The Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development together with the education ministry, in collaboration with the European Union, have commenced a girl’s empowerment programme to reduce school dropouts.
The Gender for Development Uganda programme is replacing a five-year spotlight initiative on the elimination of violence against women and girls in Uganda.
Aggrey Kibege, the permanent secretary at the gender ministry says the programme is a successor project that seeks to build on what the government has achieved under the EU spotlight initiative.
“This program will capitalize on several other existing programmes and interventions addressing the special forms of gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health rights in Uganda,” Mr. Kibenge said on Friday.
He added that the programme will give the government greater miles and opportunities for ending violence against women and girls in Uganda.
The state minister for Higher Education, Chrysostom Muyingo says although the education sector is still struggling with several barriers that continue to disadvantage girls and limit their right to education at various levels, the government has made various policies to improve the situation.
According to the ministry of education and sports study that was conducted in 2015 on linkages of pregnancy and school dropouts in Uganda, teenage pregnancy was ranked second among the main drivers of girls’ dropping out of school.
However, the EU international partnerships deputy director general, Myriam Ferran, the EU says the programme will support women and girls by empowering them to have a direct impact on the social and economic development of the country.
“This program is one of the flagships that the European Union will be supporting under its new sustainable connectivity strategy which has education as one of its key priorities,” Ferran said.
The European Union has supported the programme with EUR 112 million, which is approximately Shs461 million.