Uganda President Museveni’s Imprisonment Of Activist Violates Her Right To Advocate For Girls’ Health, Education
Washington Post: A firebrand activist in Uganda spoke up for poor girls. Now she’s in jail.
“Myriad forces pull girls from school across poor swaths of the globe. One is menstruation, long a taboo subject that causes fear and shame, and as a practical matter forces girls to miss school for lack of basics such as sanitary pads or toilets. … [Stella] Nyanzi, a mother of three and an academic, is a controversial figure who champions LGBT rights in a land where homosexual acts are outlawed. … Her latest campaign involved a broken promise by Uganda’s autocratic President Yoweri Museveni … In the campaign, the president and his wife Janet, who is also education minister, promised to fund free sanitary pads for girls in Uganda. But earlier this year, Ms. Museveni told parliament that the promise wouldn’t materialize because there wasn’t enough money. This appears to have infuriated Ms. Nyanzi … and she began to attack the president and his wife [over Facebook posts]. She also started a campaign to raise the money for the promised sanitary pads. … Mr. Museveni has never hesitated to muzzle his critics, and he swung into action against Ms. Nyanzi. … Mr. Museveni has enjoyed close ties with the United States, and truckloads of aid. This should not give him the sense that he can ignore criticism of his actions. By putting Ms. Nyanzi in prison he is not only violating her right to speak up, but also locking up the hopes of girls in Uganda for a simple measure to keep them in school” (4/23).