Hon. Ms Sylvia Ssinabulya MP, Uganda ( PPTX 75

Keeping the promise on women and
children; The role of Parliaments
Sylvia Namabidde Ssinabulya
MP ,Uganda
London,30th Nov 2011
• Parliament has an important role to play in
the attainment of MDG 4&5.
• This role has been recognized by the
Partnership for Maternal, newborn and child
health(PMNCH) and together with the Inter
Parliamentary Union have been collaborating
to highlight this important role.
• Successive meetings of Parliamentarians on MDG 4 and
5 have been held; London in 2007,Hague 2008 and
Kampala 2009.
• Successive IPU conferences have also been addressing
the roles of members of Parliament
• The 118th IPU Assembly in Cape town in 2008 was held
in conjunction with the Countdown to 2015 conference
to enable Parliamentarians exchange ideas and
experiences with a range of stakeholders.
• The 120th Assembly in 2009 in Addis Ababa and the
122nd Assembly in 2010 in Bangkok
• Five core Actions have been identified that
Parliaments can take in positioning ,promoting
and protecting the health of women and
children. These are around the core functions
of Parliamentarians.
Advocacy through which policies are shaped
Oversight and holding Governments
Representing the voice of women and
• As representatives of the people, it is our job to
speak on behalf of women and children, to
ensure that their voices are heard and to ensure
that their rights and concerns are reflected in
national development strategies and Budgets.
• We represent the people in dealing with other
branches of government and with international
and regional bodies
• Plans and programmes must be informed by real
priorities of the people.
Advocating nationally and
MPs are well positioned to advocate for MDG 4&5.
In Uganda the women’s Network on Maternal Health
Advocacy should be targeted to key ministries
The ministry of Health to ensure that sector budgets and
plans adequately reflect the needs of MNCH
• Moved a motion for a resolution of Parliament to make
maternal health apriority
• The ministry of finance, because it plays a pivotal role in the
development and implementation of the national budget.
• We also Target a range of other stakeholders whose
activities impact on MNCH including those that work on;
Advocacy cont’d
• Those that work on Poverty reduction, Gender
and women affairs, rural development, transport
• water and Sanitation,
• Education,
• Agriculture,
• Civil society organizations etc ,in Tanzania
Parliament works with the Health Equity Group to
address issues of health care funding and delivery
Legislating to ensure universal access
to essential care
• We should use our legislative mandate to
develop a comprehensive legal framework for
• We should ensure that International treaties
and commitments such as CEDAW are
integrated into national policies
• In June 2009,the UN Human rights council
recognized maternal mortality and morbidity
as pressing human rights concerns.
• We must ensure that women and children have
access to a full range of health interventions
across the continuum of care from pre pregnancy
to early childhood and beyond provided by
trained health workers in communities and in
health facilities.
• Legislate to remove financial barriers that limit
access to health care and also ensure that there
are social protection mechanisms in place that
can help address inequities that prevent the most
vulnerable people from accessing health care.
This has been done through
Reviewing of existing legislation
introduction of Private members Bills
Support to progressive legislation introduced
by the executive
• Zambia and Uganda where there are a
number of caucuses that deal with MDG 4&5
• The women’s caucus in both countries was
instrumental in the process leading to
legislation to protect women during and after
pregnancy through provisions in the national
employment Act and Labour Act
Budgeting for Maternal, newborn and
child health
• No matter how well laws and policies are
designed, they will not be effective if there is
no funding to support their implementation.
• Press for increases in the Budget for health
• In Uganda ,mobilized funding from the World
Bank to finance the Roadmap to accelerate
reduction of maternal and new born mortality
• Create clear budget lines for MNCH ;In Uganda
we now have a budget line for Contraceptives
• Work with government to explore sustainable
financing options such as mechanisms to
enhance tax revenue collection and other
forms of domestic resource mobilization
together with social protection
• Good examples of Vietnam and Rwanda where
Parliament passed legislation to remove financial
barriers that prevented universal access to
• Introduced legislation that ensured that health
care for children under six would be provided by
the government free of charge.
• A health care fund for the poor was established
in vietnam and later on a National health
insurance law was passed in 2008
Holding governments to Account for
implementing policies and funding for
MNCH programmes.
• Make governments account for funds put in
MNCH programmes,
• Making sure that the money improves the
health of women and children
• Monitor the budget performance
• Review policy and programme documentation
• Visit programme sites and health facilities
Challenges faced by Parliamentarians
• Insufficient linkages between Parliamentarians
and other representative groups e.g CSOs and
local governments
• Parliament’s ability to engage in policy making
is sometimes constrained by the country’s
legislative process.In Uganda for example MPs
are restrained from moving Private mebers
Bills that put a charge on the consolidated
• Engagement can also be constrained by lack of
research and analytical support that is critical
in the preparation of laws and analysis of
budget documents
• Most times discussion of development issues
is done between donors and the executive
arm of government depriving
Parliamentarians of the chance to contribute.
• The oversight function is affected when Audit
reports are received late and when
government does not allow sufficient access
to information and participation in joint health
sector reviews.
How can Donors and other
International organizations enhance
oversight on MNCH
• Help MPs to carry out country specific needs
assessments to identify the gaps and urgent
• Enable us get access to the latest international
evidence on issues of MNCH .Members must
debate these issues from an informed point of
view backed by accurate and timely data.
• Provide capacity building on Budget analysis,
legislative drafting and analysis, Gender
budgeting skills
• Support MPs to engage the media and also to
conduct public hearings
• Facilitate benchmarking visits to countries
with success stories
• Facilitate exchange of information between
The role of Men
• This is very important
• Male MPs are very vital partners
• Even in community mobilisation men must be
• Use men as change agents to support MNCH
programmes and give out the messages for
Family Planning etc

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