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We protest gender discrimination in the education sector – Press Statement

DISCONTINUING STUDENT EXPECTANT MOTHERS VIOLATES REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH RIGHTS AND MUST STOP NOW!

This is a civil society protest against gender discrimination in the education sector!

Voices for Health Rights (VHR) is a coalition of civil society health rights NGOs comprising of over 30 organizations initiated in 2006 as a united front to advocate for the promotion of the right to health. The overall goal of the coalition is “to bring together Civil Society Organizations for the promotion of the right to health in Uganda.

VHR, Protests the dismissal of pregnant students of Barham University College, Kabale an affiliate to Uganda Christian University. We call upon the Institution and others with similar policies to not only revisit their decision but also realign their policies to the National policies of the Government of Uganda (GoU) and the Constitution- the supreme law of Uganda. Maintaining the status quo irreparably harms the students yet to educate is to change for the better.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy is not anywhere in Uganda’s legal regime a crime or a sin! The dismissal or any form of reprimand to pregnant students for whatever reasons is a violation of their unique Reproductive Rights.  It is no wonder such policies are escalating preventable maternal morbidity and mortality. These are not only anti – progress to interventions that would have improved maternal Health but complicate and discourage free access to Family planning services, timely access to post – abortion care; appropriate antennal care and the fight against the transmission of HIV/AIDs to Unborn Children.

The dismissals selectively deny female students to equal opportunities for education enshrined in the Constitution of Uganda as their male counter parts are never affected, hence failing them from benefiting from favourable conditions for education, freely associating with fellow students hence casting a dark cloud on their future which is likened to double jeopardy.

The students have already suffered and invested a lot of resources for time is a very important resource. This serves to worsen unemployment and the children to be born will suffer because the aggrieved students will not have jobs from which to earn a living.

We call upon the Minister in charge of Higher Education and Tertiary institutions, National Council for Higher Education, the Parliament of Uganda, and other stake holders to:

i.)            Pursue this matter to its logical conclusions and have the students reinstated unconditionally;

ii.)            Continuously scrutinise the Policies offered by these Academic institutions;

iii.)            Harmonise and nationalise education policies and regulations.

 

For God and My Country

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