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Strengthen Skilling to Mitigate COVID Effects- Minister Amongi

There is need to strengthen the skilling programme so as to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 especially among the girl-child whose lives have been disrupted by the high cases of Sexual and Gender Based Violence.

According to the Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon. Amongi Betty Ongom, the number of girls and young women affected by the high Sexual and Gender Based Violence cases during the COVID lockdowns has been high and this is bound to disrupt many of the survivours.

“The lives of these girls may never be the same again. Many may never return to school because they have been married off or impregnated,” Amongi said, adding: “With such a GBV crisis, we should now go beyond advocacy and strengthen the skilling of the survivours to mitigate the impact.”

She noted that this would avail the GBV survivours a living after their lives are disrupted.

The Minister made the observation while meeting a delegation from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) led by the Resident Representative, Elsie Attafuah, at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development headquarters in Kampala last week.

The minister also re-echoed the need to have cheap capital to support women enterprises.

She commended the UNDP-Government of Uganda joint funded Graduate Volunteer Scheme, which she said was supporting the skilling of fresh graduates through a twelve-month job placement and called for it to be scaled up.

Attafuah pledged to continue supporting the scheme as well asthe Songhai Model project at Kampiringisa in Mpigi district, which is an integrated system of development that seeks to reduce poverty, youth unemployment and food insecurity by strengthening the technical and organizational capacities of communities to produce efficiently and sustainably.

“The Model has potential for sustainable land management and productivity and therefore we have resolved that we continue to work together with the Ministry of Gender to support it.” She noted.

She added that UNDP was also strongly committed to the Spotlight Initiative in Uganda, which is a global, multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

Attafuah further highlighted the “huge potential” of the creative industry and revealed that UNDP was running an innovation fund through which artists are being financed to undertake various projects.

Upon the request of Minister Amongi, Attafuah pledged on behalf of UNDP to support a specialized capacity building and induction training for women parliamentarians to increase their effectiveness in the August House.

The meeting was also attended by Commissioners; Maggie Kyomukama of Gender and Women Affairs and Alex Asiimwe of Labour, Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations.

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