By standing up for his daughters, Agnes’s father showed how men can be allies for women’s empowerment.
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HERE IS AN EXCERPT FROM AGNES’s STORY:
When it was time for my mother to give birth to me, my father rode a bicycle carrying my expectant mother to Pallisa hospital, in eastern Uganda. My mother held a lamp on her lap so my father could see the small path amidst the darkness. Deep in the night, they made their way, looking out for the lion that lived in the surrounding jungle.
This was the first of many times throughout my life that my father would take a risk to help me have a better chance in life.
I was born in the wee hours of the morning and my paternal auntie was the first person to arrive. She was on a mission to find out the sex of the baby. I am told that upon discovering I was a girl, she exclaimed with disappointment. “Apesenin bobo!” which literally means ‘yet another debt’.
- When this auntie delivered the ‘bad news’ to the village that my mother had delivered a girl child, my father stood up in support of my mother. Without his support, she might have been pressured to leave the marriage for bearing six girls.
- Instead, my parents teamed up to ignore the ridicule that many women who bore girl children in my village experience. They responded with kindness, opening up our home and offering food and hospitality to those who had ridiculed us.
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