We Unite Against COVID_19 The Terror

ikirimat
Posted January 19, 2021 from Uganda
Military Police man the streets of Kampala during lock-down (courtesy of the Guardian)

Decades ago, women in Uganda rose with a strong determination; to thrive. The sun rose and we saw the wide smile of the day The season we had worked and anticipated for so long Economic, education, political and social opportunities began to thrive. Then the monster of destruction suddenly struck us, non-indiscriminately in 2020. The 3 strides we had taken ahead, COVID-19 took us 2 strides behind. Oh COVID-19 the bomb! All she had set up and achieved over the years came crumbling down, down, down. It killed their businesses, pulling her back to zero! The lock-down restricted her movements to market for sales, access health and legal services, including freedom to associate. Then, as resilience and coping mechanisms………boom! Brewers of local gin saw some light in the tunnel; now make hand sanitizers from gin (waragi). While others saw the internet as their redeemer, connecting with clients and friends and yet painfully costly. In unison women have risen with without relenting despite the glaring challeges. Yes! Positive impact is being created. COVID-19: the monster You scattered our families, that blossomed with love, affection and care You have inflicted upon her pain, stress, mental ill-health and violence You inflicted prolonged social isolation which kept many women ‘locked down’ in the same space with their abusers at all times. COVID 19 you created tensions affecting men’s ability to provide basic necessities for their families due to financial constraints. Women have become more organized to lobby and mobilize resources to change the status quo. COVID 19; the perpetrator of violence COVID-19 you did not spare education which is an asset and a development tool we rely on You closed schools, exposing young girls to unsafe conditions including sexual violence and harassment by male opportunists. Cases of incest, sex for money have rapidly risen in number. Teenage pregnancies have increased by 65% and teenage marriages Oh! What a wasted generation. But we shall continue to be a voice and do better in nurturing the next generation despite the odds Oh COVID-19; the destroyer of generations! She is building resilience and rising up again Rising to exercise her democratic right in the 2021 elections in Uganda, But COVID-19, you disenfranchised us a normal electoral process Restricting us to Social media and radio for campaign messages where majority of women still can’t access is denial of information. Only 19.2% of women can access internet and 68.9% listen to radio You have been so cruel to take many lives You did not spare our mantles and beacons of hope. We mourn the loss of 3 women contestants for Member of Parliament due to you, COVID 19 during this “scientific” political campaign. Hon. Robina Ssentongo (Kyotera Woman MP); Hon. Faith Alupo (Woman MP, Pallisa district); and Hon. Rehema Watongol, Kamuli municipality MP/legislator. Rest in peace. We will always remember them for championing women issues. Aluta continua: Our issues must be put on the table COVID-19: The Tyrant We keep soldiering on and fighting with resilience and in unison against you COVD 19 We shall never take any moment for granted As we reflect on many issues and effects of COVID 19 in 2020 upon every sphere of our lives Let’s love, support and celebrate our sisterhood this year 2021 COVID-19; we are out to defeat you!

This story was submitted in response to Her Power. Our Power..

Comments 26

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Phinnie
Jan 19
Jan 19

Ikirimat--
Covid-19 has had such a devastating impact on people across the globe, especially women and girls! You paint such a picture of the losses and setbacks as a result of this global pandemic. In spite of it all, your determination and hope for a new year and new opportunities shines through! May 2021 bring you and your sisters new opportunities and increased security and hope! You are an inspiration!

ikirimat
Feb 15
Feb 15

Thank you Phinnie
Together we shall over come

Nini Mappo
Jan 20
Jan 20

Hello Ikirimat,
The metaphor of the pandemic as an enemy to be fought of for all it has taken is spot on. Right now, and perhaps for a long time post, we'll live in hope. That is our greatest weapon. Hope keeps innovative ideas flowing to stay ahead of the enemy and evade it's fire. Let us fan our hope aflame, to keep us buoyant in these discouraging times.
Sending hope-filled hugs.

ikirimat
Feb 15
Feb 15

Thank you Nini

Usbin
Jan 20
Jan 20

Thanks Ikirimat for the update on the Covid i19 n your area. Covid has impacted so many effect on the economy of the each nation

Hello, Grace,

COVID-19 took a lot from all of us around the globe. It aggravated the existing challenges women face, and you have skillfully enumerated these in your posts. I'm sorry your lost three women contestants for Members of Parliament. May they rest in power. I love how courageous you are, refusing to be defeated by this perpetrator. Amidst it all, this is what I love, "Women have become more organized to lobby and mobilize resources to change the status quo. ".

