Ugandan women: rights & achievements against all odds

Guest Post by Agnes N. Bravo

Leave alone the well-known Feminine characters like first Lady Janet Museveni; Buganda queen Sylvia Nnaginda Nabagereka, Minister Amelia Kyambadde, and the speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga; being a woman in Uganda is a different profession altogether. A Ugandan woman plays a great role in the society. She is a 24 hours watchdog working from sunrise to sunrise.

A fragile stature with immeasurable strength. She wakes up in the morning and prepares her homestead, prepares her children and her husband too, then she may proceed to the formal workplace where she may encounter an angry boss at times and endures the scolding’s and tension till sunset, but still another office awaits her home as a wife.

A Ugandan woman is the pivot of the society, a pillar that holds a home and all dependents, she is a P.R.O, always expected to be strong and respond to tension, someone’s daughter , a wife, a mother and employee, four professions she is expected to perfect, and never does she get tired.

Her royalty Sylvia Nnaginda Nabagereka the queen of Buganda Kingdom(the largest and most prominent cultural society in the country) pioneered the Kisaakate’ Programme so as to help in nurturing the girl children of Uganda into disciplined and cultured adults and mothers. This is just one of the tens of innovative initiatives put up by a woman to build the nation.

Hundreds of girls have been hurried into assuming all marital roles at a very tender age at the expense of education and full maturity. Although the Health Ministry UN Population Fund (UNFPA), girl and human rights activists have embraced initiatives such as the Let Girls Be Girls campaign (main photo) to advocate for equity Ugandan girls are still on the loose. UNICEF estimates that five in every ten girls are married off before the consent age of 18. In fact, according to a Demographic Household Survey by Chief Keep children safe Programme, conducted in 2011, 49% of women 20-49 years old were married before the age of 18 years and 15% of the same groups were married before the age of 15 years.let girls be girls button

The constitution of the Republic of Uganda states in chapter IV Article 33 that women shall be accorded full and equal dignity of the person with men and the state shall provide the facilities and opportunities necessary to enhance the welfare of women to enable them to realize their full potential and advancement.

It further states that women shall have the right to equal treatment with men and that right shall include equal opportunities in political, economic and social activities, but still it’s not equity that was provided but rather just equality, only leaving men as the ceremonial heads of the society. On June 18th 2013 a group of female judges in Uganda expressed concern over the increase in gender based domestic violence and abuse in the country.

In many areas men have abandoned family roles to the attention of women, because men assume women gaining equality gained equity forgetting where she stood before the gender equality campaign. What would be fairness becoming unfairness, she does all the roles but still credit goes to the man.

It might as well not be an issue of amazement if she does vice-versa of what is expected of her as a woman, after role she never was a girl before.

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