Matembe Calls for Men’s Involvement in Parenting


Women rights defender Hon. Miria Matembe has called on men to play a supportive role and actively participate and in the parenting of their children. This in her view will create a strong bond between fathers and their children as well as solidify intimacy among the married.

Matembe’s call was made at Makerere University during a discussion organized by the Swedish Embassy in Uganda themed; “Parenting and Career choice: Striking the right balance.”

“If men want to redeem their respect and be appreciated by their children, drug they must begin to be involved in their day to day life. Paying school fees and other provisions isn’t enough. Children want to see you bath them, order take them for shopping, even helping out in the kitchen,” said Matembe.

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She mentioned that much as young men are increasingly embracing the parenting duties, the ridiculous perceptions remain a barrier in getting more men to appreciate it.

“Men fear to do house chores because they will be seen by their colleagues or even family as having been bewitched by their wives. In such an era of civilization and modernity where work has been simplified, these cultural superstitions shouldn’t count.”

Matembe condemned polygamy which she believes is responsible for distancing men from their children after they get other wives. Men, she says will fail to equally distribute their love amongst the different wives and this affects the children.

In many circumstances, the process of socialization and orientation has played a significant role in influencing traits. There’s much likelihood for men to engage in chores like cooking and cleaning if they used to do the same work in their childhood. The increasing involvement of women in the employment which takes up much of their time further demands that men fill the gap in parenting.

The Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Urban Anderson told participants that sharing of responsibilities between men and women is key to a country’s economic development. He said gender equality should be part of national policies to provide equal opportunities.

In Sweden’s case, the Ambassador said the maternal leave was replaced with paternal leave as a deliberate effort to encourage men to share responsibilities.

Nixon Ogwal from Action Aid Uganda suggested that like women, government should similar grant men a paternity leave to allow them spend time with their children. He majorly attributed the less participation of men in parenting to ignorance.



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