Unearthing Women’s Foils and Triumphs in the Workplace in Uganda

6th March 2020

Kampala, Uganda – Women have been working people since time immemorial whether their work was limited to domestic duties and occupations such as teaching, nursing and housekeeping or they pursued a startling range of careers and vocations. For most, their stories remain untold even when they keep at difficult jobs exposed to unfavourable working conditions such as limited access to leadership and decision making, inadequate social protection, sexual harassment and low wages. This International Women’s Day, Akina Mama wa Afrika in collaboration with like-minded partners with support from Hivos East Africa under the auspices of the Women@Work Campaign, is bringing women’s experiences at the workplace to light in an intentionally democratic exhibition, featuring both the famous and the forgotten. The #WomenAtWorkCampaign #RatifyILO190 exhibition running from 6th to 8th March at Hotel Africana Kampala seeks to portray women’s strength, resilience, achievements, vulnerabilities, exploitation, and other challenges in the workplace and mobilise action to effect change in policy and practice to promote decent work for women.

At the exhibition, the general public will have an opportunity to glimpse at the diversity and depth of women’s lives in the world of work and be able to give women the recognition that is due them. It will be a space to chronicle the undervalued and often ignored history of women making a living and contributing to Uganda’s economy from the formal to the informal sector including women working on flower farms, domestic workers, sex workers, women market and street vendors, migrant labourers and women in the extractives industry. Exhibiting organisations are: Golden Centre for Women’s Rights, National Association of Professional Environmentalists, National Organisation of Peer Educators, Platform for Labour Action, Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHANET), The Association of Ugandan Women Lawyers (FIDA-Uganda), The Institute for Social Transformation, The Uganda Hotels, Food, Tourism, Supermarkets and Allied workers Union (HTS-Union), Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET), and Women’s Probono Initiative.

Our goal is to quash the erasure of women who work every day without recognition or acknowledgement by unearthing these hidden stories of women. Further, we anticipate that the exhibition will culminate in commitments to promote decent work for women in the following ways:

  • Holding the Government of Uganda accountable in living up to its commitment to ratify, domesticate and implement ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment in the world of work to protect women from violence.
  • A commitment from the Government of Uganda to fast track the review of legal and policy frameworks such as the Employment Act, 2016; the Sexual Offences Bill, 2015; and the Minimum Wage Bill 2015 which will serve to strengthen protections that workers are entitled to.

The exhibition is open to the general public starting Friday 6th March at 2pm.

Contact: Leah Eryenyu, Research Advocacy and Movement Building Manager
Telephone: 0789550803
Email: leah@akinamamawaafrika.org /amwa@akinamamawaafrika.org

Akina Mama wa Afrika is a Feminist Pan-African leadership development organization that aims to strengthen the individual and collective leadership of African women, forming strategic partnerships, to tackle patriarchy and attain gender equality and women’s empowerment for a just and secure Africa.

 The Women@Work Campaign is an initiative by Hivos that seeks to propel decent working conditions for women who earn their living in global production chains most notably flowers, fruits and vegetables grown for export. The program is implemented in 8 East and Southern African Countries.