As we continue to celebrate women this month, Global Platform Uganda put together a feminist conference in Apac district on Friday, 19th 2021 to bring together young feminists to educate, share and explore potentials to create innovative and sustainable solutions for the challenges that women face in society today. The feminist conference ran under the theme: Building on women’s strength for a better future in a covid19 world.
Among the many pertinent issues discussed was sexual harassment, stereotypes amongst women and how they can be addressed, social and cultural norms, patriarchy, female genital mutilation, women empowerment among others.
”To be a great feminist, you need to invest much in the mind because the mind is like a computer” Primus Bahiigi, Manager global Platform Uganda said during the feminist conference
For a long time social and cultural norms continually reinforced perceptions that men make better leaders than women. However, as it is a goal for Global platform Uganda to empower young people with servant leadership skills that help with dealing with societal issues, this patriarchal perception is slowly being erased. While the fight for gender equality continues, let’s remember that it takes all of us to combat these harmful and problematic stereotypes.
A common pressing issue that young people shared was the vice of sexual harassment especially at places of work. Women need protection and in the many ways this can be achieved lies empowering women leaders therein. Enabling women assume high positions of leadership in different institutions provides a better chance for informed decisions and policies to be made.
On a phone with Byaruhanga Frank, Digital Learning Inspirator said; “the two day conference was conducted to dive deeper into the perspectives of feminist leaders as they navigate gender norms. So we invited young feminist at the platform shared their experiences, and they offered deep insight into leading with power and purpose in moments.”
The adage that goes “educate a girl and educate a nation” has never been truer than in this day and age. Education is a key area of focus. Prioritizing girls’ education provides high return on investment. An educated girl is more likely to postpone marriage, raise a smaller family, have healthier children, and send her own children to school and has more opportunities to earn an income and to participate in political processes. We need to choose to challenge the narrative and get more girls to school for future women participation.
Women’s health and safety is another important area of focus that has over the years been getting more attention. Quality maternal health care can provide an important entry point for information and services that empower mothers as informed decision-makers concerning their own health and the health of their children.
“The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the livelihoods of communities across the country and women, girls are marginalized people, and some cultures don’t recognize women and after this feminist conference; will challenge these cultural norms in our society” ~ Sandra Abaho said
In these changing times, the COVID19 times, Information technology and digital platforms are key in improving women’s access to information and opportunities. Guaranteeing rights of women and girls and giving them opportunities to reach their full potential is critical not only for attaining gender equality, but also for meeting a wide range of international development goals. While we all observe to ensure that these solutions are fruitful, let us remember that empowered women and girls contribute to the health and productivity of their families, communities, and countries, creating a ripple effect that eventually benefits everyone.