International Women’s Day in Busembatia

International Women’s Day in Busembatia
9th March 2017

“Football! We really want to play football,” was the unanimous response of both teenage girls and grown-up women to the question what they wanted to do on International Women’s Day. Football and sports are generally a man’s thing, here. But on International Women’s Day, March 8, women decide what the festivities look like. [text continues after photo]

International Women's Day Football

At 11:30AM, the girls and women lined up at the football pitch. The girls, all from schools where we run our programmes, played in sporty shirts and stretchy skirts. The women, all participants on our community programmes, wore festive traditional dress: bold dresses with pointy shoulders, bright colours and the occasional glitter. Barefoot, laughing, yelling and screaming, they ran across the football field. An energetic match followed by a dramatic series of penalties eventually resulted in victory for the girl’s team.

“I am very happy to be part of these women on this day”

The International Women’s Day festivities continued at WIL Uganda’s office in the center of the village. Girls from local high schools, women living in Busembatia and nearby villages and several stakeholders such as officers, headmasters and board members were present at the celebration. “I am very happy to be part of these women on this day,” said Sumaya, living in Bukonte, a nearby town. The women from Bukonte collectively won a prize for being the most diligent students. A big number of the Adult Literacy programme lives in this town. They also participate in the Rights & Advocacy programme, which provides education about law and rights. The community is very close in this region, and the increased knowledge has already helped several of them gain confidence and stand up for themselves in situations that otherwise would have left them neglected and discriminated.

“It makes me happy to see the girls so active and engaged”

Different groups provided entertainment on stage during the day. A welcoming speech by the director, Cianne Jones, was followed by a traditional dancing session in which everyone joined. Local and international volunteers teamed up to play music and pictures were taken in the photo booth. Schoolgirls mimed to their favourite song, and several programme participants showed what they have learned during their sessions. The Officer in Charge held a speech during which he emphasised the measurements taken to address women-related issues: their programme aiming to reduce domestic violence, for example. “It is good that people like the police are here too,” Ruth said, “to help face women’s problems.” Besides getting different kinds of people together and talk to each other about these issues, the day was mainly a festive celebration of women in general. Not just women are happy about the festivities. “It makes me happy to see the girls so active and engaged,” said Mr. Moses, Headmaster at Townside High School, addressing the football match: “It encourages us to organise these kind of activities more often.”

International Women's Day Photo booth

– International Women’s Day 2017 –

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