The Millennium Development Goals are coming to end in 2015 and questions have began about what should replace them. I have attended a few such discussion panels and will be dipping in out and out the emerging themes from those panel discussions.
One such themes concerns jobs. In particular that the Post 2015 agenda should focus on the creation of good jobs. This gives rise to a few questions
- What does a “good job” look like?
- Who is responsible for creating such a job?
The first question gives rise to another question that is to do with measuring and evaluation. Who will determine the quality of jobs that are created? Is this the job of Business, Governments, NGOs or individuals themselves?
These are questions for us to ponder as the 2015 deadline approaches.
In this post I am concerned with a phenomena that if left unchecked will be the biggest challenge for us beyond 2015.
Rural to Urban Migration
I admit that I have not done any research in this area and therefore my knowledge is limited to observation of what is going on in Ruhanga and other such villages in Uganda.
Typically such villages have no factories or formal employment and folk leave off the land. The men tend to leave as soon as they can, in search of work in towns and cities. But this option, is not often available to women and girls who are expected to remain and work the land.
In some cases women do make it into the cities and the situation there with respect to accessing jobs isn’t any better for them. This is a confluence of reasons for this, but the most common one has to do with a lack of formal education, precisely that these women often do not have the level of education that would for instance enable them to access an office job.
The consequences of such circumstances unfolded before our very eyes in a Bangladeshi clothing factory a few weeks ago .
A cab driver in Uganda summed up the situation for women and girls in Uganda as follows
Without a job or home to go to, the girls end up in the slums of Kampala, where they become easy pickings for would be people traffickers, who sell them on to prostitution rings, those that are lucky might get a job as someone’s house maid. This guarantees shelter and food but not necessarily fair wages nor fair treatment. These are the sort of girls that used by gangs to steal from foreigners in restaurants, bars and clubs. to be frank with you, they have become a nuisance
With women and girls facing such circumstances, the UK’s Labour Party has called on government’s to rethink the Post 2015 . Ivan Lewis the Shadow Development Secretary for Labour for instance argues that it is not enough to simply focus on what the goals should be and urges governments, experts, academics and NGOs to focus on Equality and to that end Labour has come up with what they are calling the Equality 2030 agenda.
But what does equality mean? Is there a universal description that is understood by all? Although this is desired, evidence points to an increasingly dived and unequal society in which the disparity between the haves and have nots is huge and growing by day giving rise to rural to urban migration witnessed in countries such as Uganda.
With all this mind, therefore where do we go from here?
Have you got a view? Join the conversation