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Outstanding contributor to the advancement of women's rights

Dr Sylvia Tamale, the first woman Dean at The Faculty of Law at Makerere University, Uganda, will be honored on Thursday 2nd December by the women's movement in Uganda for her outstanding contribution to the advancement of women's rights in Africa. 'We want to pay tribute to her courage and commitment, and for her unstinting refusal to shy away from controversial rights issues' said Jessica Nkuuhe of Isis-WICCE one of the co organisers of the event. Dr Tamale, has recently been subjected to a hateful media campaign in Uganda for her outspoken support for the rights of sexual minorities and in particular the gay and lesbian communities.

'Her message is very simple,' says Stella Mukasa, Chair of Akina Mama wa Afrika, 'Those of us who promote human rights, should promote the human rights of all. We cannot pick and choose who amongst us has rights and who does not. This principled stand is what has sparked this ugly media and public backlash. Well, now is the time for us to come out in support of Dr Tamale and for the work that she does.'

Dr Tamale is a human rights defender and activist, academic, writer and grassroots mobiliser who has influenced critical thinking at national and international levels. She is one of Africa's leading feminist scholars. Her book 'When hens Begin To Crow; Gender and Parliamentary Politics in Uganda' published in 1999 has been recognised internationally as a landmark piece. Her keen and sharp analysis, puts her at the cutting edge of human rights discourse.. In July 2003, Dr Tamale was awarded the University of Minnesota Distinguished Leadership award for Internationals.

'Dr Tamale is the source of inspiration for so many young women and men. We had an idea of the contribution she has made. But nothing prepared us for the number of people who have come forward and want to be a part of this event, all as a direct result of Sylvia's influence on their lives. It has been truly an honor for us to organise this.' Commented Solome Nakaweesi-Kimbugwe of The Uganda Women's Network.

Messages of goodwill have been sent from around the world from friends, colleagues and well wishers.

We salute this wonderful daughter of the African soil.

Sarah Mukasa Akina Mama wa Afrika

Messages of congratulations

Equality Now

It is with a deep sense of pride and appreciation that we at Equality Now write to salute you on this day. Congratulations and thanks Sylvia, for the tremendous and courageous work you have done to promote the rights of women and other marginalized groups. It has been a great honor to be associated with you over the years. Your insight and analysis has greatly contributed to the work of Equality Now.

We wish you every success in your post as the Dean of the Faculty of Law at Makerere University. We look forward to working with you in future. Yours in sisterhood and solidarity

Faiza Mohammed and all at Equality Now

African Women's Development Fund Sylvia,

Thank you for being the brave, courageous, beautiful, powerful role model you are. With women like you on the African continent, we know there is hope for our generation. On behalf of the African Women's Development Fund, I send you best wishes on this special occasion. In a personal capacity, I am proud to call you my sister, my friend and colleague. At AWDF, we often talk about the women who quietly toil away to ensure that women craft and live new identities. They do this through community organising, advocacy or creating knowledge and sharing it with others. Most of this work is done away from the glare of publicity and public acclaim. We call them `Women of Substance'. Sylvia Tamale, you are indeed a Woman of Substance. We are proud of you and we celebrate with you.

Fond regards always

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi Executive Director, African Women's Development Fund

African Women's Development Fund, Ghana, and President, Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID). Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi Executive Director African Women's Development Fund Aviation House, Aviation Road PMB CT 89 Cantonments, Accra, Ghana Tel: + 23321 780476 Fax: + 23321 782502 Email: [email protected] Website:

African Women's Development and Communication Network (FEMNET)

The African Women's Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) is a pan- African network working towards African Women's development, equality and other human rights, would like to join the Ugandan women's movement in celebrating the achievement of one of our most dynamic and fearless feminist intellectual activists and theorists---the appointment of Dr Sylvia Tamale as the new Dean of the Faculty of Law at Makerere University. We salute Dr Tamale for her work in the service of African women's autonomy, choice and freedom. We salute her too for the rigour with which she approaches this work----making her the first woman Dean of the Faculty of Law in Makerere University's history. We are sure she will take the faculty and the students it serves, both male and female----in new and positive directions. We wish her strength in her new role. And we assure her of our solidarity and support, always.

Warm Regards Lynn Muthoni Wanyeki, Director

Fahamu and the Pambazuka News Team

We take great pride in being able to include these messages of congratulations and to pay tribute to the courage and commitment to the fight for the emancipation of women

Firoze Manji, Fahamu