The Changing Livelihood of the Karamojong People of North-Eastern Uganda and its impact on the Survival of their Traditional Gender Roles
This Masters Thesis in Indigenous studies involves research carried out in Karamoja North-Eastern Uganda, East Africa. (PDF)
This thesis discuss the changing livelihoods of the Karamojong people of North-Eastern Uganda and how the changes impacts the survival of their traditional gender roles. For various reasons Karimajong people have been historically marginalized and subjugated which treatment is evident since the rule of colonialists and even extended to the post –independence governments of the Republic of Uganda. In their attempt to express their identity as cattle herders, Karamajong people have faced the unfavourable consequences of the government’s development programs since nomadic pastoralism was seen as a back ward mode of cattle husbandry which is not economically viable but rather environmentally destructive. It should be noted that Karamoja sub region is a semi-arid area where people have suffered the worst consequences of drought in Uganda due to global climate change. Additionally the activity of cattle raiding branded the people of karamaja tittle of warrior who were seen as security threat to the nation. This resulted into neglecting of this area, denial of economic benefits and infrastructure that marked the genesis of discrimination and marginalization of the people of karamoja as some parts of Uganda perceived that the people of karamoja are undeveloped since they never embraced western modernity as early as it was in other parts of the country. However regardless of their marginalized position, Karamojong people continued to live a way of live that was inherited from their ancestors given the fact that the place was made a no gone zone for other people of the country. The society was organized and activities were shared according to gender and age. I will show the different roles that were traditionally performed by people of different gender and Age. Here I examine if the Karamojong people fit to be indigenous as invoked by international law or even as perceived by the African understanding of indigeneity. In the year 2006, the government of Uganda embarked on the implementation of affirmative action to the historically marginalized and discriminated societies. Karamoja became one of the targets of this movement. In her attempt to implement development projects in the region, the government of Uganda ensured that the previously closed boundaries of karamoja sub region were to be opened to the rest of the citizens and to the foreign agencies. This called for pacifying and transforming the region through disarming the warriors, encouraging sedentarized agriculture as an alternative to pastoralism, introducing formal education and other undertakings as I will elaborate in this thesis. However studies show that such changes have greatly impacted on the traditional way of life of the people of Karamoja. Therefore this study tries to analyse if these changes in livelihood will make Karamojong people more marginalized and vulnerable society or resilient and progressive community, able to cope up with the life of other dominant communities. The information included herein is informed by current and historical literature, as well as the author’s field research conducted in Moroto district North-eastern Uganda Karamoja sub-region.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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