Oppressed women can’t meaningfully celebrate Women’s Day

Many of us on the side of the oppressed will not keep quiet and monitor a supervised injustice against women. Our country, marked the International Women’s Day in an imagination that there is liberty for women in an oppressed Uganda. 

On March 8, the chosen few who gain from this international day celebration thronged State House in pretence of celebrating women emancipation. 

The chief guest was President Museveni. Speaker after speaker, most of whom were women, gave speeches with flowery language claiming that Museveni is an embodiment of women emancipation in Uganda. 

To me, these women leaders are not serious and they have betrayed the struggles of the ordinary women.

This is because this year’s Women’s Day should not have been celebrated in a manner that seems to indicate that women in Uganda have had an enjoyable year. The only thing I can place a finger on at the moment is the fact that may be some women are still alive. 

But these oppressed women that the “women leaders” purported to speak for are not at peace and haven’t been at peace for a long period of time. ADVERTISEMENT

I thought the worst the Ugandan women had seen were the killings of women that were prevalent in 2017. But alas! The worst came this year. 

In March 2020, a month in which Women’s Day is celebrated, the country went into the Covid-19 induced lockdown. This escalated the suffering of women. 

Just a day into the lockdown, the country saw police hounding the mothers of the nation who were trying to fend for their hungry children. In their households, gender-based violence became the order of the day. Armed men descended on young girls defiled and impregnated them during this period. 

Nothing was talked about in this regard by the so-called women leaders apart from praise singing and continuously telling Museveni how ‘far’ he has brought them.

They forgot that in order to facilitate home-schooling, the girl-child had been promised by the Head of State and the Minister of Education and Sports that they would be provided with a radio and other scholastic materials to facilitate her education. 

It has been tough for the poorest woman and it is a shame that those who gain from oppression continue to mispresent them at such functions. 

Mind you, these functions are funded by the taxes from the ordinary women, who endure the sun heat, the rain and the primitive farming methods from which these taxes are collected.

Women leaders are so forgetful that they have already forgotten that towards the end of last year, the country went into the violent campaigns, which ended in a controversial elections. 

During the campaigns, women were harassed, tortured, imprisoned and some were even killed. Not only did the election bring body harm to women, but it also occasioned psychological torture as many lost their children and husbands both during and in the aftermath of the election. 

Those who survived death are still held incommunicado across the country. 

Therefore, instead of women leaders celebrating, they should have better told their chief guest and President Museveni to release the husbands, children, and relatives of the ordinary women.

As a believer in the power of the ordinary women, the women who raised us into who we are today, the women who slept in markets during the Covid-19 lockdown, the women who overcame torture and fended for their families, I know it is not a matter of if, but a matter of when, these ordinary women will organise themselves into a strong liberation front that will eventually overwhelm the oppressors and launch themselves into a true free and fair country where all are equal.