Behind the scenes of street begging. Karamojong women of North Eastern Uganda.
When one walks through the various streets of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, one encounters a diversity of beggars. Among them, are Karamojong women and children stationed at different places, and pleading with by-passers to offer them something. Scenes of Karamojong mothers breast feeding their babies while begging, and always set to run into hiding when they sight city authorities, are common on most busy streets of Kampala. This study investigated why Karamojong women engage in street begging, the challenges they encounter, how they cope, and the role men play. The study based on data gathered through qualitative ethnographic fieldwork in Kampala Uganda using interviews, observation, narratives and archival records. The violence and oppression that Karamojong women face daily during street begging requires an intersectional approach to obtain a better grasp of the situation. Through the fusion of Indigenous Feminism and Intersectionality, this study presents an analysis that takes into account the dynamics of race, ethnicity, class, gender and other dimensions of social inequality and difference that force Karamojong women into street begging. The findings show that the hassle of the city is tough, and only the fit survive. Karamojong women are determined and maneuver their way around the city even though they face many challenges as they go about begging. Their lives are entangled with historical effects of colonization, patriarchy, racism and sexism; which manifest through stigmatization, exploitation, prejudices and derogatory references both within and outside their society; all of which bolster subordination and vulnerability. Faced with such challenges, Karamojong women are strong, resilient people who do not concede to their plight, neither do they easily join the band wagon of the township. They still embrace their cultural values, identity, the right to be different and strive against all odds to fulfill their roles and responsibilities.
ForlagUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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