Music and Gender in Uganda

One of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) is to promote gender equality and empower women in the effort to reduce poverty and improve people’s quality of life. Gender inequalities must be examined not only in economic, health, and political sectors, which has been common practice, but also in cultural spheres including the performing arts and, in this case, music. Moreover, some Ugandan music (and dances) offers a secure space for homosexuals, an identity that is not openly accepted not only in Uganda, but throughout Africa. In this project, we seek to examine the relationship between music and gender and how each contributes to the definition of the other. The scope of this study is wide, from studies of music used in traditional circumcision rituals, to notions of gender and attitudes toward AIDS as communicated in contemporary popular culture, and the commodification of women in the music industry.

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