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Mon dong gu dugu calo coo - "Women have become like men"/IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) in Gulu municipality: gender and livelihoods

Ursula WOODBURN student laureate
ursulawoodburn@hotmail.com

°1979 Great Britain
Bachelor in Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge University, Great Britain, 2005

Mon dong gu dugu calo coo - "Women have become like men"/IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) in Gulu municipality: gender and livelihoods

Based on several weeks of field research and numerous interviews in Gulu, in northern Uganda, in July and August 2007, the work of Ursula Woodburn is a pertinent analysis of the situation of "Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)" in this Ugandan municipality.
Living conditions for the people of Gulu are difficult and gender relations have become very tense: the men no longer can or want to provide sufficient income to the households, and the new economic responsibilities taken on by the women are associated with the latter becoming more independent, which adds to family tensions and frustration on the part of the men. The conflicts that accompany these processes, which are found in similar forms but on a larger scale elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, are exacerbated here by the precariousness of the means of existence and living conditions in general. Within the context of masculine and feminine roles being redefined and with maleness and femaleness being remodelled through this dynamic, Ursula Woodburn talks of suffering individuals.
The work undertaken by humanitarian agencies and the Ugandan authorities should therefore neglect neither the women nor the men and try to reduce the tensions and conflicts that characterize the relationship between the sexes today. The reader of this work will understand that, apart from its scientific merit (concern for empirical back-up, accuracy of analysis), Ursula Woodburn's work also provides a number of avenues for concrete action and is part of an explicit endeavour to contribute to development.
 

report: Dr J. Noret, Laboratory of Anthropology of the Contemporary Worlds, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium