Adongo is a poor rural woman who lives in Alebtong District. Early every morning, she wakes up at 5:00 a.m. with her children to dig in their family garden rich with beans, cassava, abuga, and boyo. She does so in order to provide food for her family. Her dominant husband always comes around to supervise and to make sure she digs enough for the day, saying to her: “Haraka my darling.”

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She leaves their family garden at 8:00 a.m. and with a pot on her head, rushes off to Mr. Odongo’s farm to dig for food while her children collect wild mangoes and oranges to eat on their way. She collects firewood from the commons and branches to Ajuri River to fetch water; and finally reaches home at 11:30 a.m. and cooking commences.

At the end of the day when she has harvested food from the garden, she sells cassava and beans at the nearest market. While she is a way from home, her husband sometimes sells off stored food. But for fear of being accused, he leaves the money that he gets at his drinking point. Whenever this happened and as soon as she realized, it always caused misunderstanding between them.

With hope for help from the local area council I (village council), Adongo once reported the incident of her husband selling off stored food, only to be asked to apologise to her husband. The council reasoned that her husband is the head of the family as Jesus is the head of the church and the land on which the food was cultivated is owned by him. The council emphasised that their reasoning is contextualised in the Bible:

“For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.”

Bible Verse: Ephesians 5:23

By Gumkit Ann Parlaker, Innovator in First Cohort of CPAR Uganda programme: “Mentoring Young Adults into Innovators against Poverty”; and Volunteer Fundraiser with CPAR Uganda. Ann generated this story from the content of and discussions during the training sessions of Module I: Understanding Poverty in Rural Uganda of the CPAR Uganda programme. She essentially dramatized her learning and utilised her great skill of storytelling to demonstrate her understanding of the complex issues that were discussed during the training sessions. Read more about Ann here.

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