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Stop Gender-Based Discrimination in Work Spaces – Women Rally

Some of the panelists at the media engagement.

By Ivan Rugambwa

Women activists have demanded for an end to gender-based discrimination at work, viagra 40mg http://denafilmax.com/wp-content/plugins/woocommerce/templates/myaccount/form-edit-address.php arguing that it not only dehumanizes women, but also undermines overall productivity of work.

Speaking at a public dialogue organized by the Konrad- Adenaeur stiftung (KAS) to explore media coverage of Women in the world of work, Dr. Madina Guloba, an economist with the Makerere University- based Economic Policy Research Center decried the fact that women are consistently paid less than men in “nearly every occupation”, singling out the armed services and the private sector as the biggest culprits of this wage disparity in Uganda.

Globally, women continue to earn up to 24% less than Men, according to the International Labor Organization, but in Uganda, Madina said, it is worse.

“In some spaces, women continue to earn 3-5times less than men” she said, quoting a UN Report.

The report also noted that despite having the same qualifications, Men degree holders in Uganda earn on average Shs.700, 000, compared to Shs.520, 000 for their female counterparts. The result of this inequality, the report noted, was that 2 of every 10 employed women in Uganda, were poor!

The findings ignited the fury of an already charged women-dominated audience, with   many of the discussants pointing out that economic inequality was but a manifestation of women’s still – elusive quest for gender equality. NBS TV’s Rukshana Namuyimba noted that often times at work, women are expected to work twice as hard to prove themselves,-reinforcing earlier statistics given by Madiina that 75.9% of women workers do not take maternity leave for fear of losing their jobs.

Patience Akumu, an award winning journalist now working with the International Charity – Oxfam International, called upon employers to value women’s child-bearing duties and factor them in their planning, noting, “It is not normal to live in a society that doesn’t consider giving birth valuable, when globally, it is valued at $10trillion.”

The dialogue, blending women journalists, activists and a host of their male colleagues particularly singled out the media for criticism, with discussants arguing that the media’s representation and portrayal of women was responsible for shaping perceptions and reinforcing stereotypes about them.

Godiva Akullo, a feminist lawyer in particular decried the absence of women on television and radio talk-shows, arguing that it reinforced the stereotype that women were incapable of holding their own in such discussions.

The discussion on ‘manels’- an euphemism for all-male panels would provoke debate beyond the dialogue onto social media, popularizing the harshtags – #WomenInMediaUG and #NoManels. “How can we after 25years of Ugandan FM radio, be having the first female talk-show host?” Asked the Agha Khan Foundation’s Irene Ikomu, joining the conversation via twitter.

She was referring to Radio One’s Norah Owaraga, who last month started hosting the radio’s premier talk-show program – Spectrum.  She attributed the limited female voices on political issues to a social conditioning that discourages women from being combative and overly passionate –traits often synonymous with political discussions.

NTV Uganda’s Raymond Mujuni, joining the conversation via the same platform, noted that ‘manels’ were only a reflection of a gender-imbalanced news cycle, which barely talks to women for news, systematically elevating men as authorities on news subjects, at the expense of women.

“Sourcing is largely political, the news is majorly political & the politics is tilted in favor of prominence, which is sadly male dominated.”  He tweeted, before adding, “So when it comes to constituting panels for shows and names are being suggested, it’s naturally easy to pick from the same ‘authorities’”

As the debate wound down, Godiva, as if giving those involved in the discussion some homework to think over, tweeted “Imagine how much we are losing by requiring women to do double work of first justifying our existence before making our contributions!” – It was a challenge to which nobody couldn’t easily find a plausible response.

The next day, ahead of Capital FM’s Capital Gang talk-show program, Oscar Semwoya Musoke –the host, was publically inquiring for recommendations of a female pundit, that could feature on the show, which like all its colleagues, has always largely been an all – male affair.

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