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Education and Gendered Marginalization of the Youth Employment in Rural Uganda
Before colonialism, education in Uganda was non-formal. Men and women were socialized into role obligations directly related to their livelihoods. Everyone had work and worked towards society’s physical and socio-economic cohesion and survival. The African extended family was the ‘school’ accessible to all children and youth for the requisite knowledge, competencies and skills. It was accessible to all and compulsory for all. Education was life and life was a learning process. No certificates were needed to confirm mastering of knowledge and skills. Each community owned and controlled its knowledge system and economy. Education today is formal, segregative and requires certification at each stage. Though there is more access to basic education due to Universal Primary Education (UPE), which is the foundation of knowledge, skills and competencies required to participate in national and global economy, people have no control over education and economic processes and outcomes. This marginalization is gendered in magnitude and manifestation (Atekyereza, 2001). For every one unemployed male youth, there are two more female youth (ILO, 2018; Ahaibwe & Mbowa, 2014) and the normative socio-cultural, economic and political structure further promotes the inequality. Most rural female youth do jobs which marginalize them through to marriage and offspring. Hence, focus should be on changing the normative ecology of youth employment and not the youth per se.