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Women in Leadership Conference Award Bios
Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni with some of the Women in Leadership Awardees

Hon. Lady Justice Solomy Balungi Bossa

Hon.Lady Justice Solomy Balungi Bossa was a practicing lawyer in Uganda from 1988-1997, during which time she also lectured at the Law Development Center of Uganda for 17 years (1981-1997), ensuring that the future lawyers of the country were well trained. She was then a judge with the High Court of Uganda from 1997-2013. She sat on the East African Court of Justice from 2001-2006,and the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda from 2003-2013. She has been a judge of the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals since 2012, and was elected to sit on the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights in June 2014, for a six year term. Hon. Lady Justice Solomy Balungi Bossa is currently a Court of Appeals judge, and was recently elected as a judge for the International Criminal Court. She has started serving her nine year term in The Hague this month.

She has chaired the Law council and the National Steering Committee on Community Service. She is a member of the International Commission of Jurists, the International Association of Women Judges, the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights, the East African Judges and Magistrates Association, the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Uganda Chapter, the National Association of Women Judges, and the Uganda Association of Judges and Magistrates. She has also co-founded or chaired multiple justice focused non-profit organizations, including the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute, the East African Law Society, the East African Centre for Constitutional Development (Kituo cha Katiba), the Uganda Network on HIV, Aids,Ethics and the Law, Legal Aids Projects of the Uganda Law Society and Law Development Centre, and the National Organization for Civic Education and Election Monitoring. She has published multiple articles on her experiences and research, and given presentations on human rights and international law allover the world. She received her LL.B with Honors from Makerere University, and is currently an LL.M candidate at the University of London.

The Sudreau Global Justice Program and Ugandan Judiciary are honored to recognize Hon.Lady Justice Solomy Balungi Bossa for her exemplary leadership and commitment to justice on both a national and global scale.

Ms. Rhoda Kalema

Ms. Rhoda Kalema received an education and married late, at age 21; in a time when very few women were doing so. Her first taste as a member of a movement and advocate came during her time at university where she joined the Uganda association of University Women. She did a course in Social Work and Social Administration in Scotland when her husband studied at Edinburgh, and after returning to Uganda she joined the Uganda Council of Women in 1956, where she was a member of the subcommittee on the status of women.

She joined the Uganda People's Congress in 1961, but abandoned politics after the coup in 1971 for fear of persecution. She then joined the Uganda Patriotic Movement, which lead to an arrest in 1979 under the government of Idi Amin, and further arrests in 1981 and 1983 for her activism that was deemed subversive to the Obote government. These arrests led to time in Luzira. After liberation,she was one of only two women to participate in the National Consultative Council, and was known as the 'Mother of Parliament.' She served as junior Minister of Culture and Community Development in Godfrey Binaisa's government from 1979-1980. She served as the State Minister of Public Service from 1989-1991.She represented Kiboga district in the National Resistance Council and in the Constituent Assembly, winning the delegate spot in 1995 after running against eight men. She was the first female MP.

She retired from active politics in 1996, but has not stopped championing women's rights and mentoring the younger generation, helping to support the start of the Forum for Women in Democracy and associating with organization such as the Young Women' s Christian Association, Safe Motherhood, and Uganda Women's Effort to Save Orphans.She was responsible for the Kalema Commission's Report on the law of Marriage, Divorce and Inheritance, which called for the government to address issues of dignity and women's rights.

Ms. Kalema plans to publish her autobiography by the end of this year, by taking her collection of notes she's kept since the 1950s and turning them into a book. We are sure that sharing her experiences will inspire a younger generation. She has consistently been honored and awarded for her contributions to women's issues in society. The Sudreau Global Justice Program and Ugandan Judiciary are honored to continue this recognition and humbled to follow in her footsteps. Ms Rhoda Kalema has spent a lifetime fighting for what women today enjoy with integrity and joy, and we therefore award her with the Lifetime Achievement Award, as a small token of appreciation for what she has accomplished.

