Personally, I have been thinking that because issues of women are not well handled by traditional leaders and political leaders, it made women to resort to the Church. In fact, women are the majority in church congregations in my home area. But the role play that was acted as part of our training has made me to rethink my position on gender issues as they relate to our traditional beliefs and religious beliefs.
The role play dramatized a situation in which a woman abused by her husband goes to seek advice from the President of Mothers’ Union; only to be referred to scripture in the Bible which says that women are supposed to be submissive to their husbands and that a good woman is she who is hardworking.
This means that the church also emphasises women being submissive to their husbands and that the man has got authority over a woman. In order to for us to reduce poverty in rural northern Uganda, cultural leaders, church and political leaders are called upon to help in addressing gender issues in a way that both men and women, boys and girls, are treated equally and are appreciated.
By Robert Oluka, Innovator in Training in First Cohort of CPAR Ugand Mentoring Young Adults into Innovators against Poverty programme.
Picture: Mrs. Maxelline Katongole, Mentor, acting in the role play as "The President of Mothers' Union" and Ms. Acio Sharon Enon, Innovator as the "abused wife". Photo taken by Ms. Norah Owaraga, Lead Mentor.