Members of Uganda's LGBT community gathered together at an undisclosed location to celebrate International Women's Day. The event was organized by Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG) in partnership with Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), Kuchu Times, FEM Alliance Uganda and Lady Mermaids' Bureau on Friday 8th March 2019.
FARUG together with the co-hosting organisations set up a health camp and mobile clinic that saw several participants access free HTC, STD/ STI testing and treatment services. The event also crowned the #BalanceforBetter social media campaign that had been running in the weeks leading up to #IWD2019.
Earlier in the day, the event that had originally been scheduled to take place at the FARUG premises was disrupted after police halted the activities that were ongoing. Fortunately, a partner organization willingly offered their premises where the day’s events carried on without a glitch.
In an emotional yet jovial welcome speech, FARUG's Executive Director, Ssenfuka Joanita Warry appreciated the host for offering space at the last minute and the partners who helped make the event a success. She addressed partriachy as one of the outstanding challenges faced by LBQ women in Uganda's queer community and emphasized the need for inclusion of female sexual minorities in different aspects sectors where women are mostly under looked. She explained that this would in turn close the gap and promote gender equality even within the LGBT movement.
Diana Bakuraira, the Administration Officer at Sexual Minorities Uganda highlighted SMUG’s commitment to supporting advocacy of rights for LBQ women. She also applauded FARUG for its continued determination to elevate visibility of LBQ women in Uganda.
FARUG's Communications Officer, Tinah Owengeye read the press release under the global theme "Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change" which stressed the need to avail opportunities to LBQ women. In their statement, FARUG stressed that equal opportunities for LBQ women will contribute towards making change, shaping policies, systems and infrastructure that impact all women without discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. It further remarked that, "As we celebrate, let us recognize and acknowledge the contribution that LBQ women have and continue to make towards achieving gender equality."