When being helpless triggers your inner strength, passion to the fore


Ms Cissy Nabisubi’s day begun with a mixed feeling. 
This wasn’t the first time she feeling that way. 
For this particular seemingly sunny morning, there was a sense of unfairness wrapped all over it. She tried to summon some energy as she always did to conquer those fears spreading within her like wild fire. But the weight on her shoulders continued to build as the morning grew. 
“Does life make a choice for us or are we just too fearful to make it work for us,” she mumbled to herself, before her brown pair of eyes suddenly lights up with unusual confidence.  
“I can make this work,” she mutters, “I am getting tired of the constant heartaches. I can’t take this anymore. For how long will I keep pleasing others at my own peril?
“Perhaps it is about time for life to be about me as well.”
 Travelling the world, becoming famous and importantly managing an orphanage has been Cissy’s dream while growing up. Four decades now in this world and all that childhood plans are more of a pipe dream - will never really happen. 

Inner voice, unwanted surprise  
Cissy has always been an advocate of women economic empowerment and justice and those whispers had never gone silent both in her heart and head. In fact this has been her dream since she was little. And she has always wondered why she is just preaching instead of practicing what she believes in despite being of age to do so. But, again, she thought to herself, “I couldn’t because it was at a time when I was entirely dependent and miserable.” This wasn’t helped by the fact that she lost her job about the same time or so. 
In a twist of event, only that this time it triggers pain and disappointment, although unexpectedly, Cissy returns home to an unexpected, though much loved visitor from abroad --- her niece in law.  

“I was so excited that she chose to spend her holidays here with me. I was looking forward to touring her around the country – wherever she wanted to go,” she says. 
Irrespective of the excitement she couldn’t comprehend, let alone the emotional roller coaster she was going through the whole morning. She felt low as she left the house for the adventure around Uganda. 
 A feeling of perhaps, this isn’t a good idea to be part of the adventure with her niece, but anyway she took it all the same. They toured beautiful sites, visited shopping malls, toured game parks and marveled at beautiful sceneries the country has to offer. 

Lack of support 
 On their way back home after a long day, Cissy shared with her niece in law, her dreams, stating how she “was ready to break all the barriers” to fulfill the ambitions she been nursing since her childhood days. In her dismay, Ms Racheal Banura, her niece-in-law, treated her to a shock of her life. She exuded negative energy and ultimately, she simply declined to support Cissy’s plans whose concept is about service to humanity, particularly the vulnerable and the destitute – take the case of managing an orphanage and women empowerment. 

After ensuring Rachel had a good time and adventure in the country, the least she could have done is at least to lend her an ear.  Cissy’s wondered whether the saying that women are each other’s enemy is playing out right before her eyes.
This lack of support reminded Cissy of the dark hole she been in for the better part of her 40 years.
However, she is not the kind to take disappointment without a fight. Her resolve to fight for women and gender justice just got stronger. This experience with Racheal just accentuated her desire for human right protection and defence.  

Blame game 
Later that evening, Cissy received a phone call from her mother-in-law accusing her of mistreating and disrespecting Racheal. She harshly dressed down Cissy. Confused and in total shock of how her mother-in-law handled the whole situation while basing it on one account—Racheal’s claims, to say the least was disappointing and disheartening. In any case Cissy should be the one feeling down for not being supported by a relative who is in position to do so.   
“That evening Racheal ended up at her grandmother’s place after claiming harassment, leaving everybody confused including my husband,” Cissy narrates. 
This scenario is tell-tale sign of what many women have to endure as they go about pursue their purpose and ambitions. Such negative attitudes women express to each other has no boundary or as earlier thought is a preserve of rural women—far from the truth as testified by Cissy now a victim herself of bad attitude and lack of cooperation, hurting women emancipation. This is not helpful especially in a patriarchal society where levels of discrimination and bias towards women remains rife.  

According to Ms Jacqueline Mukamazera, a gender expert, in her expert analysis of gender inequality in developing countries, seems to point out and even concur that Cissy’s predicament inflicted by a fellow woman is one aspect that requires education and empowerment to get rid of. 

Listening and lifting each other from the shackles of social ills should be a priority if not a necessity for women to dig themselves out of the periphery they are trapped in.  
Gender experts spoken to say Cissy’s story is an expression of day-to-day predicament that women still face despite their positions whether in households or work places. This could be as a result of low income or societal pressure compelling women to compromise. 

Empowerment in form of legislative support or even engaging men in dealing with biases that hold women from fully contributing to society can all help achieve a world where all people are equal and free from discrimination.
The author – Ms Elizabeth Nakibuuka, is a Media Practitioner and human rights promoter