The Judiciary in partnership with the Sudreau Global Justice Program of Pepperdine University on March 13, 2018 recognized eight women and one male for their fight for women justice.
This was one of the highlights of the second Women in Leadership Conference held under the theme: “The Impact of Gender-Based Violence on the Girl Child and the Administration of Justice Interventions” held in Kampala.
The First Lady and Minister for Education & Sports, Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni presided over the function.
Hon. Justice David Batema, the resident judge of Soroti High Court who is fondly called “Sister Batema” in Judiciary circles, scooped the Sudreau Global Justice Gender Advocate Award.
He was recognized for his voice in the fight for gender equity in the country. He is also the author of a book titled; Gender Bench Book: Women�s Access to justice in Uganda.
Hon. Justice Batema was also recognized for reprimanding Parliament for not passing the Marriage and Divorce Bill in 2013 and also his advocacy to end violence saying that violence against women should be fought, talked against, discussed and be eliminated.
The other recipients of the awards were; Hon. Lady Justice Solomy Balungi Bossa, who was recently appointed to the International Criminal Court (ICC), becoming the first Ugandan to join that prestigious Bench. She received the Sudreau Global Justice Commitment to Justice Award.
Ms Rhoda Kalema Nsibirwa, a former Public Service minister, who has spent the bigger part of her life fighting for what women today enjoy, was the other recipient. She received the Sudreau Global Justice Lifetime Achievement Award.
Retired Deputy Chief Justice, Hon. Lady Justice Alice Elizabeth Mpagi Bahigeine, received the Sudreau Global Justice Women Leader in the Law Award for speaking out on the need for the Judiciary to ensure that female genital mutilation and female violence are eradicated after Parliament passed a Bill outlawing the same practice.
Other recipients were; retired education minister, Ms. Geraldine Namirembe Bitamazire (Lifetime Achievement Award); Prof. Mary Okwakol, the current UNEB board chairperson (Women in Education Award); Associate Prof. Monica Chibita, a lecturer at Uganda Christian University (Women in Journalism Award); Legislator Hon. Cecilia Ogwal(Legislature Award) and Ms Rachael Odoi Musoke, the JLOS Senior Technical Advisor (Innovations and Reforms Award).
Speaking at the ceremony, Ms Museveni said the enactment of laws to address injustices against women and the inclusion of women in the governance of the nation was one of the interventions the NRM Government brought.
“Women are now at the forefront in the administration of justice with women as judges and magistrates at the different levels of judicature. Our Speaker of Parliament is a woman and all our districts have women representatives in Parliament,” Ms Museveni bragged.
“The cabinet has a fair share of women in the executive arm of government. These interventions are intentional to deal with the ancient injustices of keeping women away from participation in the affairs of national governance,” the First Lady added.
She also pledged to work tirelessly towards empowering women and girls through education.
The Sudreau awards are named after Laure Sudreau, a 1997 graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law, who donated $8 million to fund its global justice program. The gift is the largest single endowment in the law school’s history.