“Patriarchy defines leadership
from the perspective of public office but not a woman running 25
support groups in the village,” explained Nyaradzayi
Gumbodzvanda in session she presented about patriarchy during day one
of the Global NGO Forum in New York.
I have met many women in
Uganda who are doing amazing work in their villages, towns,
sub-counties but still work in isolation with little or no connection
to like minded people whether in their town or country or even
But with technology fast advancing, how can a
simple village woman take advantage of this? How can she be connected
to international processes, influence policy and decision makers and
connect with like minded people?
I attended a session on
linking the local woman to the global agenda at the ongoing CSW
session in New York. For me what I learn was life changing. The
answer remains in the use of the new media and art.
Not many mainstream newspapers may
run a story written by a small group of women in a village. The
answer for such women to connect to the world remains in the internet
and new media.
Employ every medium if the
mainstream newspaper won't pay attention to you. Blog and use social
media including Facebook and twitter to connect with the world and
put pressure on the decision makers. Blogs and social media help you
connect with people in places where you don't have a physical
But where technology fails, there
still remains a long African way of communication through art and
drama. “Art helps people create new space for a different
conversation. Create messages that are simple, impacting and makes
people think again,” explained the founder of sistersong.net
while discussing the winning strategy for organizing and empowering
women from local level to join the global agenda.
Esther Nasikye is a Communication and Advocacy Officer at Icon Women & Young People's Leadership Academy. She is based in Uganda.