What were doing yesterday at 8:30pm?
On your phone while watching TV? Stuck in traffic? Having drinks with friends? On a date?
I was sitting on a couch, in front of a TV, feeling all kinds of pain for being a way from my phone and watching Fasi Fasi. A show whose debut was last week on NBS TV. The point of it is conversations about women empowerment.
The literal translation of its name is make way . Let me volunteer some context about this name.
In down town Kampala when you hear a yell “fasi fasi”, coming up from behind you, you move to the side as fast as you can because the person telling you is carrying luggage big enough to cover his eyes which could hit if you don’t make room for him to pass.
Before it aired there was more hype on social media about the show’s hosts (Becky & David) who have been in our media spaces for a while than it was about the message. I am guilty of tuning last week just to watch them host and maybe that’s why I tuned in again last night but I stayed and I feel good enough about it to write a review.
The conversation was about the perception of women in leadership in Uganda. It’s 2018 and this conversation is an emergency considering how exclusive leadership positions are in this country. 9.9 times out of 10 our media outlets will host an all male panel and justify it as having called women to show up but they didn’t’. Every week social media is awash with angry feminists asking for inclusion of women on social, economic and political panels in media and every week nothing changes.
It’s one of the most infuriating things to watch men make decisions that affect women without so much as a consultation for example reproductive health rights being discussed by a male headed health committee. Patience Akumu one of the guests on last night’s show puts it rightly; “Uganda is like a family run by a very bad father and we are still playing by patriarchal standards”. Watch every gomesi-wearing- kneeling -for-votes-as-she- campaigns- for-a-seat-in-parliament woman and you will see her point.
The problem or at least one of them is that “politics and public offices have been crafted around the man and it will take more than affirmative action to make it a truly human space” says Jackie Asiimwe a human rights lawyer and a guest on last night’s show .
We need to stop treating women leadership as a token, “hey here are a few parliamentary seats for you.” Women aren’t a minority because in Uganda 51% of the population is female, and we need to “stop treating exclusion of women with gloves”.
There are a few places to start schools for example shouldn’t be teaching children things like the father is the head of the home. It’s that type of messaging that creates a bias against girls taking positions of power.
Men have historically had so much power and we can all agree, they have done a horrible job at leading our communities and country. Therefore having women in leadership isn’t just the right thing to do as human beings but it’s also the smart thing to do as an economy.
Otherwise how are you doing?
Did you watch the show? What are your thoughts about it?