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Gender Equality

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Dear Michelle,

Hope you are doing well.
Am so glad to have this opportunity to speak on behalf of my fellow sisters in Uganda globally.

Am a Ugandan called Jayan Nanyonga born in Kampala the capital city of Uganda. I work with an outreach ministry called Empower A Child and I have gotten myself a chance of seeing what happens in our community and it is the reason as to why I decide to write and share this with you because it is heartbreaking and so confusing at times.

In my community young girls, women and widow have really faced a challenge and so I use this opportunity to share with you issues that have really disturbed my mind for a very long time.

In Uganda today, in some parts, ladies are not allowed to inherit anything in terms of property or money from their parents because they are considered a weaker sex. This is an older tradition that still exists to this day. Am still so sick to this rule because I believe that some women are much more better than men. So I really think that if we join efforts and campaign against this, it can come to an end.

Women who give birth to only girls are at some point thrown out of their homes by their husbands in Uganda because they have failed to give birth to boys. This is so true because boys are considered to be a blessing in homes. To me this is inequality to the highest degree because I believe we are all equal in the the eyes of God since we were all created in His own Image.I highly recommend that an awareness be created in the community so that this comes to an end.

Many girls in the urban and more so in the rural areas have become victims of school drop out because their dads do not believe in girl education. They still think and believe that they are wasting their money by educating the girls.The have a mentality that the girls is meant t to be in the kitchen and not beyond that. This so so heart breaking. We had neighbors whose dad had such a mentality, he refused to pay for them school fees but I thank God they looked out for other people who supported them through out their studies.I truly hope and beileve that by creating sponsorship programs in different parts of Uganda can really help such kids to attain education to the highest levels. In that way, girls will attain a right of education.

In some cultures and religions, I have personally observed women are not allowed to attend funerals of their loved ones because of their sex. On two occasions I have had two friends who have been denied a chance of burying their parents because they are women and this has left them emotionally disturbed. To me this does not make any sense at all and I think all we need to do is to reach out to such people and sensitize them and this requires financial support.

A woman in a family can never decide on the number of kids they want in some parts of Uganda. So they end up giving birth to so many kids and hence being abandoned. This really sucks because such girls or women have no any right to objection at all. So I hereby call upon the UN women Agency to help people like us to reach out to such people and empower them in one way or the other.

In Uganda today, girls are married at a very earl age ( 12 years) off by their parents especially dads to strangers who are way older than them. These young girls have no choice because they have no any say because even their own mothers can not support or defend them since they are considered to be a weaker sex. This is is confusing and disturbing and I here by think, If am given a chance or an opportunity to help them out I can defend them.

In addition, all household work is meant to be for women. Actually I have grown up with a mentality that if I see my dad sweeping the compound or washing dishes, then there is a problem. Some men don't do any work in their homes and it is actually the reason as to why they refuse their wives to work. At the end of the day, women end up being submissive.

In Uganda, some women get jobs after sleeping with their bosses and because they are so desperate they are subjected to sexual abuse. This is so not right. why in the world would I give in my body in the exchange of a job?? and indeed, where in the world dose this man get the audacity to ask me to sleep with him. I really feel so bad to my fello sisters who have been victims of such circumstances. The UN women agency can therefore help out by creating job opportunities to these women.
After I finished my University, I started job hunting but I was so shocked to death that of the eight jobs I applied for, three bosses asked me to sleep with them and in that way, I would get the job, in fact they call it a carpet interview. I could not believe it because I had always heard about it but had never experienced it. All these bosses want is to put you down and demolish you. So I had to quit the process of job hunting and sit back home until God answered my prayers.

Another scenario of gender inequality in Uganda is that women are restricted from eating some types of food in Uganda.
which still does not make any sense.

Another story is from my real family background. I come from a family of 8 kids and among all, six are girls. Am the 3rd born and we only have two young brothers but our patternal uncles and aunt through my child hood demotivated my dad. They used to tell him that all his efforts of a family were in vain since most of us are girls, but I thank God that all their stories fell on his deaf ears and he disapproved them. He educated all of us and most of us are through university.
His only and main reason was that he wanted us to gain bargaining power as girls and indeed I have seen that happen in my life because I can truly speak out if something is not right.

I really think that if the UN women agencies empower we the speakers, we can too empower people in our communities who can not raise their voices. They should too help NGOs in developing countries to re enforce it's laws and policies because some of the NGOs have them on paper but they have failed to implement them.

We are quite a number of people, who are responded to this cause, I truly beileve that if all ideas are gathered and put into consideration, women in out communities will move to greater heights!!!

Thanks for your time and consideration in reading this as I know that there is a tremendous demand for your time. I hope this helps with your decision!

Jayan Nanyonga

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As the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women officially begins its work this month, World Pulse is asking women worldwide: What is YOUR vision and recommendation for UN Women? We invite you to raise your voice by writing a letter to UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet outlining your recommendation for how this new UN agency can truly affect change on the ground to promote gender equality and uphold the rights and needs of women both on a local and global scale.
Learn more: http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire/programs/international-violence-agai...

Comments

jadefrank's picture

Thank you!

Dearest Jayan,

Thank you for participating in this campaign, by using your voice and speaking out for women of Uganda and women worldwide, and being a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. Your letter is so powerful!

In two weeks, we will compile your letters and share your voices with the GEAR Campaign, who have been working closely with UN Women to ensure the inclusion of civil society groups, and through the PulseWire community, grassroots women leaders, as they set their agenda. We will also be sending your letters directly to Michele Bachelet and other senior leaders of the newly formed UN agency, to demonstrate the effectiveness for sourcing opinion, knowledge and needs from the global grassroots women's movement through our online community. Through this, we hope to open a portal for our community to have a direct line of influence within the UN Women agency.

I will keep you updated on the progress of our campaign!

In friendship and solidarity,
Jade

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