Professor Monica Chibita

Prof Monica Chibita is currently a professor at Uganda Christian University;where she has been the head of the Department of Mass Communication since 2012.She was formerly the head of the Mass Communications Department at Makerere University. She is committed to helping those in need, as seen through her impressive involvement with World Vision. She represents the East Africa Region on the World Vision International Board, sits on the governance committee of World Vision Uganda, and is the vice chairperson of the World Vision Uganda Board.

Her dedication to her field is highly evident, serving as the President of the East African Communication Association, Board Chairperson of Vision Group, and Associate Editor of the Journal of African Media Studies. She holds a D. Litt.Et Phil. from University of South Africa, an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Iowa, and a B.A. in Education from Makerere University. Her areas of research are media, electronic media, and policy.

The Sudreau Global Justice Program and Ugandan Judiciary are honored to recognize Professor Monica Chibita for her exemplary leadership. 

Ms Rachel Odoi Musoke

Ms Rachel Odoi-Musoke is the current Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) Senior Technical Advisor. Prior to that, she served as Technical advisor for the Ugandan Ministry of Justice, and was a former JLOS legal advisor on transitional justice. She is a member of the Governing Council of the Judicial Training Institute, inaugurated in September 2017.

TheSudreau Global Justice Program and Ugandan Judiciary are honored to recognize MsRachel Odoi Musoke for her exemplary leadership in the Justice Law and OrderSector.

Hon. Lady Justice Alice Elizabeth Mpagi Bahigeine

Hon.Lady Justice Alice Elizabeth Mpagi Bahigeine was first appointed to the bench in 1988. As the senior most justice of the Court of Appeals, she was appointed Deputy Chief Justice in 2010 until she retired in 2012. She spoke 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 practice. She also spoke out against laws that discriminated against women and their ability to procure a divorce. She received her Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of East Africa (prior to it becoming Makerere University).

The Sudreau Global Justice Program and Ugandan Judiciary are honored to recognize Hon.Lady Justice Elizabeth Mpagi Bahigeine for her leadership in the legal sector.

Professor Okwakol Mary

Professor Mary Okwakol has spent her life paving the way for women in Uganda. She was the first female vice chancellor of a public university in Uganda, the first female professor of Zoology at Makerere, the first female member of the Board of Trustees of the Uganda National Parks in 40 years, the first female chairperson of the International Board of Management of the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Program, and the first female chairperson of the Uganda National Examination Board. She became the founding vice chancellor of Busitema University in 2007. Prior to that, she was a founding leader and served as Deputy Vice Chancellor of Gulu University from 2002-2007. She has been the chair of the Uganda National Examination Board since 2014.

She was the Chairperson of the Forum for African Women Educationalists Uganda Chapter from 2003-2009. While there, she helped to start the organization's Higher Education Scholarship program that supports girls' access to university and higher education. She was also a founding member of the Uganda Women's Finance Trust' and has served on their board for many years. Her commitment to access to education for women has been unwavering.

Professor Okwakol has been a board member of the Uganda Wildlife Education Center'Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda, and the National Environment Management Authority. She has also been involved in environmental and education organizations on the Africa regional level, as well as on a global level. She was chairperson of the Organizing Committee for the 8th International Interdisciplinary Women's World 2002 Congress, and served as a member of the Organizing Committee of the 4th World Women University Women Presidents Forum in 2009. She graduated from Makerere University in 1973, when she was retained as a junior lecturer. She earned her Masters Degree in 1975 and her Ph.D in 1992 from Makerere University, and is a fellow of the Royal Entomological Society of London and a Fellow of the Uganda National Academy of Sciences.

The Sudreau Global Justice Program and Ugandan Judiciary are honored to recognize Professor Mary Okwakol for her exemplary leadership in the area of Education.

