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Forging Paths: Women Breaking Barriers in the Bodaboda Business in Kampala

Tom R Courtright in Lubyanza details how women in Kampala, Uganda, are venturing into the traditionally male-dominated business of motorcycle taxis (bodas).

The article “Breaking Boda Barriers: Women Join the Business” by Tom R Courtright in Lubyanza details how women in Kampala, Uganda, despite challenges such as sexual harassment and discrimination, brave women like Allen Kisakye are leveraging the flexibility and profitability of the bodaboda work. Organizations like Women Rising for Africa and companies like Zembo and Safeboda are supporting these women with training and resources. Despite risks and stigmas, these women are significantly contributing to Kampala’s economy and transportation system, challenging gender stereotypes and empowering themselves and their communities.

You can read the full article here.

In recent years, women have been increasingly entering the bodaboda business in Kampala, despite it historically being dominated by men. This is due to several reasons, including the high unemployment rate among women in Uganda, the low cost of entry into the bodaboda business, and the flexibility it offers.

Organizations like Women Rising for Africa, the electric motorcycle company Zembo, and the transportation app Safeboda have provided essential resources and support to women in Kampala looking to join bodabodas. This includes training in road safety, gender-based violence training, self-defense, and access to motorcycle financing.

The unemployment rate among women in Uganda is 11.7%, which has led many women to opt for occupations traditionally considered male-dominated, such as bodabodas. Additionally, the initial cost to join the bodaboda business is relatively low, making it attractive to women. The flexibility in working hours also allows women to balance their family responsibilities with the business.

However, women face challenges such as sexual harassment from male passengers, discrimination, and stigma. Despite this, women who have embraced the bodaboda business are proving their ability to be successful entrepreneurs and are helping to break gender stereotypes.

Despite challenges, these brave women are making a significant contribution to Kampala’s economy and transportation system, showing that women can succeed in this business and helping to overcome gender barriers.

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