand out. Society will not defend us if we don’t fight for ourselves,” Ms Ntambi said.
The race for speakership has already attracted the three law makers who include the Kira Municipality legislator, Mr Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda.
On Wednesday, the Lango Parliamentary Group (LPG) formally announced their support for Mr Oulanyah and in the same tone suggested their backing for Ms Kadaga for consideration for Vice President.
UWOPA members include directly elected female MPs, Woman MPs and some male MPs who subscribe to it.