Women champions rose to the challenges in the pandemic, and they are undefeatable despite it all. You are among these women, dear Grace. You are the hope of Uganda. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

ikirimat
Feb 15
Feb 15

Thank you Karen for the warm comments. You give me more strength and courage to persist.

Charity Birla
Jan 21
Jan 21

Hello Ikirimat
Thanks for the encouraging words ..Covid 19 has brought so many negative effects but we will stand to fight it as u said. The determination and hope for a safe tomorrow keeps us moving ...i can't wait to read more inspiring words from you.

Susu Mohamed
Jan 22
Jan 22

Dear Ikirimat, thank you for your information,
we are afraid of explosions, Covid 19 was like a common cold near to us.
I'm sorry he's back now the world, I think somali weather is very hot and it is possible that this will help us.

ikirimat
Feb 15
Feb 15

Thank you for the encouragement Charity

MUKABA ZAWADI
Jan 22
Jan 22

Vraiment le Covid a impacté notre population surtout ici chez nous en RDC, nos enfants sont devenues de chômeurs pas d'école lorsqu'il y a pas écoles entraine la délinquance de nos enfants, devenu des voyou etc

julie_4
Jan 22
Jan 22

Wow! this is so powerful, I have goosebumps reading it. The terrible situations women are finding themselves in due to Covid is truly horrible and I feel for them deeply. It puts into perspective how things really are for others. I love that sentence about using gin to make hand sanitiser. There is such resilience and creativity in crisis. Solidarity with you and all of the sisters in Uganda.
Julie

ikirimat
Feb 15
Feb 15

Thank you Julie. Its a reality women have to step up to challenge the status quo

Jacqueline Namutaawe

Hey Grace thanks for this article, covid-19 the monster that it is cumbling down the strenght and resilence of women. We hope 2021 brings better opportunities and a ray of hope in most women endeavors. Thank you.

ikirimat
Feb 15
Feb 15

Thank you Jacquie. Together we can.

Tamarack Verrall
Jan 23
Jan 23

Dear Grace,
One f the most important things we can do at this point in time is call out the effects of Covid, making the lives of women and girls all the more dangerous, and this you have done here with brilliance. "Our issues must be put on the table". May your message carry far and wide, and our voices on this rise together with your inspiration. We are dealing with even more violence than ever. Yes, we have our Sisterhood. May we rise, together, stronger than ever.
Deep love in Sisterhood,
Tam

ikirimat
Feb 15
Feb 15

Thank you Tam, you have always been an inspiration to me. Be blessed

ESEZA MUKYALA
Jan 25
Jan 25

Sis Grace,
You have really said it. As we all know that covid has been a very big monster to most women both at work and home as well. But however, we pray that 2021 becomes a better year for us. Thanks for sharing.
Eseza.... Lots of love.

ikirimat
Feb 15
Feb 15

Welcome Eseza, We can work to making 2021 a better year.

Hello Ikirimat,
Your story is so powerful.
Thinking of what women went through during the pandemi it is even worse for women and girls with disabilities.

Waiting to reading more from you.

Love. LILIAN.

ikirimat
Feb 15
Feb 15

I agree with you 100%. Women and girls with disabilities have suffered more and attention need be focused on them too

Sister Zeph
Jan 27
Jan 27

Yes my sister, Covid19 has given so much pain to our world and we need more unity, love, struggle and more support to make the world same again

ikirimat
Feb 15
Feb 15

So true sister Zeph. Together our strength will go along way in making the world better for the women.

keronga
Jan 28
Jan 28

Yes Grace, Covid19 has done us a lot of injustice but we shall overcome the pain, the grieving for lost loved ones and those countless women who have lost their sources of livelihood. The pain of the innocent young girls who have been turned into mothers at the blink on an eye, the girls who have been made pregnant as well as HIV positive, the innocent young girls being defiled and raped. Our most disadvantaged disabled sisters who were already facing many challenges, the list is endless. Indeed covid19 will one day become history but it's damage to the world will linger on. On our knees we should pray for divine intervention for no pandemic is bigger than our God. Thanks for penning down your thoughts on Covid19

ikirimat
Feb 15
Feb 15

Thank you Beatrice

Beth Lacey
Feb 18
Feb 18

COVID-19 has amplified all the problems women face around the world.