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Archive for April, 2018

In 2011, I wrote an article about women confronting  VAW using ICTs  that featured a story of how women in the olden days creatively used local platforms to combat violence against women. The 59-year-old woman told us that when she was growing up as a young girl, women used to look for a strategic location in the village to broadcast their messages. This location was usually an anthill. The woman would stand on top of the anthill and shout about her husband’s bad behaviours. She would say “my husband is bad, she beats me when I give meat to the children, he is a glutton, he abuses me all the time….”. This was to let everyone in the village hear about her husband’s abusive behaviors. This would prompt the villagers to gossip about him and local musicians would compose songs about him. This shame would cause him to eventually change his ways.

Today, technology especially social media has provided us with much more advanced platforms compared to an anthill where we can broad cast our message globally. I have previously shared similar cases where women like Prisca Baike  have used technology to  amplify their struggles against violence.

Likewise,  a former student at Makerere University used the only tool that was in her possession- a smart phone and took a self of  University administrator who forcefully grabbed her boobs and started licking them when she went to pick her academic documents. Read the full story.

She later circulated the picture on social media and exposed the act. Her actions attracted support  including the University  Vice Chancellor applauded her for exposing the errant officer who harassed her.

Consequently the officer has been  arrested and we hope  justice will be served.

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Image Source:https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/the-guide-to-right-of-way-laws-in-georgia-by-valerie-mellemaThis morning as I was  sorting and organizing  books on my desk, I came across one of the magazines by a regional youth organization. I flipped through the pages  to see  its content and I picked interest in an interview with a young  and prominent female journalist.

Among the many questions that she was asked, there was this question about SDG goal number 5 on  achieving gender equality and this is the question:

The UN adopted  a set of 17 goals, one of which is achieving gender equality by 20130. Do you think women in the media industry  have made progress towards reducing the gender gap?

Her response: …we have looked at this emancipation debate as a right of way even when you have not worked hard, you want to be there. You cannot say I am a woman and therefore I need to sit on this committee. Society should not afford us favors because we are women.

I found her response disturbing given the fact that she is a woman. I remembered the words of a fierce, unapologetic  African feminist Hope Chigudu who told young women that even that trouser you are putting on, someone fought for it.  I think we have grown up in a privileged environment and have taken gender equality for granted. The struggle for gender equality cannot be dismissed as a right of way! Women have come along way and it is very unfortunate that instead of standing on the shoulders of our fore mothers who paved a way for us, we are calling it a right of way. Really???

I am deeply concerned that  as young women and girls, we have quickly forgotten that the basic rights and freedoms we are enjoying today including education, citizenship, employment and many others were fought for by our fore mothers.

I challenge all women and girls to read the history and struggles of the women movement.

– “you can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.” Maya Angelou

Image Source:The Guide to Right-of-Way Laws in Georgia

 

 

 

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