The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga and women activists have taken to the attention of United Nations the need to recognize domestic work done by women.
Speaking at the sidelines of the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Kadaga said that in the mind of an African man, the duty of a woman is to fetch water, firewood and tether the goats.
“We need to have partners in the community so that we can start a conversation about unpaid care work because if you are to go to my village and ask a man, ‘does your wife work?’ he’ll say, ‘she does not work’ but she’s the first to get up and the last to sleep. So, even the concept of what is work within the community is something we need to discuss before we can lay strategies,” said Kadaga.
She committed to work with women parliamentarians and the Minister in charge of Sustainable Development Goals, Mary Karooro Okurut, to raise consciousness about the issue until it becomes a government policy.
Women leaders and Civil Society Organization leaders attending the event have proposed that government puts in place policies and programmes including legislation to address unpaid care work.
“We cannot attain gender parity when the majority of the women are engaged in the domestic sphere providing services that do not have economic benefit. We cannot talk about attaining Agenda 2030 or even SDGs when we are not addressing these issues of unpaid care and domestic work,” said Rita Aciro, the Executive Director, Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET).
According to Aciro if women shall remain behind if they don’t substitute house chores with economically gainful work and participation in decision making.
She explained that unpaid care and domestic work is central to the attainment of all the development goals set at national level and international level and therefore, there is need to redistribute and reduce the burden of unpaid care and domestic work since it’s something that benefits the community, nation and world.