Makerere University to launch book on gender and socio-economic change

Associate Professor Consolata Kabonesa (2nd left), one of the authors and coordinator of the book writing project receives an assortment of books from Fountain Publishers official at Makerere University on December 1

Associate Professor Consolata Kabonesa (2nd left), one of the authors and coordinator of the book writing project receives an assortment of books from Fountain Publishers official at Makerere University on December 1

Makerere University School of Women and Gender Studies (SWGS) is set to launch a book titled ‘Gender and Socio-Economic Change’ with a focus on the everyday lives of women and men in Uganda.

The 357- pager book was delivered by Fountain Publishers to SWGS mid this week.

It covers how socio-economic changes interact with gender relations, roles, and responsibilities of women and men in Uganda.

Its content is entirely based on research that started way back in 2015 and it has 14 chapters of research conducted by the post-doctoral fellows, PhD and Master’s Degree students.

According to Associate Professor Consolata Kabonesa, who is also the Principal Investigator of the Sida-Makerere Bilateral project on gender mainstreaming as well as coordinator of the yet-to-be-launched book, the idea of writing this book was conceived in 2014 and the process of writing started in 2018.

She says the book is made up of research conducted by the post-doctoral fellows funded under the Sida project and members of staff from SWGS at Makerere University who responded to the call for papers and whose research was funded under other projects.

“There are many people who contributed to the success of this book project. We thank the embassy and the people of Sweden for the grant, without funding, the book would not have materialized,” she said.

The book has 14 chapters divided into three themes; Work and everyday lives, post-conflict and Gender-based violence, and mainstream gender in policy response.

The authors of the book include Professor Consolata Kabonesa, Dr David Mpiima, Dr Fredrick Immanuel Kindi, Dr Victoria Namuggala, Dr Henry Manyire, Dr Evelyn Lutwama Rukundo, Dr May Sengendo, Dr Florence Ebila, Associate Professor Elizabeth Kaase Bwanga, Dr Ronald Sebba Kalyango, Dr Resty Naiga, Dr Euzobia Mugisha Baine, Dr Ruth Nsibirano, late Dr Catherine Pauline Anen and Ms Lydia Namukwaya.

Addressing journalists during the delivery of the book, Associate Prof. Kabonesa said that the publication of the book seeks to inform Ugandans a deeper understanding of inter-relationships between gender dimensions, culture, social-economic, and political aspects and how they impact the lives of women and men.

“This book is very crucial for policymakers, development partners, development experts, gender activists, students of gender, and academia,” she added.

Dr Lutwama, one of the co-authors said, “This book gave me an opportunity to go back and talk to young women in Northern Uganda and I focused on how they live, I discussed major forms of sexual violence and I also looked at the factors that have led to the persistence of such violence. Most people think boys are safe but they are also raped in a particular way.”

The book also addresses intimate partner violence done on men, circumstances that trigger women’s physical violence against men, especially physical violence inflicted on them by their intimate partners.

“Our focus here, we tried to look at the way intimate partner violence is caused, you may find that a man has two wives that alone can lead to violence. We intended to challenge masculinity which has been there for a very long time,” said Dr Mpiima, another author.

He explained that there is a lot of knowledge about gender violence against women but the study in the said book brings a very big picture on how men are being violated within their homes by their wives.

“Men can be contributors to gender-based violence but they can also be survivors of the same, unfortunately already the body of knowledge we have, points out that men are always aggressors,” Dr Mpiima said.

The book also addresses the issue of gender budgeting. This was written by Associate Prof Kabonesa in which she addressed how overall policy programs and tools may work to enhance transformation in a socio-economic sense through being applied in the education sector.

“The Government of Uganda has been emphasizing gender budgeting as a way of empowering women but in actual sense, the money is not there, and research has shown that in most districts, gender budgeting is not always considered,” Associate Prof Kabonesa added.

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