Last year, four women farmers walked into the studios of 102.3 Heart FM in Mubende town, 170km west of Kampala. The radio show host, Katumba Mugerwa, told listeners that he had always thought a farmer must be a man. But, he said, since Send a Cow Uganda had begun work there, women could be referred to as farmers too.

Those four women soon enlightened him – and his audience – about how increased skills, income and gender awareness training had enabled them to achieve their potential. To mark International Women’s Day, 8 March 2012, we bring you just a few highlights of their interview.

Harriet Ssenyonga, chairperson of the Kabatende Women’s Group:

“Formerly, whenever a woman was called upon to say anything in a group, she would instead suggest that a man say it – even when it concerned women. It seemed that women could only be vice chairpersons of a group. Today, I am the chairperson and I am proud of it. Send a Cow has breathed real life in us. A few years ago, I looked to my husband for everything – today, I have an income of my own and contribute to household costs.”

Mary Nasejje, treasurer of Kabatende Women’s Group:

“Before Send a Cow came to our community, I had never stepped into a bank. Today when I walk in with my committee members, we even have tea in the manager’s office. He says, let the women of Send a Cow come in! We are recognised as people. Our training in bookkeeping and records management has empowered us and I think our group’s account is one of the fattest!”

Florence Nantumbwe of the Kaweeri Women’s Group:

“A woman who has an animal or an enterprise has no time to wander around and engage in gossip. Our men are now proud of us. I am sure my husband has told his peers to tune in and listen to his wife on the air today. We think that speaking on the radio is only for those women who are high up in society – yet here I am, and the world out there is listening!”

It is humbling and amazing to see how women farmers grow from nothing and become experts with skills and a beacon of hope within the wider community. 

Aggrey Nshekanabo, Communication and Marketing Officer, Send a Cow Uganda