Uganda Securities Exchange chief executive officer Paul Bwiso has called upon all employers to champion equal opportunities within their organizations as one way of helping more women join the finance sector.
Bwiso was speaking this morning at Protea hotel during the “Ring the Bell” for gender equality forum themed Women's Role in Finance and Investment.
The forum was supported by a global partnership among the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, International Finance Cooperation, UN Global Compact, UN Women, Women in EFTs and the World Federation of Stock Exchanges.
“As USE, this bell-ringing ceremony creates awareness of the pivotal role the private sector can play in advancing gender equality to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal Five,” Bwiso said.
“It is essential for companies to develop and improve policies on remuneration, gender representation, sexual harassment prevention, family leave and flexible work in order to support both women and men, but to also improve terms of employment.”
Jacqueline Musiitwa, the executive director at Finance Sector Deepening Uganda, said gender equality remains a fundamental human right.
"The state is not doing enough for gender equality, yet it is mandated to recognise the significant role that women play in society," she said.
“We want to celebrate women in our workplaces and society at large, reaffirming the value where all genders have access to the same opportunities”.
She decried the fact that the percentage of females working at the Ugandan parliament stands at only 35 per cent while the gender wage gap in the private sector stands at 39 per cent.
She also revealed that in Uganda, women are less likely to own a mobile phone, be active users of mobile money (38 per cent of men use mobile money versus 25 per cent of women), have a bank account, save or borrow money and understand financial services.
This is despite the fact that women form the bulk of saving groups (also known as nigiina), Saccos and investment clubs.
“The financial sector is largely a male-dominated world with only two female CEOs in a big financial institution, Musiitwa said.
Bwiso further noted that the USE is determined to play a part in highlighting the need for gender equality among listed companies, regulators and investors in the country.
He said the ringing the bell function will further help in highlighting the steps that the sector is taking in advancing gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and within the community supported by a global partnership between the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, UN Global Compact, IFC, UN Women, Women in EFT’s and the World Federation of Stock Exchanges