This year's celebration of the International women's day remains exceptional with the existence of COVID-19. This might be as well a good time to assess how it has gotten a direct correlation with women's empowerment and leadership.
Globally participation of women leadership in decision making structures and processes remains a central issue in gender equality. Women’s participation in leadership and decision making is taking promising steps due to advocacy from the different Non Government Organisation,international legal instruments like United Nations convention on Elimination of Women, African charter on Human and people’s rights., Maputo protocol that promotes rights of African women, National Gender Policy, Ugandan Constitution among others and the international Global Agenda like the Sustainable Development Goals especially goal 5 on Achieving Gender Equality and Empowerment girls and Women however involvement of women in decision making is still limited due to male dominance,patriacheal society that promotes women leadership and women submission,stereotypes,lack of empowerment of women and girls, limited knowledge and skills on leadership among others with the most recent as Covid 19 that was a threat an d an opportunity towards women Leadership.
The plight of women leadership remains the untold truth which was worsened by Covid 19 which immensely affected everyone without taking sides on gender never the less affecting women more who did not conceive and give birth to it yet it remains a top priority and crucial as far as achieving gender equality is concerned. The adverse effects of the pandemic root from the measures put to curb the disease like lock down, curfew hours, ban of public and private transport. Closures of businesses including the informal sector were many women are employed.
Without economic empowerment there is no women leadership so as to be able to stand up and take up and take up power and positions right at family level to political offices you need to have collateral like economic independence. With most societies of our societies being patriarchal in nature characterized by male dominance and leadership roles however due to Covid 19 and its measures it threatened this status quo due to the increased burden of care of both men and women that resulted into shared leadership roles at family level. Covid 19 became an eye opener and created more avenues for women leadership from sit home women to career women where they had to rethink,rejuvenate,rise up shake off the dust of stereotype and take up the opportunity and fill the gap that had been created by the pandemic through various women start up food stalls ,vending baby cothes and fruits on different streets in the city, get hands on skills like tailoring classes to learn to make masks, baking classes among others to earn a living and put something on table which became a bargaining chip towards their leadership at family level many men looked at women as partners in leadership rather than recipients of the same. This acted as an incentive for women to take up positions from Nabakyala, women councilor to big offices of Member of Parliament ship due to the pandemic promoting equitable development.
Is Covid 19 pandemic a threat or an opportunity to women leadership and can its effects be a mileage to step on to promote women leadership and achieve gender Equality?