Gender and work challenges in the informal sector of Uganda : a study of disabled men and women in Mubende and Mityana districts

Master Thesis

2007

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University of Cape Town

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Compared to disciplines like gender and health, fewer studies have been done on disabled men and women's participation in the informal sector. This may be explained by the fact that for a long time, few disabled men and women in Uganda engaged or participated openly in income generating activities (IGAs). Many started getting involved in the 1990's and as the available literature shows, those who have done so are very enthusiastic and this has encouraged others. This study focuses on the gender and work challenges disabled men and women encounter in the informal sector of Uganda. The study is based on a review of existing literature and actual fieldwork carried out in the Mubende and Mityana districts of Uganda. It seeks to: (a) explore the types of business activities in which disabled men and women are engaged; (b) explore the nature of work challenges disabled men and women encounter in the informal sector and the nature of strategies they utilize to overcome these challenges; (c) ascertain the benefits that disabled men and women have gained in respect of participation in the informal sector; (d) establish the policies and laws that govern disabled men and women with regard to their work in the informal sector; and (e) establish how resources are allocated by various governmental and nongovernmental Organisations among disabled men and women in Mubende and Mityana districts. The study was carried out in Mubende and Mityana district, the central region of the densely populated disabled men and women. In this study in-depth interviews and focus group methods were used to collect qualitative data. Evidence from the study confirms that disabled men and women were engaged in similar IGAs although a few of them were engaged in different IGAs. The similarity in IGAs was likely to be a result of the limited range of IGAs that disabled men and women could engage in considering the nature of their impairments, limited finances and the limited skills that they had. The visually and hearing impaired men and women were mainly involved in a single IGA in the informal sector and most of the physically disabled men and women were engaged in multiple IGAs. This was linked to visually and hearing impaired men and women lacking or having insufficient capital and skills to engage in multiple IGAs, as compared to physically disabled men and women.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 144-157).

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