International women´s day in Uganda

On the 8th of March it’s International Women’s Day. We at the Kids Foundation Uganda/Kids of Uganda have chosen to focus on the Ugandan woman and how she celebrates this day and what women’s day means to her. But also what this day means to the nation of Uganda and how the Ugandan woman is celebrated for her contributions to the society.

In Uganda they celebrate Women’s Day through different themes every year; this year’s theme is empowering the woman through innovative approaches to social protection. Furthermore, this aimed towards reducing poverty amongst women, since women are those most affected by poverty in Uganda. The country has set a so-called women’s fund through which a collective of women can get funding and start projects that will be able to sustain them in the future. To find out more about Women’s Day, its significance and how it is celebrated, we interviewed some women that stood out to us in the Manafwa district. We had many incredible women to select from, but we could only choose a few. The women we decided to talk more in-depth with about this special day were Eunice Wasike and Zainabu Muyobo.

 

We visited Chairperson Eunice Wakise and
had the opportunity to see some of the projects.

 

We started our conversation with Eunice Wasike who considers herself a mother and wife first then a politician second. Eunice is one of the many women in Manafwa that has contributed most to the growth of other women. Apart from being the districts women chairperson, Eunice is also a self-taught tailor, who also deals in farming, poultry, event planning, baking and catering. She is also an environmentalist that produces her own biogas.

The reason we have chosen to recognise Eunice is because of her innovativeness and willingness to help other women to better themselves. Through her tailoring business Eunice teaches other women on how to tailor so they can later use this skill to obtain employment or start their own business. With her event planning and catering business Eunice employs more than 30 women, which is a big achievement towards reducing poverty among women. When we asked Eunice of the woman’s role in the society, she answered “ as women its our duty to take care of our families, through maintaining our homes by cooking, cleaning, garden work and seeing that our children are happy and taken care of”.

In Ugandan culture the woman’s role is usually in the home but this norm is slowly changing and women are taking charge and becoming their own bosses. When asked why women’s day was important to her and why it should be celebrated she answered, “women do a lot of hard labour and in most cases with no pay, that’s why a day where our hard work in recognised and appreciated means a lot and is very important. It boosts our morale when we see that not all our hard work goes unnoticed”. Furthermore, we asked Eunice how she will be celebrating women’s day this year and she told us about the women’s gathering that is taking place in western Uganda, where women from different walks of life will come together to celebrates their achievements throughout the yeah. She invited us to attend the women’s celebration that will take place in Bubulo at the end of March.

 

Zainabu is a politician and chairperson for production in the Manafwa district. Apart from her duties to the district Zainabu is a poultry farmer, coffee grower, matooke farmer and women’s counsellor in the sub-county where she lives. In 2008 Zainabu was recognised and awarded by the president of Uganda for her achievements and hard work. She is all about empowering women and seeing that other women in her community can flourish the same way she has. We had the pleasure of attending on of the seminars where Zainabu was educating women on poultry keeping. When we asked Zainabu about the upcoming women’s day celebrations, this was her reply: “as women of this nation but mostly as women of Manafwa we are looking forward to the 8 of march because its one day out of the year we are recognised for our hard work and contributions to society”. But how tis this day celebrated? Zainabu shared with us on how the women on this day celebrate by sharing their experiences as mothers and equal members of society. This day is also celebrated by rejoicing through song and dance to celebrate past regimes and the liberation of women.

Our visit with Chairperson Zainabu Muyobo.

 

Zainabu pointed out on how this day is to celebrate peace in the country and the empowerment of mothers. We asked Zainabu on the importance of women’s day and this was her reply: “women are the backbone of any nation and that’s why it is important that the women are celebrated and valued so that she can continue to strengthen the nation and its future generations to come”.

To sum it up on this important day; International Women’s day is very dear to the women of Uganda is very much celebrated, as women we are constantly fighting for equal right and recognition and it is of great importance when we are valued and viewed as great assets to our nations. We, the Kids Foundation Uganda/Kids of Uganda, will also like to recognize and appreciate all the single mothers in our programme for working hard towards sustaining themselves and their families, from their projects these women manage to educate their children and feed their families which is a great achievement and for that we would like to thank them for their efforts.

 

/Maria, Intern

Kids of Uganda