Uganda “rings the bell” for gender equality in celebration of International Women's day


Uganda stock exchange and many businesses have demonstrated support for efforts to give women more opportunities and leadership in the private sector.

To celebrate International Women’s Day on 7 March, Uganda Securities Exchange, UN Women Uganda, and partner hosted a market-opening bell ringing ceremony to raise awareness of the pivotal role businesses can play in achieving United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment. About 6 representatives of private sector businesses attended the event.

(UN Women Deputy Country Representative, ) stands alongside private sector representatives in Uganda
Adekemi Ndieli, UN Women Deputy Country Representative, stands alongside private sector representatives in Uganda to ”ring the bell” for gender equality. Photo: UN Women/Eva Sibanda.

This “Ring the Bell” national event joins stock exchanges around the world hosting a bell-ringing ceremony to raise awareness for gender equality. Nearly 120 exchanges and central counterparty clearing houses in 98 countries 'Ring the Bell for Gender Equality' in 2022. Uganda joins Rwanda, who rang the bell to highlight the business case for gender equality.

Participants of the IWD 2022 Ring The Bell commemoration in Uganda
Participants of the IWD 2022 Ring The Bell commemoration in Uganda. Photo: UN Women/ Eva Sibanda.

As guests arrived for this 8th year running annual event, it was noted that women leaders are key to building forward better as the world emerges from COVID-19 and seeks an equitable and just recovery. To open the “Ring the Bell” event, the CEO of USE Uganda Paul Bwiso shared remarks referring to unique position of the USE in influencing the market in Uganda. CEO Bwiso welcomed Uganda's main electricity distribution company entitled UMEME and the New Vision Group to this initiative advancing the Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Director of USE Uganda Racheal Mindra Katoroogo, further shared: "As the USE we will partner with different stakeholders to ensure sustainability." Ms. Katoroogo spoke on breaking down the stereotypes upon which gender inequality thrives ahead of UN Women Country Representative Adekemi Ndieli who spoke on the business case for gender equality and the power of gender parity.

UN Women Uganda Representative Adekemi Ndieli called on all companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with the WEPs to accelerate the global collective impact of businesses to deliver the SDGs through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change.

UN Women Uganda Country Representative Adekemi Ndieli
UN Women Uganda Country Representative Adekemi Ndieli,  speaks at the Ring the Bell Event.  Photo: Un Women/Eva Sibanda.

"To ensure women's equal participation in all fields, we need collaboration of all. This cannot be achieved without private sector," said Adekemi Ndieli.

Presenting virtually, Rose Lumumba,  Representative of the International Finance Corporation gave thanks to all partners in the celebration of this event with more than 120 stock exchanges across the globe. Speaking on the unique position of the New Vision Group, Managing Director Don Wanyama shared input regarding the media houses' contribution to gender equality in Uganda. Florence Nsubuga representing UMEME further celebrated the fair gender representation at UMEME with their deliberate inclusive recruitment processes.

During an engaging panel discussion,  Ms. Ndieli noted: “Uganda is not where it needs to be as far as gender equality. The statistics are appalling - there is not one single female Chairperson on any of the listed Boards. This time next year we want to see a difference.”

gender bell
To conclude the ceremony, the panel members and chief guests ceremoniously rang the bell for gender equality in Uganda.

Watch the video coverage:

Ring the Bell for Gender Equality 2019 is a joint global initiative among UN Global Compact, UN Women, Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, International Finance Corporation: IFC, World Federation of Exchanges and Women in ETFs.