Women according to statistics constitute 81% of the agricultural workforce and yet these earn up to 50% less than their males counterparts in the same sector.
Women rights advocates under their umbrella organisation, Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET) want government to mechanise agriculture as a means of boasting productivity. This was part of the women’s demands for the women’s month of March.
Women, according to statistics, constitute 81% of the agricultural workforce and yet these earn up to 50% less than their males counterparts in the same sector.
“The hoe is a symbol of women’s unappreciated economic social burden and exclusion. Yet the most damage created by women’s economic exclusion, is its effects on future generations and the creation of human capital,” reads the press statement.
The advocates slammed government on the recent sh10b allocation towards the purchase of hoes. This they argue directly impacts on women who are the majority in the sector and only works to keep them at a subsistence level of farming.
“There is need for increased financial allocation to the agriculture sector so as to enable women work smart and spend less time on the farms. The focus should be on enhancing the value chain,” said Rita Aciro, the Executive Director of UWONET during a pre-women’s day press briefing in Kampala.
The double burden of care work according to the advocates continue to exclude women from paid care work increasing their vulnerability to poverty.
“Recognise, reduce and redistribute women’s burden of unpaid care and domestic work. By providing accessible, high quality public services, women’s responsibility for unpaid care work will be reduced thereby reducing poverty and social exclusion and violation of human rights to healthcare and education,” read UWONET’s press statement.
As Uganda joins the rest of the world to celebrated the International Women’s Day under the theme, ‘Women Economic Empowerment in the changing world of work’, the 2016 global gender gap index show a sharp decline in women economic participation. From the 42nd position in 2010, the country ranked at 87th position in the latest report.
But women exclusion in the labour market according to the Human Development Index (HDI) leads to an estimated 6% loss of the regions GDP. The report further proposes four strategic pathways to greater gender equality and women’s empowerment ; adopting legal reforms, building national capacity to accelerate women’s involvement in decision-making, adopting multi-sectoral approaches in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, and accelerating women’s ownership of assets and management of resources.