Every 2 weeks Freedom Uganda organises webinar about various topics related to Human Rights & Democracy.

The right to political participation: Human Rights and an overview to women and power in Uganda hosted by Patricia Namyalo & Nico Schoonderwoerd

Date: Friday 18 November 2020

Time: 19.00 Kampala time / 17.00 CET / 16.00 BST / 11.00 EST


Agnes Kaziba

Esq. Based in Massachusetts, USA. Earned BA in History with a Minor in Government and Literature. Earned Juris Doctorate from the Suffolk University. Barred to practice in several jurisdictions. Currently serving as Head Legal and Foreign Affairs, NUP. Working with a great time of dedicated individuals, to influence and secure foreign alliances for the incoming NUP government. Working with this great team, I drafted the NUP foreign policy, which outlines our outlook in world relations. I coordinate drafting and structuring of our message to the international community.

Maureen Asiimwe Kalemba

LLB, LL.M, MSCJ Current UNAA Council Speaker and New England Council Representative. U.S Army (Active duty 2010-2016).U.S. Army Reserves (2016-Present).Military Justice (working at 3rd Legal Operations Detachment Brockton, Massachusetts).

Civilian Side: Federal level 2017-Present Works with Department of Justice with the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), Immigration Courts and at State level 2009-Present) has worked with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Courts System-Trial Courts.

Ms. Lydia Natoolo

Vice President, Ugandan North American Association (UNAA)President and CEO, Love A Community

Currently works in Hospital Administration at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center (her alma mater’s teaching hospital). She is a community Organizer, motivational speaker, and a human rights activist. She is focused on assisting Ugandans in immigration jails, and empowering the youth in UNAA and the Ugandan diaspora community in North America. Through sharing her life story and immigrant experiences, she has given a voice and hope – for many in our community to believe – that it is possible when we persevere!

The right to political participation: An overview to women and power in Uganda article by Freedom Uganda.

The right to political participation under international law, is deemed to be the basis for the realization and protection of other human rights. It gives citizens of a given society whether primitive or civilized to have the authority and power to define the destiny and management of the affairs of the society. The international legal framework under the core-human rights treaties and in particular Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights defines State obligations to ensure genuine enjoyment of the right without any discrimination. 

In Africa, the African Union has been clear since its establishment on the right of political participation understanding well that it is vital for each countries’ independence and economic sustainability. As such, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Good governance of 2007 declared affirmatively under Article 2 that the principles of democracy, human rights and rule of law are fundamental principles of sustainable peace in the region and member states should adhere to ensure and promote free and fair political processes including the independence of the judiciary. 

However, despite the existing legal framework including the national constitutions of many of the African countries, women have not yet fully given the opportunity to participate in the decisions that affect their day to day lives. Countries like Uganda for example, despite the available data that the NRM government has increased the direct participation of women in the parliament and cabinet, there is less evidence that such numbers have influenced change and purely represented the ideas of women in their constituencies. There are questions related to whether such women representatives have the power to express their views and take decisions in their capacity without being coerced. Further, despite the national and international efforts for development, women in Uganda and especially those in rural areas are still prone to extreme poverty and violence which is a clear sign of a gender that is still denied the right to define their existence in society. 

Therefore, this webinar will tackle some of these issues and share ideas on how effective women’s voices should be heard or represented. Should economic empowerment be considered vital if we wanted to have effective political participation of women?

For previous events please visit our channel on youtube: Freedom Uganda

Friday 4 December: “Human Rights activism & Social Media” hosted Freedom Uganda co-founders Patricia Namyalo and Nico Schoonderwoerd


Helen C Epstein

Author of Another Fine Mess: America, Uganda, and the War on Terror/ Visiting Professor Global Public Health and Human Rights at Bard College.

Helen Epstein has served as a consultant for such organizations as UNICEF, the World Bank and Human Rights Watch and writes frequently for The New York Review of Books, the Nation and other magazines.  She worked on health programs in Uganda from 1993-5 and in the 2000s, and has returned to the country many times as a reporter.  She has spoken about Uganda’s human rights crisis at the US State Department and at many US colleges and universities.  

Robert Amsterdam

He is the founding partner of Amsterdam & Partners LLP, a boutique international law firm with offices in London and Washington DC. The law firm is well known for its pro bono practice in human rights, including the defense of the award-winning democracy activist Dr. Chee Soon Juan of Singapore, Ilya Ponomarev, an exiled Russian State Duma Deputy, Maurice Kamto, leader of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, a Ugandan MP and opposition leader, and Tundu Lissu, leader of the CHADEMA party in Tanzania.

Dr. Daniel Kawuma

Dr. Daniel Kawuma (Pharm. D) is a Pharmacist currently practicing in the United States. He is a Founder and Board Chairman of Ugandan Diaspora Company (Temba) and the director of Diaspora Health Network.
He is a strong advocate for nurturing the ideals of internationalism & multiculturalism as a bridge towards global peace in addition to sowing the seeds of community service through volunteering and selfless leadership.

Human Rights activism & Social Media

Human Rights activism & Social Media, Friday, December 4 

Since 2001 with the revolutionary uprising in the Arab world and consequently the change  of governments, the world has never looked at social media as just a platform for  communication but rather as a tool for making awareness on gross human rights violations  and fighting political injustices. As protests crossed over from North Africa to the Middle  East, Uganda was among the African countries that were not spared from the revolutionary  spirit. From 2011 to date, Uganda has witnessed different revolutionary waves with an  emerging number of social media activism and online briefcase organizations. In fact, during  the Covid-19 lock down, the number of Ugandan social media subscribers increased1 and so  the spread of the information. Platforms like Facebook and tweeter have built the bridge  among Ugandans, locally and in diaspora. Although such platforms have been used to show  good governance loopholes in Uganda, they have also supported active political campaigns  and movements.  

On the other hand however, as social media grows, there are also increased cases of human  rights abuses by net users of different political ideologies, and the strict measures put in  place by the government that restricts access to information, to internet and sometimes to  privacy or personal information.  

Therefore, the webinar on “Human Rights activism & Social Media” will access the rise and effectiveness of social media activism and weather it could be a successful weapon to outset  the long-serving ruling government and to create a peaceful and inclusive Uganda. 

1It is estimated that since January 2020, there are 2.50 million social media users in Uganda with an increase of +27% between April 2019 and January 2020. The rapid increase in number was related to number of mobile connections  across the country. See Kemp Simon, DIGITAL 2020: UGANDA, Data Reportable, 18 February 2020. Available at  https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2020- uganda#:~:text=There%20were%202.50%20million%20social,at%205.6%25%20in%20January%202020. [Accessed 24  November 2020].

Friday 6 November (1) “Human Rights in Uganda”