By Bobi Wine
I join the people of Uganda in celebrating the International Women’s Day. We ought to celebrate women not just on this day, but on all other days knowing that without them we would all be doomed!
On this day, we pause to reflect on the unique contribution of our mothers, sisters and daughters to the world. Women bring forth life. In most parts of the world, including Uganda, they endure insurmountable odds to raise children in a very difficult world- many times single handedly!
As I always say, I grew up mostly with my mother and it is because of that super woman that I am what I am today. I recall with admiration her struggles- manoeuvring through life each day to make sure we became something in life. In her hard work and resilience in adversity, I see the lives of the many Ugandan women who go through similar struggles each day.
For example, Maama Nankya used to sell cooking oil in a small shop in Kamwokya. A few years ago, her shop was razed down by KCCA. With her 7 children, she was forced out of town. The father of her children abandoned her when she gave birth to a child with albinism! I recently met her in Kayunga town where she went and she told me – “Bobi, I am struggling, but I have to wake up each day and work hard to educate my children.”
Such stories are with us- everywhere. The women who die in child birth everyday, and those who lose their children. Our daughters who run out of Uganda everyday looking for greener pastures, only to end up being turned into sex slaves.
Our mothers in the rural areas who till the land, only for their produce to be bought for peanuts, and other countless issues. I implore all of us to treat each other with dignity and respect- and eliminate all forms of marginalisation against our female counterparts. As Gloria Steinem said, “The human race is like a bird with two wings, if one is broken the bird cannot fly.”
In a special way, I celebrate the women who have gotten onto the forefront in the struggle for the liberation of Uganda.
In particular, we celebrate and stand in solidarity with Dr. Stella Nyanzi who continues to face untold trials and tribulations for daring to stand up to the despot!
Our struggle is in part, to ensure that women and girls live free in a new Uganda based on justice, truth and equal opportunity. Happy Women’s day.