Unpaid care work and women empowerment in Uganda: the case of Kampala city
Women all over have been stereotypically known to perform unpaid care work tasks that were allocated to them by culture and tradition. This perpetuation of gender stereotypes, resonates with the devaluation theory which under values women and the work they perform. Yet, one of the major aspects of empowerment is the recognition of unpaid care work. Uganda is reported to be at the forefront in women empowerment initiatives. However, despite her efforts, the gaps in the recognition of unpaid care work still persist. This study sought to find the major factors behind the non-recognition of unpaid care work so as to propose a model that informs policy on how best to address the issues of unpaid care work in Uganda. This study used an exploratory research design to explore why government policies on empowerment have failed to recognise unpaid care work in Uganda. The case study of Kampala City was selected to contextualise and to get a comprehensive understanding of the issues of unpaid care work in Uganda. The study which was conducted in the 5 divisions of Kampala City, adopted a non-probability sampling technique and data was collected using document review, in-depth interviews and Focus Group Discussions, all engaging men, women and policy makers. From the study findings, the main factors that affect recognition of unpaid care work in Uganda included the cultural and traditional influences that still prevail in Uganda. Furthermore, decision makers who often times are men have been influenced to undermine the contribution of unpaid care work and therefore, never allocate any resources for its recognition. The women themselves emerged as another factor that has an impact on the recognition of unpaid care work in Uganda. And lastly, politics was found to be one of the factors that affect the recognition of unpaid care work. The study came up with a 3R Categorisation Model which was designed to propose how best unpaid care work can be recognised, reduced and redistributed but also taking into consideration the main players; the men, women and the government. The model emphasises strategies to be customised for the categories of people that affect and are affected by unpaid care work.