The Socio-Econonomic Impact of Migration on The Livelihoods of Karamajong Women And Children: Katwe Slums. "A Woman is a Warrior"
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The emphasis of my research is on the socio- economic livelihoods of the Karamajong women and children. In this male-dominated and impoverished region of Uganda, the women's burden is particularly heavy in terms of the socio-economic survival of their households. This has led to increase in the women's workload which has put them at a greater risk of abuse such as rape or transactional sex in exchange for work, money and food. This has forced many to migrate to urban centers such as Katwe in such of employment and a better life for their families and themselves. Similar to other Ugandan women, the traditional gender roles of the Karamajong are influenced by tradition as well as constantly changing social and economic dynamics. Traditionally, women as well as their roles are considered subordinate to men. The women roles lean towards community and household needs as; housekeeping, child childcare, and cooking while the men control the economic matters of the family. The men control resources and exercise great control over women. These cultural attitudes in Uganda towards gender limit the role that women can or aspire to play in the social and economic livelihoods. This limits their ability to engage in economic activities to improve their incomes, assets or capabilities, and to contribute to the well- being of their families and most importantly their children. However, as a result of the 30 years of tribal conflict and famine in Karamoja women have taken the initiative to migrate and start an alternative method of livelihood survival. I look at how migration impacts on their survival, their experiences on the journey to Kampala and the strategies they adopt in order to survive while in the Katwe community. Due to this migration, the way of life of the Karamajong women and children has changed from the traditional way of being child bearers and carers to bread winners of their households. This is vividly expressed in their songs and words. They know compare their livelihood strategies to that of warriors. They believe that just like the men were referred to as warriors when they went out to hunt and raid cattle they have also become warriors by becoming the bread winners of their households. As illustrated in this song; Remain here, be free in Kampala Wife of Kabode, be free in Kampala Mother of Nakoya, be free in Kampala Mother of Isharon, be free in Kampala Remain mother do not go. [Field notes]