Accepted paper:

Urbanization and Gender Reconstruction in Tororo Municipality, Eastern Uganda

Author:

Solomon Onyango (The Catholic University of Eastern Africa)

Paper short abstract:

There is a growing perception that urbanization in Africa deconstructs gender roles. This paper analyses the changing gender roles in urban households in Tororo, Eastern Uganda.

Paper long abstract:

Solomon Onyango Urbanization and Gender Reconstruction in Tororo Municipality, Eastern Uganda There is growing perception that urbanization is reconstructing gender roles due to weakening patriarchal structures, leading to increase in female headed households. This is advanced against three notions, (a) a popular view that high number of women seeking urban residence have dramatically lowered their demand for marriage or partner relationships with men, which increase unsanctioned marriages and cases of marital breakup, (b) the high male unemployment or low incomes is altering the power relations in households leading men to continuously abscond their roles as breadwinners and (c) the resulting increased feminization of labor in urban areas, accompanied with high informalisation of the labor sector mostly unregistered, poorly paid, lacking contracts and social protection. This paper questions whether these assertions constitute a web of Male Disempowerment and Women Empowerment in urban areas. The paper examines this problem by focusing on access to employment opportunities, the status of household care responsibilities, power, decision making and use of household earnings. It draws on a cross sectional survey in Tororo Municipality, Eastern Uganda, which has high population density and cosmopolitan settlements. The analysis is based on responses from study participants aged 20-49 years in five of the fifteen villages in the study area. The respondents were chosen because of their prime age, high rural-urban mobility and vulnerability to marital instability. Conclusively, the paper provides insurmountable insight about how urbanization impacts on gender roles in urban households.

panel P017 CANCELLED
Gender transition and urban societal wellbeing in Eastern Africa