28 government agencies fail gender equity test

A recent assessment of government institutions has revealed that nearly 30 ministries and agencies have failed to meet the threshold set under the Public Finance Management Act 2015.

The assessment conducted by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Uganda Civil Service College Jinja and the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development studied 142 government agencies both within and outside the country.

Of 142 assessed agencies, 28 scored below average in as far as compliance with gender and equity requirements is concerned.

“Those that scored below 50% included the Rural Electrification Agency, the Law Society, Uganda Investment Authority, Ministry of ICT and missions aboard including that to Germany, Kenya, Somalia, TZ and Juba among others,” Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi, the EOC chairperson told journalists at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala.

In its goal to have equitable and inclusive growth with all Ugandans contributing despite gender, physical ability, and socio-economic wellbeing, all government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) have to meet set requirements on gender and equity compliance as set out the Public Finance Management Act.

Under the Act, the MDAs must obtain a certificate of Gender and Equity compliance issued by he Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development with the advice of the EOC. The certification requires that any MDA seeking appropriation of the National Budget meets the minimum requirements of gender and equity budgeting and has scored at least 50% in the assessment by the EOC.

This means that the 28 MDAs that were discovered to be below the minimum requirement may not be allocated funds in tbe 2018/19 National budget.

The assessment exercise was guided by a check list designed in line with the structure of the Ministerial Policy Statements. Key areas of assessment were; Vote Overview (vote Mission Statement and strategic objectives), Past Performance, Medium Term Plans, Vote Programme performance, Plans for the Ensuing Year and Challenges to addressing Gender and Equity Issues. The above dimensions were assessed with respect to inclusiveness, gender, location, age (youth, children, adults and older persons) and disability among others.

Commitment and reporting under the 2018/2019 Ministerial Policy Statements are inclined on location (82%) followed by gender (58%).

According to the report, majority of the votes still have challenges in ensuring that their respective plans and budgets equally target children, older persons and persons with disabilities.