Women Market Vendors Call on Government to reduce on the different Taxes paid in various Markets
In commemoration of the International Women’s Day, SEATINI Uganda in partnership with Institution for Social Transformation (IST), UN Women and CEHURD organized a half day engagement that targeted women market vendors in Kalerwe- Bivamuntuuyo. The dialogue that was held on 18th March 2022 brought together delegates form UN Women, Market leaders and representatives, CSOs and women market vendors. This dialogue aimed at creating awareness for market women on their role towards improving their livelihoods in the market place, strengthen access and utilization of information on taxation and services on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights as well generate recommendations for improvement of service delivery by government in the market place
In her key note address, Ms. Maureen Wagubi, Executive Director, IST noted that women have a great contribution to the development of the country. She added that the COVID-19 pandemic had disrupted the already weak economic activity in the market place but also alternating the demand and supply chains.
During her presentation, Ms Joanita Nassuna, Program Associate, SEATINI Uganda elaborated the different financial opportunities viable for the market women and how they can access them. Some of the financial packages included Emyooga, Parish Revolving Fund and the recent one which is the Small Business Recovery Fund among others.
“We urge people responsible to bring women together so that they are able to benefit from emyooga, Parish Development Model and other government programmes because markets bring so many women together,” Ms Joanita Nassuna said.
Ms Joanita Nassuna further noted that the current market dues and toilet fees deny women in markets an opportunity to grow their business and transform their lives and those of their families yet they are strong pillars to the economy. She therefore urged the government to provide free toilet facilities for the market women but also improve on the conditions of the markets. On the other side, she called on women in markets also need to demand for proper services in terms of facilities and services in the markets.
Mr Sam Tunugarukire, the Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, SEATINI Uganda highlighted that tax compliance is a pre-requisite for people engaged in business.
“Paying taxes is an obligation and its not bad, women need to hold their leaders accountable on why services are not brought closer yet they are paying taxes,’’ Mr Tumugarukire said.
Ms Evelyne Letiiyo, Programme Specialist, UN Women congratulated the women for being resilient amidst the challenges they face day to day in the market given multiple roles attached to them despite their limited incomes.
At the end of the dialogue, women market vendors had increased knowledge on taxation, business growth and opportunities like the Parish Development Model, Small Business Recovery Fund, Emyooga Program among others.