Changing gender relations and poverty levels in Uganda during the 1979-2007 war: a case study of Madi people of North West Nile
The study examined Changing Gender Relations and Poverty Levels in Uganda during 1979- 2007 wars. Overall, the study examined the extent to which the series of the prolonged war affected gender relations and poverty levels among the Madi people of North West Nile Uganda. More specifically, the study examined three aspects namely, pre- war socioeconomic political structures and poverty levels, changes in gender relations and poverty level and gender related constraints and challenges and coping strategies adopted. The study used a case study research design to closely investigate social gender relations and poverty levels. The study used both quantitative and qualitative research methods to establish correlations between key variables included in the specific objectives. A total sample size of 324 respondents including 20 leaders and officials were involved. Purposive and simple random sampling techniques were used to select respondents. The study used documentary review, questionnaires, in-depth face to face interviews, focus group discussion and key informants to provide information for the study. Overall, study findings revealed that the prolonged wars affected gender relations and poverty levels negatively at both household and community levels. Specifically, study findings revealed that patriarchal gender relations in pre-war Madi society denied women access to resources, education, credit facilities, employment and information and women participation in political activities. The wars challenged patriarchal gender identity and relations; it offered women new economic opportunities and greater responsibilities. However women gained relative economic autonomy through entrepreneur activities. Both men and women faced serious challenges during the wars and both adopted various coping strategies to respond to these challenges. The study concluded that gender relations can positively change despite the negative effect of the wars, poverty can be fought and challenges educated Madi people about new livelihood and new life style. Finally the study recommends sensitization of both men and women about changes in gender relations and poverty levels in war situation. The study contributes new knowledge about gender analysis in pre - war situations and impact of war on socio cultural gen.d er related changes. However the study recommends further research into male ego and masculinity identity crisis in war situation.
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