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close this bookWomen and Men in Uganda - Facts and Figures 1998 (Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development - Uganda - Statistic Department Ministry of Planning and Economic Development - Uganda, 1998, 79 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentMap of Uganda
View the documentUganda in Africa
View the documentForeword
View the documentAcknowledgement
View the documentHow to Read the Statistics
View the documentList of Acronyms
View the documentBasic Facts on Women and Men in Uganda
View the document1. Population
View the document2. Household and Housing Characteristics
View the document3. Health
View the document4. Education and Literacy
View the document5. Labour Force
View the document6. Decision Making
View the document7. Disability
View the document8. Poverty
View the documentStatistics for the Future

2. Household and Housing Characteristics

Family life and household structures are changing with time. Changes in marriages and divorce rates and in household sizes and structures have affected both women's and men's life styles.

Household:

A group of one or more persons who normally live and eat together.

Household Head:

A person who is regarded by other members of the household as its head (1991 population census).

Housing Unit:

A physical structure designed for habitation by a single household.

Dwelling Unit:

A structure actually occupied by the household.

2.1 Household Headship

The head of the household is an important member of the household in terms of the day to day running of the household. The sex of the head of household determines the nature of household activities and the extent of overall participation in development.

Table 2.1: Household Heads by Rural-Urban Residence - Sex distribution (%)

Residence

Total No.
'000'

Percent



Women

Men

Rural

2,987

28

72

Urban

446

33

67

Total

3,434

29

71

Source: The 1991 Population and Housing census.


Figure 2.1: Household Headship by Place of Residence

Traditionally, men are regarded as heads of households. Table 2.1 and Figure 2.1 show that the proportion of women headed households is higher in the urban areas than in the rural setting. This may be because more urban women are in paid employment and can independently head and support their households.

Table 2.2: Households Headed by Children7 - Sex distribution (%)

Residence

Girls

Boys

Total

Rural

38

62

100

Urban

48

52

100

Total

40

60

100

7 Those below 18 years

Source: The 1991 Population and Housing Census

The 1991 population and housing census enumerated 38,521 households which were headed by children below age 18 years. This was 1.1 percent of all households.

Table 2.2 shows that among households headed by children, 40 percent of them were headed by girls whereas 60 percent of them were headed by boys. Differentials by place of residence show that the percentage of households headed by boys (62 percent) is relatively much higher than the households headed by girls (38 percent) in rural areas. The urban areas percentages of boy headed households and girl headed households of 52 and 48 respectively are not so significantly different. This could probably be explained by the fact that, in the urban areas, girls may be engaged in paid employment and can thus head their households.

2.2 Marital Status

In the 1991 population census, information on marital status was collected from all persons aged 15 years and over. Of all persons who reported their marital status, 51.7 percent were women and 48.3 percent men.

Figure 2.2 shows the percentage of never married men (64 percent) is higher than that of women (36 percent). This could be because of the polygamous marriage practices in the country. Since the number of women is about the same as of men, the marrying of more than one woman will automatically reduce the percentage of never married women. For this same reason the percentage of currently married women (55 percent) is higher than that of men (45 percent).

The percentage of widowed, divorced/separated women is also significantly higher than that of men because customs and bride price practices make it easier for men to remarry than it is for women.

2.3 Median Age at First Marriage


Fig. 2.2: Population by Marital Status

According to the 1995 UDHS, the median age at first marriage was 17.5 and 23.1 for women and men respectively. This is partly because women are generally regarded mature at a younger age than men.

The fear of early pregnancy outside marriage, social expectation and the value for the bride price tends to make women enter marriage at an earlier age than men. Another possible reason could be the preference to educate boys that tends to delay them from entering into early marriages.

2.4 Housing Characteristics

Table 2.3: Type of Housing Unit by Household Head - Percent distribution (%)

Type of housing unit

Women

Men

Detached

49.0

48.9

Semi-detached/Flat

8.9

7.7

Tenement (muzigo)

9.6

7.4

Servant quarters

1.0

1.2

Hut

31.0

34.2

Other

0.6

0.6

Total

100.0

100.0

Source: The 1991 Population and Housing census

Information on type of housing unit by sex of household head is given in table 2.3. Clearly, there are minor differences in type of housing unit by sex of household head. Of all the women-headed households, 49 and 8.9 percent stay in detached and semi-detached respectively and these proportions are relatively higher than for men (48.9 and 7.7 percent). A similar pattern is noted for the tenement. However the reverse is observed for servant quarters and huts.


Fig. 2.3: Type of Dwelling Unit by Sex of Household Head

Fig. 2.3 shows that slightly higher proportion of men-headed households lived in the main dwelling units than the women-headed households. The reverse is observed for those who lived in room(s).

Table 2.4: Percent Distribution of Permanency of a Dwelling Unit by Sex of Household Head.

Permanency of dwelling unit

Women

Men

Permanent

12.8

11.4

Semi-Permanent

35.2

27.4

Temporary

52.1

61.2

Total

100.0

100.0

Source: The 1991 population and Housing census.

Table 2.4 shows that slightly higher percentages of (12.8 and 35.2) of the women-headed households stay in permanent and semi-permanent dwelling units compared to (11.4 and 27.4 percent) of the men-headed households, respectively. This could be explained by the gender roles whereby women are traditionally charged with home making, if given the chance a woman would choose a more permanent structure.


Fig. 2.4: Source of Water by Sex of Household Head

Fig. 2.4 shows that a relatively higher proportion (28.2 percent) of the women-headed households compared to (24.7 percent) of the men-headed households, have access to safe water sources. The fact that traditionally it is the task of the women to provide safe water, may explain this finding.