Coming from Uganda Private Teachers Union in Uganda, an affiliate union to the National Organisation of Trade Unions, I feel the woman worker has a marginalised position in our world of work as much as she is marginalised at home.
Women form the greatest labour force in Uganda, but they are left to do peripheral work instead of being left to directly deal with their issues. Little is known about the woman worker in Uganda, save for the fact that they are block of voters. We still have to lean on men for patronage and they make the decisions for us as we suffer the consequences quietly.
That silence in the woman workers’ world is what is causing most of the domestic violence cases.
Women today embrace work, especially because of improvident men. Yet while they go hustling in order to complement their husbands, they get back home to abusive partners. Women struggle through disgraceful acts of men at their homes and even at their places of work so as to ‘balance the boat’. But the ‘boat’ still capsizes due to the archaic cultural perceptions that our male colleagues bring to work.
As a result, strong and competitive women are seen as disobedient and are resented. Yet such women make holistic contributions to the development of the organisation.
It is about time we in the labour movement begin to make the woman worker visible and heard so as to widen the scope of the campaign against gender-based violence that seems to be failing already.
UPTU national chairperson.