Impact of Gender Roles and Food Security in Kaabong District, Uganda

Institute for Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Nairobi hosted an insightful webinar as part of its IDS-UoN Seminar Series 2024. The seminar, titled “Gender Roles and Food Security: A Differential Impact Analysis of Kaabong West Subcounty, Kaabong District, Uganda.” This event highlighted critical issues faced in rural Uganda and offered innovative perspectives on addressing food insecurity through gender-sensitive approaches.

Kisaakye Angelline, a doctoral candidate at the Institute for Development Studies, University of Nairobi, presented her comprehensive research findings. Angelline’s presentation underscored the significance of gender roles in influencing food security outcomes in the Kaabong West Subcounty. Her analysis revealed that while food security is a fundamental human right and a prerequisite for any successful development program, it is deeply affected by gender-specific roles, especially in rural communities.

Angelline highlighted alarming statistics: globally, over 924 million people experience extreme food insecurity, with significant disparities between regions. For instance, Asia holds the largest burden of food insecurity, with countries like India accounting for 25% of the world’s total food insecurity. In Africa, the number of people facing hunger has increased by 11 million since 2021, with Uganda facing critical levels of acute malnutrition in regions like Kaabong District.

Utilizing frameworks such as the Triple Roles Framework, Harvard Gender Analytical Framework, and Intersectionality Theory to analyze the gender division of labor, access and control over resources, and the influence of social, political, and economic factors. Her findings suggest that addressing gender roles is essential for stabilizing food security in Kaabong West Subcounty.

Grace Lubaale, a Senior Lecturer at Kyambogo University, served as the discussant, providing valuable commentary on Angelline’s findings. Lubaale emphasized the critical need for gender-sensitive approaches in addressing food security challenges. He highlighted that despite various interventions by state and non-state actors, food insecurity in Kaabong District remains severe, with approximately 45% of households experiencing food insecurity.

The event attracted participants from various sectors, including academia, development practitioners, and the general public. Attendees engaged in a dynamic Q&A session, exploring the complexities of understanding the unique gender dynamics in rural communities and the necessity for tailored interventions.

The webinar was well-received, with participants praising the depth of the research and the quality of the discussion. The insights shared during the event are expected to contribute significantly to ongoing efforts to address food security challenges in Uganda and similar contexts.

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