Makerere Art Lecturer Addresses Gender Issues with Garbage Bins
Dr. George Kyeyune working on one of the garbage "baskets".

Makerere Art Lecturer Addresses Gender Issues with Garbage Bins


By Risdel Kasasira
more from author >>
First published: January 28, 2006


A Makerere University lecturer of Fine Art, Doctor George Kyeyune, is designing garbage bins in the shape of baskets with gender messages, as a move to sensitize the university community about gender issues while protecting the environment. The baskets branded with gender texts have been designed to help educate people in the university about women emancipation but also to be used as dustbins.

We want to take gender sensitization campaigns to the public using many and different avenues in order to change peoples attitude on women as well as contribute to a healthy and clean environment within the University, says Dr. Kyeyune.

Kyeyune says that women have been marginalized for long and there is a need to address the problem by creating new avenues to advocate for womens rights in order to supplement the already existing ones. He hopes to attract peoples attention and eventually lead to attitude change.

These baskets will be put in the school of Industrial and Fine Art compound as a pilot study and Kyeyune hopes that other faculties can adopt it around their compounds. The baskets are made out of woven soft-coiled sticks, covered with hard mold of mixed fiberglass and resin chemicals and cement. From a distance, the outer hard mold fiberglass and the sticky resin chemicals can make one think it is a 50 silver liter can but as one draws nearer, the woven papyrus like wood inside gives a clear picture of a basket. A Makerere University logo is designed with gender texts below and above it. The Lecturer says he has used the baskets because in African tradition women make baskets and they use them for domestic purposes.

In our cultures, it is women who make baskets therefore we want to localize the fight against women inequality, says Kyeyune.

He also wants Makerere, as an African University, to use indigenous knowledge to fight problems in African society. These are items we grew seeing so we also need to keep them alive and see how we can use them for our benefit, he says. The texts on the baskets talk about educating girls and stopping of domestic violence in homes. Real men dont beat their wives, Stop domestic violence, Educating women is educating the nation, read some of the messages on the baskets.

Kyeyune who has a doctorate degree in fine art started thinking about this project while attending a gender sensitization workshop in Mukono where different university lecturers were challenged to use their professional skills to sensitize people on women emancipation.

Kyeyune appeals to the University administration to allocate money to this pilot study so that he produces more baskets for the university in order to reduce the garbage collection problems as he sensitizes the university community on gender issues.

By Risdel Kasasira
more from author >>
First published: January 28, 2006
To learn more about Ultimate Media Consult go to www.ultimatemediaconsult.com.

Risdel Kasasira is a graduate Journalist who reports for Ultimate Media Consult. He has worked for The Daily Monitor, Radio Uganda and has done several communication related consultancies. He is also the Research Executive at Ultimate Media Consult (U) Ltd.