His Worship David Batema graduated from Makerere University Law School in 1989 only to realize that the laws in Uganda had male standards and came from male perspectives. He began preaching gender equality to magistrates before he even became one. He lives with the belief that “All human beings are born free and equal,” and he continues to spread this message to anyone who will listen, as well as some people who try not to.
To us, he stressed the difference between “sex” and “gender,” stating that sex is biological and natural while gender is the social construction of the differences between man and woman. These differences are created in our minds and often have to do with how we were brought up. These differences in upbringing became apparent when students from MUBS and Drake were posed with a simple question: “Whose daughter are you?” Students from MUBS replied with only one name, that of their father, while Drake students included the names of both parents.
His Worship David Batema also commented on the religious aspect that leads some people to justify patriarchy. He explained that in the Bible, God created man first and gave him the Universe, which is why many believe that God gave all of the power to man. However, woman was not created until after this happened, which would mean man’s rule does not go as far as to include woman. I found this to be an extremely profound interpretation of the Bible’s teachings. Christianity is prominent in the Ugandan culture, and often leads people to believe things just because it says so in the Bible and without any additional education on the subject. I am glad that there are people who are forward-thinking enough to analyze the Bible and find the messages within rather than taking everything at face value.
I think that gender equality is an important aspect in the sustainability and development of any culture. For an economy to grow, all of its citizens must be respected. The fact that one man is working so hard to improve gender equality in Uganda is inspiring. In a culture like Uganda’s, women can preach against domestic abuse and sexual harassment all they like, but men will pay no attention to them and things will never change. For a man to try and change the perspective of other men is very important and will be the best way to move this society forward.
After our gender equality presentation, we all climbed onto the MUBS bus to take a trip to the source of the Nile, one of the biggest tourist attractions in Jinja. It was incredible to see the beginning of the longest river in the world. The force of the current at the source was astounding, as would be expected for the only river that flows South to North. We all got our fill of picture-taking before heading back up to the bus, stopping to do some last-minute souvenir shopping at the variety of stores along the way, of course. We boarded the bus with all of our new items and memories and back to Kingfisher Resort we went, for an afternoon full of relaxation and fun.