While the Karamojong pastoralists of north-east Uganda are experiencing severe insecurity following the loss of most of their cattle as a consequence of a misconceived and uneven disarmament process that started in 2006, Karamojong women are experiencing an even greater crisis than men. Not only external threats have increased, but also threats from within their communities. In particular patriarchal structures appear to have become more oppressive and less responsive to the needs of women. Representation of women on local councils and community education on women’s rights by NGOs have raised hopes of at least being able to control the household goods they generate and of protection from more extreme domestic and intra-community violence. However, state justice services are negligibly functional, while community justice delivered by local council courts is subordinate to customary justice handed down by elders in the interests of men. This paper, based on fieldwork conducted by the authors in 2011, examines women’s views and responses to this situation, asking whether momentum for change in gender relations and roles is being generated, or whether more oppressive patriarchy, and women’s dissatisfaction and resistance to it, are a recurrent feature of the crises that have repeatedly afflicted Karamoja.
Hopwood, J.; Porter, H.; Saum, N. Karamojong Women and the Extremes of Insecurity. Justice and Security Research Programme, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London, UK (2015) 25 pp. [JSRP Paper 27]