Being a digitally empowered woman enabled me to get an opportunity to work in the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) space which was an area l was aspiring to be part of. I didn’t know how that would happen given my academic background was in Food Processing Technology, and sharing my academic background was a big part of applying for any vacancy advertised. One may wonder how l got there so let me share my career journey.
I was a focused student who really performed well in earlier school classes. It got my parents to believe that l was meant to be a medical doctor. Yes, in the society l grew up, being a medical doctor was the greatest goal for any brilliant child!
Despite the fact that l was also an active child who loved entertainment and interviewing home guests, it was always considered that I only belonged to the medical world given my good performance in class. When I enrolled in high school, my parents and I chose the sciences in order to eventually become a medical doctor. At that point, l also believed that it was where l was meant to be.
Unfortunately, l did not get the entry points in the exams to allow me to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine at the university. l even went ahead to repeat the class in a bid to make it but as fate would have it, it wasn’t meant to be.
I was advised by the teachers to choose the next best option available which was to study Food Processing Technology, which is what l pursued. During the course of my study and internship, I realized that this wasn’t my calling.
In 2013, l graduated successfully and went on a journey of self-discovery, exploring different fields for five years till l discovered that sex education has a special place in my heart. Using the digital space, I researched all available opportunities in the SRHR sector. l followed digital platforms to gain knowledge as well as shared my personal experience with family planning online. Eventually, l took a leap of faith and applied for an advertised SRHR role by an international organization where l passed and got the role.
l feel privileged that during my high school and university, l had access to some digital classes. The truth is if l had no digital literacy, l would not have seen this vacancy advertisement neither would l have been able to execute the work. You see, this was remote-based work where l was implementing project activities in my country Uganda. My work supervisors were all over the world meaning all meetings plus reports were conducted online. This was a digital access privilege, l do not take for grante. However l know there is a girl out there who may not have this advantage and this is why l rally behind the theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March 2023 (IWD 2023), “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”.
This article has been lightly edited for clarity.