WIL Uganda: My Mother’s Tale

Being a rural woman in Uganda today may sound very simple and interesting, but indeed, it is very difficult, too. I must use my education to be somebody, because I don’t want to be ignored like my mother, who has had a very tiresome and painful life.

There are many women who live a rural live here in Uganda, but in this case, let me use my real mother to take up the part of being a rural woman, which will help tell my story.

My mummy only received a moment of happiness at the time of getting married, and the rest of her time has been full of falling tears, torture, misery, and regret. She regretted being born a woman and questioned why she got married in a rural area.

I don’t want such a thing to happen to me.

Here comes a dancing star at the time of pregnancy, when she feels a strong appetite for a certain type of food, drinks, or something else…but nobody could provide it to her. Once we were born, the burden of bringing up the children was left for only her. She had to buy food, provide clothes, pay school fees, and give us counseling and guidance.

Mummy sometimes felt like only giving birth to a small number of children, but she was unable to make that decision for herself, because she was part of a generation of women who were illiterate and knew nothing about family planning methods.

Mummy has to work tooth and nail when it came to garden work; she has to make sure that she plants the crops on time, weeds, sprays, and then harvests them back at home.

I don’t want such a thing to happen to me.

So, to my fellow girls, even if you were born in a rural like me or in an urban area, study hard so that you don’t have such a wretched life in your future, since education is the key to success.

Remember that today’s world is full of temptations that may lead you to trouble, so you should always be assertive and seek advice from responsible elders like parents, doctors, and teachers at school. We are girls, so let us count our schooling years very well without being interfered with other obstacles like boys and pregnancy. And remember this—marriage can wait, but education cannot.

I encourage our dear parents to ensure that they involve girls in today’s education, because the government has supported it by opening single and mixed government schools to provide free education services to children, ignoring none. As I conclude, I encourage all girls to have their bottom line be education, because I don’t want to have the same life that my mother did.

Nakuduli Vivian, aged 17, is a Teen Voices participant from Townside High School, Busembatia.

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About the Author | WIL Uganda

WIL Uganda is a grassroots, community based, female empowerment organisation, based in a rural Ugandan town called Busembatia. Their mission is to empower women and girls with the knowledge and skills to become leaders in their own communities. Their vision is for the women and girls of the community to be in positions of leadership, and to act as role models for future generations of girls, whilst encouraging equitable development in Uganda. In the Teen Voices Programme, they discuss challenges of gender issues that girls face in Uganda and then guide the girls on how to produce news stories about these challenges. These stories are then published online reaching an international audience. They also show the girls how to use social media to share news and advocate for change. Through teaching the girls gender equality, and helping them write articles to raise awareness, the girls gain the knowledge and the confidence of how they can improve gender equality through their own leadership.

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