Why is this important?

Uganda’s culture and traditions have created a situation in which women have less access to privileges and economic opportunities than men. For example, traditionally boys received more education and received inheritance in the form of property. While girls were raised to take care of the household, and perform unpaid work, including the more traditional caretakers’ role.

This is partly due to the tradition of child marriages, or marriage at young age, which results in the women or girls moving out of the house in return for a ‘bride prize” which also means that the household no longer benefits from, for example, education. While most of these traditions are less persistent these days in the cities these days, most women are still facing unequal opportunities as a result of this and the accompanying “stigma”, among other things, when it comes to access to financing or entrepreneurship.

Furthermore directly related is the high unemployment rate in Uganda, which is higher among women then men. According to the UN Women[1] the unemployment rate in Uganda is 11.7% among women and 8.4% among men, these numbers are much higher when focussing on the youth (below 35 years in Uganda). Furthermore of the employed female population 38.5% is still below the poverty line (compared to 33.9% male employed individuals).

To bridge this gap, more jobs need to be created in the country, entrepreneurship skills need to be enhanced and most importantly equal access to such jobs needs to be secured. This includes equal access to education. Accessing school is more challenging and dangerous for the girl child due to the long distances they frequently have to walk to school, the drop-out rate due to teenage pregnancies, and the fact that every month school is missed when girls have their periods and don’t have access to pads (for example).

[1] https://data.unwomen.org/country/uganda