Members of Parliament have commended the dedicated service rendered by Hon Florence Lubega, the first female legislator.
She was also one of the first female legislators in the Legislative Council that preceded Uganda’s Independence. She later served as a Deputy Minister for Community Development and Labour between 1967 and 1971.
Lubega who passed away on Thursday, 28 October 2021 was 103 years at the time.
Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja who moved the motion, described the late Lubega as a trailblazer in Ugandan politics adding that she was a role model for the girl child.
“Florence Alice Lubega was an inspirational leader and advocate for women emancipation and empowerment and is credited for having mainstreamed the protection of the girl child and women access to equal opportunities in education, employment, elective politics and leadership positions,” Nabbanja said.
In her communication to the House sitting on Tuesday, 02 November 2021, Deputy Speaker Anita Among said Lubega was the first Woman Member of Parliament to break barriers and set the pace for women leaders of today.
“Alice Lubega together with Dr. Sarah Ntiro, Francis Akello and Joyce Masembe Mpanga defied odds like early marriages that affected women and girls at the time.Now, we have women MPs who are fully emancipated,” Among said.
She added that Lubega’s family made mention of an instruction to Attorney General to recover the properties that belonged to the former legislator.
The Leader of the Opposition, Hon Mathias Mpuuga said Uganda’s current leaders should emulate Lubega’s advocacy for the girl child and women emancipation.
“Dreams of the girl child have been neglected. The dreams of the late Alice Lubega must guide us to uplift the girl child. We should remind ourselves of the duty of care we owe the girl child because we have seen many falling out of the school system,” said Mpuuga.
The Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon Betty Amongi said Lubega treasured education and emphasised the importance of education of the girl child. She added that the late remained true to advocating for women emancipation.
Hon. Sarah Opendi, the Chairperson of the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) called on the House to prioritise debate on a motion on the girl child and teenage pregnancies and make necessary recommendations to Government in memory of Lubega.
Nakawa Division West MP. Hon Joel Ssenyonyi said that many girls in Uganda have failed to progress in their academics because of poor menstrual health and urged government to support needy girls across the country.
“Many girls drop out of school because they do not have sanitary towels to help them. Government should be tasked to fulfill its pledge to avail sanitary towels to girls in rural areas,” Ssenyonyi said.
Dokolo District Woman Representative, Hon. Cecilia Ogwal urged Parliament to create a database for women who have exited Parliament.
She also recommended a bottom-up approach to enable the country benefit from affirmative action for women and particularly protecting the interests of the girl child in rural areas.