COVID 19 A GLOBAL RESPONSE TO WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP.

Harriet Kamashanyu
Posted March 8, 2021 from Uganda
Women economic empowerment training
Women economic empowerment training: Women from Kabalagala participating in an economic empowerment training organized by Rhythm of Life Uganda with Trocaire International as development partners. (1/1)

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?

This story was submitted in response to #HerStoryMakesHistory.

Comments 7

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Nini Mappo
Mar 08
Mar 08

Dear Harriet,
Thank you for sharing the work that RoLU is doing in conjunction with Trocaire International to support the quest for inclusion of women in leadership and decision making. It is encouraging to hear that the stereotypes are falling off and women are becoming more empowered.

Olutosin
Mar 08
Mar 08

Sister mi i was thinking about you today....thank God you are here o...
Covid 19 really really affected women more because of the Care work that is mandatory will be added to the burden we usually carry before....
Women are burden bearer ooo.

Stella Paul
Mar 08
Mar 08

What a great time to remind the world that women entrepreneurs need all the support we can give them, dear Harriet! Women's economic .empowerment is an urgent yet often neglected issue. I think we can all start adopting a positive attitude here and start providing the much-needed support because when women start a business and uplift the economy in their respective communities!

Anne Dupont
Mar 08
Mar 08

Dear Harriet,
Thank you for this reminder that, in the midst of a pandemic, that women continue to be resourceful and creative in building businesses, providing for their families and taking up leadership roles. This is a bright spot in our road to economic recovery.
Warmly,
Anne

Beth Lacey
Mar 12
Mar 12

I agree- COVID has opened the opportunity (sadly) for women to demonstrate their innovation, creativity, and resilience.

Upalparna Dey
Mar 16
Mar 16

I personally feel that the Covid 19 acts as an indicator for more women in the workforce, taking up financial responsibilities for herself and her family. With more women coming up to the forefront as professionals, it is about high time to promote women leadership roles and take a step ahead towards achieving gender equality. Very well written, hats off to you lady!

KABAHENDA KIGGUNDU
Apr 16
Apr 16

Dear Harriet,

Thank you for sharing your insightful post. As they say, every cloud has a silver lining.
It is good to know that the ravages of COVID-19 are countered with shared responsibilities between men and woman in Uganda at the family level, increased opportunities for enterprise and women's leadership in various income-generating activities, and opportunities for achieving gender equality.
It is my wish and prayer that the gains made during this pandemic linger beyond this pandemic.