Why are Ugandan girls less than half of women in the rest of the world?

Written by Staff Writer Sophie Schmidt sits down with Ugandan analyst and writer Rita Mutyaba, a soon-to-be graduate student at Oxford University, to discuss what she is most worried about for her generation and…

Why are Ugandan girls less than half of women in the rest of the world?

Written by Staff Writer

Sophie Schmidt sits down with Ugandan analyst and writer Rita Mutyaba, a soon-to-be graduate student at Oxford University, to discuss what she is most worried about for her generation and for Uganda. Mutyaba, who says she is concerned about a “disconcerting level of drug addiction in the country,” has worked on an award-winning article about her country for CNN. She interviewed mothers about the pressures they face to not only have children, but children who are bright. “If the parents want their children to get an education and be educated, they can’t consider their children to be educated because their child is not bright,” one mother told Mutyaba. In this clip Mutyaba discusses a step the government is taking to address the drug problem.

This content was originally published on CNN

A generation-old question is not being widely addressed by the current political leadership in Uganda: Why is the country such a world leader in the elimination of cervical cancer, but the country’s most young population — women between 25 and 34 — remains the highest risk in the world for cervical cancer?

Why is this?

In Uganda, mothers — even good ones — believe their girls are not worth an education. And one of the things that stands in the way of a wide-scale expansion of education here is poverty, which is very strongly associated with poor health.

Globally, 55% of women aged 25 to 44 are currently in sub-Saharan Africa and on average, female life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa is 22 years, less than half the 40 years for women in western and northern Africa.

In Uganda, poverty is certainly at the root of a growing gender equality divide. This not only means more women than men going to bed hungry every night and less than half of women being able to read and write, and less than half being able to control their own reproductive health — the problem continues. And yet when it comes to girls and education, girls matter.

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