The Network of Women In Politics (NOWIP) has today launched the NOWIP PRESS a platform that is aimed at giving online media presence to Ugandan Women Politicians to enable them access, receive and disseminate information during the COVID-19 and the post COVID -19 era. In March 2020, Uganda received her first case of COVID-19 which later led to a Presidential directives that locked down leading to the closure of all its border posts, learning institutions, a stop on public transport, suspension of communal gatherings like political functions and rallies, prayers and halting all international travels among other presidential directives.
With the 2021 elections anticipated to take place in February 2021, this has left women politicians stranded on the way forward when it comes to remaining politically relevant amongst their electorates.
NOWIP realises that the vaccine or complete treatment of COVID-19 pandemic may not be discovered soon so its very likely that if the 2021 General Election is to take place, the campaigning processes will take a Digital twist. The populace will still be required to uphold the WHO COVID-19 Preventive measures to prevent more infections.
It is now timely to introduce women politicians to the three transformative technologies that include cloud, social and mobile that will help them strengthen their media presence amongst their electorates even when the status quo remains.
Even when COVID-19 is long gone, the Electoral Commission(EC) Chairperson Justice Byabakama Simon has already communicated to the public that the EC is already postponing activities that were to be implemented in the 2020/2021 Roadmap due to the COVID-19 crisis, this literally means that when the lockdown is lifted, the EC will have to re adjust dates and shorten activity days to enable them meet deadlines, the activities that shall be affected will include electorate consultations, vote search/Campaigns and citizens engagements by civil society and election observers .
The shortening of these processes will mostly affect this affect Women Politicians since they will have limited time to reach out to the electorate because of their triple work burden and the stereotypical sentiments around women in politics during elections.
This therefore means women will not have enough time to consult electorates, design impact based manifestos, display their development and livelihood programs, and get acquitted with mandatory electoral processes and the opportunities and challenges therein.
NOWIP-PRESS targets all women politicians across all levels including incumbent women politicians, political aspirants, Special interest groups representatives, Women league leadership positions aspirants, District council representatives and Local Council representatives.
The Chairperson of NOWIP Ms. Babirye Lilliane gives assurance that the platform will give a free and fair audience to all women politicians, women politicians have finally gotten a platform that will address their current pressing needs, With the lockdown, the number of internet users has gone up since the print media is now not performing well, women politicians need to tap into this opportunity.
The News Desk will among others cover the following
-Online interviews with women politicians -video/podcast
-Information or News coming in from the existing women leagues
-Weekly profiling of women politicians that are excelling in a relevant field
-Profiling women politicians livelihood and development projects
-Information on published Government programmes beneficial to women in politics
-Information about COVID-19
-Maintaining media presence for women politicians
– Capacity building opportunities in electoral processes, democracy and media visibility
-Communications from the Electoral Commission on the way foward and new electoral dates
-News about evident cases of electoral /political violence
NOWIP has already compiled a list of all the incumbent women politicians with their contacts and is still registering aspiring women candidates but we encourage members to join on free will. All interested women politicians are only required to access our News and information by following the NOWIP Press through our social media platforms ie: Twitter .Facebook