The Daily Monitor reported on July 19 that the Minister of State for Youth Affairs Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, attributed child neglect cases in the country to failure by women to respect their husbands. Accordingly, minister Nakiwala was presenting her views on the ongoing debate in Parliament on a motion for a resolution of Parliament urging government to expedite the implementation of all policies and legislations relating to children.
In support of these vividly errant remarks, the Minister of State for Housing, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, apparently informed Parliament that a study done at Makerere Institute of Public Health indicated that the behaviour of women has pushed married men into adultery.
These are really reckless statements coming from a legislature and from members of the Executive! If these two ministers really believe what they said, then we are in real trouble as a country and as families. What responsibility do men have as fathers?
If the claim that children belong to fathers were true, how then would a man abandon his own child because another person does not give him the respect he expects?
How can reckless infidelity be excused in such a manner? I would think that if your female partner fails to respect you, that would be the more reason to invest in and save your children - if need be by taking them away from the mother - who lacks respect.
The minister was asked to substantiate her views since she claimed the remarks were based on her research.
Which research was this? But perhaps, the ministers need more education/sensitisation on how power operates. At the School of Women and Gender Studies, we would be able to fill the knowledge gap so that the minister speaks more from a position of proper analysis.
Prof Josephine Ahikire,
Dean, School of Women and Gender Studies
and deputy principal, College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Makerere University