#EachforEqual- International Women’s Day Celebrations

Each year, on March the eighteenth, in Uganda and across the globe, thousands of people stream the streets to celebrate women’s achievement and raise awareness against bias. The International Women’s Day, usually referred to in Europe as the ‘Women’s day of struggle’ was first celebrated by the United Nations in 1977. Despite taking place ten years after it had been adopted by the feminist movement, the celebration dates back to as far as 1911 when it was first celebrated by over a million people.

This year, Creative Youth Agency found it fit to tailor their efforts towards empowering women economically in order to honor the international theme of “Each for All.” As a young Non-profit organization, we wanted to begin with women in our community. The theme for our campaign was “Empowering women in our area.” While tackling issues leading to and/or arising from of sexual reproductive health, human capital development, inclusive education for children with disabilities, we decided to host a community dialogue on income generating activities for women. We partnered with the LC II of Muyenga led by Mr. Yasin Omar, who presided over the event and we do believe that his presence created awareness about gender inequality.

A walking race raising awareness about inequality was held prior to the community dialogue. Notwithstanding the many female participants, we had children, youths and men. We do believe that this will spur knowledge about bias in the community.

The dialogue was attended mostly, by slightly more than two hundred women, some of whom had children with disabilities. The income generating activities cited were to benefit female school drop outs aged between eighteen to twenty-four. Such people have limited access to Maternal and Child Health services yet they are most prone to early pregnancies coupled with HIV/AIDS mainly due to the fact they are engaging in sexual activities. By empowering them economically, we help curb the vice of gender-based violence that arises out of inequality.

In order to solve the dependency syndrome, two groups and one individual got sewing machines. Ms. Katusiime Anita from Muyenga B contends that the five thousand shillings left daily by an average husband isn’t enough for any woman to keep any savings from it hence no capital. The sewing machines provide them with a source of income from which they can save and get more income.

In addition, those that got the sewing machines were advised to train their counterparts on how to sew in order to transfer of skills. One of the beneficiaries, Muyenga Women’s Development Organization taught about the need to come together if the people are to be helped. Through unity, it is easy to direct efforts towards a large number of beneficiaries. Ms. KusasiraJoan who was with Creative Youth Agency for the very first time could already sew before she received the sewing machine. Her face, glistening with excitement couldn’t hold back the fact that her sister often seeks help of as little as twenty thousand shillings that she most often doesn’t have. The sewing machine will therefore not only enable Ms. Kusasira to help her sister economically, but also serve as an example to show that her sister too can work and earn a living.