Hon. Cecilia Ogwal

Hon.Cecilia Ogwal is a woman who has worn many hats over her lifetime, showing us all that being female should not be associated with limitations.  She is the current MP for the Dokolo DistrictWomen's Constituency' and has been a member of Uganda's legislature since 1996.

She graduated from Nairobi University with a degree in Commerce, has a certificate in Human Resources Management from the Uganda Management Institute, a certificate in Christian Based Values from the Haggai Institute, Singapore, and a certificate in Public Private Partnership from an institute in Australia.  She was the winner of the first ever Miss Uganda pageant in 1969, and continues to be involved with the pageant as a mentor and icon. She worked as the Liaison Officer for Returning Ugandan Refugees at the Uganda Embassy in Kenya from 1979-1980 before becoming the Operations Manager at the Uganda Advisory Board of Trade from 1980-81.She was then one of the founders of Housing Finance Bank, and she served as chairperson of the Uganda Development Bank from 1981-1986.

She then joined politics, as Acting Secretary General of Uganda People's Congress from 1985-1992, and was a high-ranking official in the party until 2004. In 1994, she was part of the Constituent Assembly. She joined the Forum for Democratic Change party in 2006, and is the current Opposition Chief Whip. She was the leader of the Ugandan delegation to the Pan African Parliament, prior to her appointment as Opposition Whip, where she had been the Vice Chairperson of the Committee on Administration and Financial Evaluation and a member of the Committee on Cooperation, International Relations, and Conflict Resolutions

Hon.Cecilia Ogwal has spoken out on the need for the younger generation to take on political leadership and have a voice. She was one of the first women to represent a constituency not standing on affirmative action. The Sudreau Global Justice Program and Ugandan Judiciary are honored to recognize Hon. Cecilia Ogwal for her exemplary leadership as a pioneer of women's equality.

Hon. Justice David Batema

Hon.Justice David Batema is the current Soroti Resident High Court Judge, and an important voice in the fight for gender equality in the country. He is the author of a book called 'Gender Bench Book: Women's Access to Justice in Uganda' published in 2016, about gender discrimination in the justice system.The book was sponsored by UN Women and given high praise by Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Bart Katureebe.

He is committed to transforming Uganda's justice system into the best version of itself, and was among the first judges to use plea bargaining in his court when it was launched in 2014. He has continued to use it to conclude cases more quickly. He has been a champion for women's equality, reprimanding parliament for not passing the Marital and Divorce Bill in 2013, and the end of violence against women, saying that "Violence against women, should be fought, talked against, discuss it out and eliminated."He has spoken out against gender based violence and intimate partner violence, and gives workshops and trainings on these issues and women's rights. He has also spoken out against people who criminalize women who get an abortion.

Hon.Justice Batema holds a master's degree in gender studies' and was a lecturer in Makerere' s Gender department. The Sudreau Global Justice Program and Ugandan Judiciary are honored to recognize Hon. Justice David Batema for his exemplary leadership in championing gender issues.

Hon. Geraldine Namirembe Bitamazire

Hon.Geraldine Namirembe Bitamazire has been a champion of female education her entire career. She has been working in education in some capacity for over 50 years. She served as Minister of education from 1979-1980 and again from 2005-2011, and was minister of state for primary education from 1999-2005. It was under her direction that Universal Primary Education was made compulsory. She was the Chancellor of the Uganda Management Institute from 2013-2017.

She was the first female MP of Mpigi District, where she served until 2011. She was the National Chairperson of the Uganda Girl Guides Association in the 1980s, was a member of the UN Commission on the status of Women from 1998 to 2001, and is a founding member of Forum for African Women Educationalists.She received her Bachelor and Masters in Education Management from Makerere University.

The Sudreau Global Justice Program and Ugandan Judiciary are honored to recognize Hon.Geraldine Namirembe Bitamazire for her exemplary leadership.

Posted 13th, March 2018
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