By Sarah Zikehikira
As we celebrated International Women’s Day on the March 8, 2014, and now International Labour Day is also here, a lot has since been talked about the woman.
We see women participating in all kinds of jobs, some work that was never heard of or ever been imagined a woman would do bearing in mind how difficult they are to be performed.
Credit goes to the Government and civil society organisations emphasis on women involvement, their inclusion in economic activities and the affirmative action.
In a bid to survive and compete in such a capitalist world, women are shaped to do certain jobs (the odd jobs as were described by our grandparents), this should be appreciated in that the household where she belongs and serves needs to survive.
As women get involved in multiple work, there will be improved household income, societies will be better, and we shall realise economic growth that will enable Uganda achieve some of the Millennium Development Goals.
Empowering a woman yields vast objectives ranging from achieving education for children, reducing avoidable diseases, reducing child mortality rates, and having a quality population hence reduction on over dependence on government. What the Government would be left to do is to put emphasis on ensuring that there is good infrastructure in place, good schools, hospitals, roads, creation of markets and opportunities for the public.
We see this woman competing for top jobs in an open market. But in all, statistics and research has it that women are over represented in poverty, they are victims of domestic violence, some say they are being compromised to do certain odd jobs and attain certain status.
So should I conclude that a woman will always be a woman?
Rather I wouldn’t think so; more is needed by the society to appreciate the value and work done by these women, ranging from core domestic roles to voluntary work as well as the reproductive roles.
The male counterparts should play the supportive role and full appreciation of these women, sisters, wives and mothers. Support and appreciation is needed for these women, otherwise such a day (women’s day) will continue to be irrelevant.
Let us reflect on how far the women have come from, where they are right now and where they are going, societies will be better in the future, if women continue to be empowered.
Empowerment not to mean that the male counterparts should sit back and watch over women assume men’s responsibilities or the women to assume wrong equality to take over men’s roles but rather men and women should supplement each. Men should style up otherwise, they will soon start advocating for affirmative action, if the trend of economic empowerment of these women continue at this speed.
It is so disappointing that even where cases of economic empowerment of a woman are visible or have been attained in certain families, traces of domestic violence in all forms continue to exist because of lack of support from their male counterparts. Men too need to wake up and move with the times.
A wake up call is that men should wake up and even work harder than in the past times. Such support like affirmative action geared towards empowering a girl child, UPE, an extra point of entry to public universities after UACE will lead to men being left out and a question will arise should there be affirmative action towards men or it will later cause an imbalance never to end?
The writer is a gender analyst and economic policy consultant