18 prison trainees in Uganda have been suspended by authorities for being pregnant.
The local media reported that Frank Baine, the Prisons spokesperson said getting pregnant, drunkenness and fighting are among the acts prohibited among the trainees in rules and regulations governing the country’s prisons academy.
Baine also disclosed that Dr Johnson Byabashaija, the commissioner-general of Prisons wondered why pregnant women would be allowed to go for training.
Speaking at the pipping ceremony for 64 Prisons officers who were recently promoted to ranks of Commissioner of Prisons, Assistant Superintendents of Prisons, and Superintendents of Prisons, Baine said;
“It is like university when you fail an examination, you are given retakes.
“We do not allow pregnant girls to come for training. I want to know who was supervising them and know how to punish them. They will come and resume training in the next intake.”
Women rights activists have said the recent suspension is illegal because it violates the affirmative action enshrined in Ugandan Constitution.
Ms Mwanga Masitula Ashah, the Executive Director of Islamic Women Initiative for Justice, Law and Peace, told Daily Monitor that the decision is contrary to Chapter 4 of the Constitution.
The provision states that everyone is equal before the law, and affirmative action supports women to conceive as and when they have intercourse.
“Everyone has the right to a family as long as they are 18 years and above and the Constitution is explicit that any law that contravenes the Constitution is null and void and it should be treated as such.”
She also insisted that the affeected trainees should be subjected to a fair hearing because it is their right to conceive.