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Married men who cook ridiculed as greedy, bewitched - Study

By Francis Emorut

Added 15th April 2018 07:35 PM

A study conducted by Economic Research Policy Centre (EPRC) and School of Women and Gender Studies Makerere University indicates that married men who cook are ridiculed by some sections of society and become a subject of gossip.

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A study conducted by Economic Research Policy Centre (EPRC) and School of Women and Gender Studies Makerere University indicates that married men who cook are ridiculed by some sections of society and become a subject of gossip.

PIC: Dr Peace Musimenta (right) from school of women and gender studies Makerere University talks to gender technical advisor at the ministry of education, Angella Nakafeero, during the release of a study on gender roles and the care economy at Golf Course Hotel in Kampala. (Credit: Francis Emorut)

RESEARCH

 
Due to cultural practices and norms, married men who help their wives in the kitchen are perceived as greedy or bewitched, a study has revealed.

A study conducted by Economic Research Policy Centre (EPRC) and School of Women and Gender Studies Makerere University indicates that married men who cook are ridiculed by some sections of society and become a subject of gossip.
 
The perception that husbands who help their wives in the kitchen are either greedy or bewitched by their wives is dominant in Kampala and Kabale district, according to the study.

“A man that helps out in the kitchen would be mocked and gossiped about as “oyo bamuloga nebamulekera agasala ekuubo”, translated as a man that was bewitched by his wife and only left with senses to enable him to cross the road.” Dr Peace Musimenta said while presenting the findings of the survey recently.
 
This perception was from the respondents of Kampala and Kabale. The survey covered 1,198 households.

“A man that helps out his wife in the kitchen is compared to a ‘dog’ that follows the ‘owner’ wherever he/she goes,” respondents from Kable said

The study titled "Gender Roles and the Care Economy in Uganda Households - A case of Kaabong, Kabale and Kampala districts," was conducted in May 2017.

It covered three districts Kampala and Kabale and Kaabong involving 2,028 respondents aimed at finding answers to questions such as is care work recongnised in Uganda? And are there efforts to reduce care burden among men and women?

Women respondents were 1,077, men 823 and children 1,208.
 
The study was supported by Oxfam in partnership with Uganda Women’s Network. 
 
For the respondents from Karamoja region, men who cook are perceived as being greedy.

“Men who cook are perceived as” loroomot” translated as ‘a man that counts pieces of meat and, therefore, greedy,” the study points out.

Musimenta explained that according to Karimojong culture, such men are socially frowned upon and attract gossip and ridicule from both men and women.

The findings of the study indicate that both men and women use culture to attribute and justify care kitchen work as women’s responsibility and breadwinning to men.

“This explains men’s non-participation in physical work. Interestingly men are drifting away from the culturally expected breadwinning role, which further compounds the care burden for women,” Musimenta said.
 
Responding to the researcher’s presentation, the gender technical advisor at the education ministry, Angella Nakafeero, said: “If you are going to make men perform some of the roles undertaken by women it is going to be war.”

“How are you going to overcome the resistance?” she asked.

Care work activities include fetching water and firewood, cooking, washing clothes, caring for children, elderly and the sick as well as cleaning the house, utensils and compound.
 
The researchers observed that redistribution of care work will require sustained long-term strategies.

Among the recommendations include socialisation of boys and girls, bylaws on time, alcohol consumption, as well as engaging religious and cultural leaders to demonstrate positive outcomes of shared care work for human development.

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