Commenting about the project and women inclusion issues, Sheikh Muhammad Ali Waiswa, the 2nd Deputy Mufti of Uganda said while they opened up a women’s desk at the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, they have employed males to work there since women are not forthcoming.
The Makerere University-based Economic Policy Research
Center-EPRC has launched a three-year project to search for ways how unpaid
care work both at home and at the workplace can be rewarded.
Speaking to URN about the project, Prof. Grace Bantebya Kyomuhendo, the Principal
Investigator and researcher at EPRC based at the School of Women and
Gender Studies said in the three years they will implement an in-depth
evaluative and action research to provide evidence, practical tools and
guidance to inform policies that build an equal environment for both male and
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She said they will also identify key drivers and risk
factors for norms that increase the burden of unpaid care work for women
at individual, family, community and institutional levels in, addition to
appropriating what the country loses when certain groups engage in unpaid work.
The researchers say the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the structural gender
barriers and entrenched gender inequalities in unpaid care and that its impact
is expected to hit women the hardest considering that even if there’s increased
women participation in the labor market, there is still limited evidence that
women have moved out of traditional activities or have diversified the types of
care work they engage in.
What they are seeing now, she says women are deprived and don’t have
the capabilities to do certain kinds of work. This is in line with the results of the
five years mapping that they have done of women and girls capabilities.
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Commenting about the project and women inclusion issues, Sheikh Muhammad Ali
Waiswa, the 2nd Deputy Mufti of Uganda said while they opened up a women’s desk
at the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, they have employed males to work there
since women are not forthcoming.
He said generally, the challenge with the crusaders of
equality is that they have failed to make people understand the difference
between equality and uniformity, which he urges this project to address. For him, what is important is to ideologically understand how gender roles can
be streamlined without bringing about conflict.
Margaret Kakande, the head of the Budget
Monitoring and Accountability Unit in the Finance Minister urged the
researchers to engage policymakers right from the beginning of the project. She
said already the government is coming up with innovations such as childcare centers
at workplaces to address the issues of productivity.
She however wondered how they will tag a price on unpaid care warning that it
will be difficult for the government to take up that cost. But for Kyomuhendo, the
question of who pays for the unpaid work at home shouldn’t arise because pay is
not just in monetary terms.
Even before the project takes off, Kyomuhendo proposes that the government could
take lessons from countries that have moved steps towards rewarding unpaid care
by coming up with favourable policies such as extended paid maternity leave for
mothers and embracing technologies that save time and burden that would have
been spent engaging in unproductive work.