On March 9, 2022, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Gen. Odongo Jeje Abubakhar hosted Women working in the Ugandan Foreign Service to a luncheon at the Ministry Headquarters in Kampala.

The celebrations marked the occasion of International Women’s Day under the global theme; “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”

Odongo, in his address, acknowledged that women are a great resource for development in a Nation, an organization, and a home. He went on to thank the ladies for their contribution to the Ministry, and for giving tirelessly; their time, talent, and effort to the achievement of the Ministry’s objectives.

The Minister further highlighted the progress made towards gender equality and women empowerment which, however, has been affected by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, Ugandan women have been at the forefront of the battle launched against the pandemic and are the indispensable workers in the hospitals, markets, farms, communities and our homesteads said the Minister.

Odongo in his concluding remarks appealed to all MOFA staff, not only to celebrate the role of women but also to reflect on the obstacles and challenges they are dealing with, in ensuring that all women are able to realize their potential.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Bagiire Vicent Waiswa reiterated the readiness of the Ministry to assist women in Foreign Service attain their career aspirations.

The Head of the Protocol Department, Ms. Dora Kutesa, who spoke on behalf of female staff in the Foreign Service, was grateful that the Ministry was doing its best to support Women achieve lifelong career aspirations.

The Luncheon was preceded by panel discussions on topics including Career : Growth for Women, Gender Equity at the Workplace,Breaking the glass ceiling: career growth for women and Work/Life Balance in the Foreign Service.

Among the panelists, were retired Ambassador Bernadette Olowo Freers who made history as the first female Ambassador to the Holy See (Vatican City ) in 1975, Prof. Sarah Ssali, Dean School of Women and Gender Studies at Makerere University, Amb. Nusura Tiperu (Amb Designate to Turkey), Amb. Charles Ssentongo, Director Protocol and Public Diplomacy at the Ministry and retired Senior Foreign Service Officers: Ms. Joyce Banya and Mrs. Samalie Musisi Mwanje.

In attendance were newly appointed Ambassadors, retired Foreign Service Officers, and over 200 Staff of the Ministry and Uganda Missions Abroad.

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