After Uganda ran out of vaccinations in March, only a few weeks after the initial doses arrived, it was another setback for the young women and girls who have made tremendous sacrifices as our country battles to keep the deadly Covid-19 virus at bay. Schools and colleges were forced to close once again, stranding 15 million children at home or on the streets. Worker wages were not paid, and panic spread across the surrounding villages. Women were the ones who felt the effects first and worst, particularly if they were still in their twenties.

Inequality In Vaccination Access For Young Women In Uganda

Despite the passage of time, the lockdown has still not been completely removed. People stand in a queue for hours in the street to get their hands on the few vaccinations. We are susceptible to more virulent and lethal forms of the virus, such as Delta, since fewer than one percent of the population is completely vaccinated.

Inequality In Vaccination Access For Young Women In Uganda

Despite this, nations in North America and Europe stockpile an excessive amount of vaccines, rendering them unable to utilize them all. I’m curious whether their people are aware of the hardships we’re going through. It’s possible that our destiny appears far away from them. To illustrate what vaccination inequality means to a young lady in Uganda, allow me to share my personal experience with you.

Ugandans are mostly under the age of thirty, with three-quarters of the population under thirty. As recently as the early 1980s, less than 5 percent of females were engaged in secondary school. The vast majority of them were prohibited from enrolling because of poverty and gender inequity. In comparison to our moms and grandparents, my generation is much more likely to get a college degree. Yet, we are nevertheless the first generation to be taken out of school when circumstances are difficult. During the epidemic, a whole generation missed out on learning chances and had little prospect of catching up in the future. Only a select handful was rich enough to afford to study online due to financial constraints. The expenses of the education crises will be borne by the remaining population for the rest of their life.

However, it is not only about our right to study that we are concerned about. Schools and universities provide a safe haven for young people, especially girls. Education gives them the confidence to stand up for their rights. Because of this, they are respected in their communities and families. Predators have taken advantage of the situation created by school closures, which has pushed young women to live at home or on the streets. 

As per the United Nations Child’s Fund, a shadow epidemic of sexual abuse has spread, resulting in a more than 20 percent rise in the number of births among adolescent girls. Throughout history, women have been compelled to marry or to trade sex for money in order to live. Our organization has provided young women with sanitary goods throughout the epidemic. Still, we have also assisted them in learning how to manufacture reusable pads that they may sell to others.