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Women of Uganda face a wide range of challenges including discrimination, low social status, lack of economic self sufficiency, and greater risk of HIV/AIDS infection. In Uganda, as in many African countries, gender discrimination means that women must submit to an overall lower social status than men. For many women, this reduces their power to act independently, become educated, avoid poverty, and/or escape reliance upon abusive men.
Many girls and young women become coerced into sex or can be obliged to trade sex for economic survival. It is common for girls to become sexually active at a much younger age than men, causing the rise of HIV/AIDS to become even more pronounced. Older men are breaking long-established social customs and choosing younger and younger girls to become their sexual partner in order to avoid catching HIV. In doing so, these men are in fact infecting them with HIV. In some districts, HIV prevalence among 13–19 year old girls is at least 10 times higher than in males of the same age.
Much development work in the Jinja and Masaka Districts is geared towards promoting gender equality and relieving women of the hardships relating to their position in society. Along with these, FSD trains women of all ages in job skills and microenterprise creation and development. Through these programs, women have the opportunity to acquire micro-loans and build their own business ventures, thus allowing for greater economic independence. Your work in supporting any of our empowerment programs will put you in direct contact with the challenging struggle to secure equality and opportunity for women.
Read more about Gender Equity programs and opportunities initiated by our Community Partners in Uganda.
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