By (Daniel Muwanga Semakula- Programs Manager –SLUM AID PROJECT March 2014)
The concept of gender equality has become an integral part of the development process. Men and women complement each other in a number of ways, it’s natural and none can live on an island without the other and so is the richness and the beauty of this disparity. Gender equality is central to economic and human development. Equal opportunity for women and men supports economic growth and helps to reduce poverty.
In a home where husband and wife sit harmoniously to discuss and plan for their famility, it creates a sense of direction where resources will be sustainably committed for that purpose. Not forgetting that by respecting each other the two able to plan for the number of children to have and when as a demonstration of responsible parenting (Reproductive health) in this world of limited resources. Unlike in the past, today’s world requires the Husband and wife not only to work hard together, but also to be more scientific towards when planning for the welfare of their family.
When women like their male counter parts have equal opportunities to participate in decision making right from the family unit to the national level, it’s likely that priority will be directed towards the most overarching issues in society like better education services, health service and livelihood security which are crucial for human development and life sustenance.
Needless to say, poverty is one of the major drivers of social mishaps and domestic violence not only in our homes but also in society, therefore gender equality bolsters the efforts geared towards the fight against poverty in which both women and men equally take on the challenge together to achieve the much desired social transformation.
Needless to say out of every 10 couples cancelled here at Slum Aid project, 8 of each have acknowledged the fact that there was harmony before their husbands businesses collapsed or lost jobs. It is also important to note that trying moments are common in families in Uganda and in the world at large. How you handle such times, however, differs. These moments are trying for any family, the partners are tested on how he /she can cop for the worst, when some routine meals begin to miss, children are sent way for school for fees, defaulting at nearby kiosks, debts everywhere, house rental defaults or being chased out of the house etc. Most husbands feel bad, ‘and probably not men enough’ for failing to provide for the family. This in most cases is attributed to the patriarchal nature that men always want to be the alpha and omega in planning for the family. But if wives are allowed to work and plan with their husbands there will always be a fallback position for everyone to support each others in case of uncertainty because of the spiritedness and togetherness with which the two have coexisted. It goes without saying, that in the cotemporary world, this kind of relationship living is essential for spouses and family to prosper and live harmoniously.
It’s imperative to note that achieving gender equality has accrued benefits that naturally trickle down to family peace and harmony. This will require both men and women to work together in a symbiotically and complementally manner. This is crucial for the family given that it’s the basic unit of a society.