Exchange to Change January 2017 - Page 21

IN THE PICTURE
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“ I asked myself , ‘ Oh , Christine , now you can ’ t even protect this woman ?” In case you are wondering , Christine did manage to help this woman , who now lives with her parents and children . But that ’ s not always possible .
The problem with many societies around the world is they are still deeply patriarchal , which means that women there are more likely to be harmed than protected by its laws . For Christine , protecting women is frequently a matter of life and death . According to the UN , 1 in 3 women worldwide has experienced physical or sexual violence and , every year , half of the women killed worldwide were murdered by partners or relatives .
Christine understands the empowerment of women beyond social and economic changes . She explains : “ You can never empower women without taking into account the men in their lives .”
When asked how she does not lose faith , she explains that passion matters : “ When you ’ re truly committed to changing lives , you will find reasons to pick yourself up and continue the fight ”. Then she goes on to share a personal recipe , which involves having likeminded people around to reach out to , understanding that life has to move on and managing stress . “ Otherwise , you ’ ll just get destroyed ”, she says .
Coming from a country with

The problem with many societies around the world is they are still deeply patriarchal , which means that women there are more likely to be harmed than protected by its laws an impressive gender-gap , where the payment of a bride price is legally supported , on the grounds that it is a much appreciated cultural practice , I ask Christine how her life turned out so differently . Without hesitating , she says : “ I am very proud of my father ”. Because her father valued education so much , she was encouraged to seek professional development ; and because he loved her so much , he always respected her life choices . Making her own choices brought her this far .

Christine now wants to focus on advocacy and research to inform policy-making in Uganda . “ I come from a country where there are still no laws to protect women , which is shameful .” Her belief is that the way to fight oppression starts with providing women with supportive institutions that allows them to speak up and be heard .
Exchange to change January 2017