Youth Reporter Agnella recently finished her placement volunteering with ICS. Whilst on placement, Angella met Patricia, a young woman fighting for Gender Equality in Uganda.
Ending gender based violence, menstrual stigma and advocating for the girl child are Patricia’s major priorities. Patricia Kajumba is a 23 year old Ugandan citizen who lives in Hoima district. She was raised by both her parents and the second youngest of her five siblings.
Patricia making an elevation pitch about her social action project.
Patricia began her early works at Reproductive Health Uganda- Hoima Branch and Interaid Uganda-Kiryandongo after completing her degree in Social Work at Uganda Christian University. It was during this work that she realised she had a passion to fight for the girl child after experiences personal life circumstances.
Patricia at a school function calling upon the community to break the silence around menstruation in their homes.
Currently, Patricia is associated with Akina Mama wa Afrika which helps her advance her passion. Akina Mama wa Afrika is a woman led organization that strives towards achieving a world where African women are politically, economically and socially autonomous and are champions of change in their lives and society.
Using this support Patricia is a Reproductive Health Rights movement builder dealing specifically in Menstrual Health Rights in Africa whilst implementing a project that curbs sexual and gender based violence among young girls. She is also part of the Sex Rights Africa Network which runs the Happy Flow Campaign which was launched in December.
Holding a community dialogue about GBV in
Poor menstrual hygiene deprives young girls the ability to attain their full potential ranging from being abused sexually, psychologically and emotionally due to situations such as period poverty.
When asked about her project, Patricia spoke with enthusiasm: “it is called Twekonyere project which translates we help each other,” she says.
Part of the hike4agirlchild campaign team last year to break menstrual stigma and creating awareness about dangers of child marriages
The aim is to fight menstruation stigma and raise awareness among girls about menstrual Hygiene management and protect girls against sexual gender based violence in kyabahesi-Hoima district. The project targets girls between the ages of 13-18. With this project, Patricia hopes to break the negative perceptions of menstruation in the community, where people don’t think it is something that should be spoken about publicly. Girls are left vulnerable, with no knowledge of menstruation and how to manage it, with no one to turn to for help.
Patricia making a presentation about how to secure menstrual health rights in Africa at the Regional Forum on Building the movement for sexual and reproductive health rights in Johannesburg,
Patricia faces many obstacles with this project, including cultural rigidity she faces both on and off social media. Despite this she always has the motivation and desire to grow her passion: “when I grow, every girl I get to engage with grows.”
“don’t argue but rather engage in discussions that challenge the status quo,” is Patricia’s solutions to the challenges she faces.
Talking about contraceptive methods used in Uganda
Patricia has a dream to see an enthusiastic community engaging in balanced for both women and men , a community that celebrates culture without violating human rights in any sorts, a community where people’s wellbeing is enhanced such that they can use their local resources to push for development. “I also aspire to be the leader that puts smiles on faces of girls that are less privileged,”
“Every time I lose hope or energy I look up to my role model Hope Nankunda. She inspires me a lot because of she has walked a long journey to promote education for the girl child.”
Sensitisng school children in kiryadongo refugee settlement camp about behavior change