Gender equality: The youth’s perspective of women empowerment

Lecturers, students, and gender equality advocates gathered at IUEA on Thursday, March 17th for a panel discussion honoring International Women's Day and reflecting on gender equality in society.
Gender Equality
Visitors and Students pose for a picture to #BreakTheBias

Among the panelists were some of the International University of East Africa (IUEA) students, represented by the university’s Guild President, Ukemeobong James, the Guild Minister of Women Affairs, Ruth Cho, Peer Educator Ruth Namutebi Elizabeth, and Gender Quality Advocate – Najibah Sanusi.

Uganda Muslim Women Civilization Initiative (UMWCI), an NGO organization dedicated to promoting gender equality, hosted the event. Shamirah Namutebi, the executive director of the UMWCI, moderated the panelists’ discussion that aimed at promoting Gender Equality in education.

The discussion focused on the UN International Women’s Day (IWD) theme for 2022: “Gender equality for a sustainable tomorrow.” It largely focused on young people’s perceptions of gender equality, women’s empowerment, and gender roles. This was the second women’s day event IUEA hosted after Reach a Hand Uganda women’s day concert.

IUEA Student panelists
IUEA Student panelists Ukemeobong Okon, Ruth Cho, Najibah Sanusi and Namutebi Ruth Elizabeth

One of the student panelists, Namutebi Ruth, shared her understanding of gender roles, revealing that women should not be seen as cooks. This sparked a heated debate in the audience.

“Cooking does not define a woman; if I come back home tired, I cannot cook. As a husband, you are my sweetheart, please surprise me. Will you lose your arms because you cooked?”

Ms. Ruth said.

Madam Kayegi Eva, was one of the lecturers present at the event. As a mother, she offered her thoughts on marriage, particularly in Muslim society. She encouraged the females to take a stand and break the bias.

“We should let our girls know that they should never be an option…never allow them to become someone’s second wife, third or fourth wife”

Madam Eva stated.

She went on to urge UMWCI to keep spreading gender equality awareness while also addressing how culture hinders women’s empowerment, particularly in Muslim cultures where some men do not allow their wives to work even if they have graduated.

Student advocates also shared their perspective, stating that gender equality means encouraging and empowering younger men and women beneath them, particularly young women, to advance their careers.

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