Uganda Society

Social situation and social classes

Many of the 43.3 million Ugandans are struggling to survive on a daily basis. A regular paid work have few. According to Uganda’s president, 69% of the population live from subsistence farming. Many of them occasionally earn extra income as agricultural workers or in small businesses. The informal sector is constantly developing. Whether as a carpenter on the street or a manufacturer of recycled items, such as oil lamps from old cans, money can be made more reliably than simply depending on agriculture. However, wages are so low in most areas that people are dependent on the food from their own farms. However, there are more and more in the capital, Kampala People who can live well. There is a real construction boom, because good money can be made by renting out houses and apartments. The streets are no longer just clogged with minibuses and project vehicles, there are more and more private vehicles. But what is still rare in Uganda is the middle class. People who work, earn money and also pay taxes.

Urban-rural relationship

According to historyaah, about 75% of the people in Uganda live in rural areas. They also include many poor people and the poorest in the country. Many look for and find work in the city, but the ties to the countryside are mostly retained. In some cases families are divided, the men go to town looking for work and the women continue to look after the family farm. Often polygamous structures develop from this. However, some families choose to live together in the city.

Compared to Kampala, the rest of the country’s cities play only a minor role. The capital has the best schools, universities, jobs and now even industry. No wonder that there is hardly any getting through on Kampala’s streets. The south was primarily developed during the colonial era. In recent years, this south-north divide has increased due to the more than 20-year conflict in northern Uganda, which paralyzed all development in the north and, on the contrary, massively increased poverty.

Migration also plays a role in Uganda. The long war in northern Uganda and before that the conflicts in Teso or Luwero caused many people to seek security in other regions of the country; however mostly in the hope of a return in peaceful times.

Job searches sometimes lead people to neighboring countries or other continents, mostly for a limited period of time.

Not to be underestimated is the number of children who are given home help to relatives in the city. The parents usually hope for a good care for the child or a better education. In reality, the children and young people, mostly girls, are often exploited as cheap labor without voting rights or even sexually abused by the home owners.

Uganda social classes

The gender situation

The gender situation in Uganda is not fundamentally different from that in other African countries. High maternal mortality, below-average female literacy rates and the far greater workload of women than that of men are just a few of the key words here.

The government put in place a number of strategies and laws to enable women to participate in development as equal partners, but Uganda still faces a number of challenges. In addition to the low level of education of women, these are above all early marriages, teenage pregnancies and poor labor market conditions for women.

Furthermore, traditional laws and practices still rule Ugandan society, although the democratic constitution ratified in 1995 guarantees gender equality. Even today, oppression, the use of violence by the spouse and rape are part of everyday life for women in Uganda. It is easy to understand that women run the risk of contracting HIV. Family planning is an issue for many women, but their husbands still have prejudices in abundance that need to be broken down.

Uganda’s women have the potential to interfere politically. Uganda’s constitution supports this. However, many women simply do not have the time in everyday life. Climate change and now the corona pandemic make it increasingly difficult for them to secure their everyday lives. Some women have joined forces in the Kkona Women Sustainable Agriculturists and Environmental Group to make briquettes from banana peel, this saves resources, protects the environment and generates income.

The Ugandan NGO ACFODE (Action for Development) has set itself the goal of ensuring legal equality for women.

The UNDP presents the Human Development Index every year. This includes, along with other values, two “gender sensitive” standard: the Gender-related Development Index (GDI) and the Gender Inequality Index (GII). When GII is Uganda ranked 131 of 177 (2019), the HDI on 159th place out of 189 countries examined.

Audio contribution “Raising Voices”

Gender-based violence in Uganda. From trying to build bridges. Women on Air, Vienna, 11/10/2015 (27:06 min)