Allan is used to skepticism.
"I show boys pictures of a man cooking and a woman fixing a car, you should see their faces, but after a while, the message gets through," he said.
This 22-year-old Ugandan man defends equal opportunities for girls and boys in his country. There is still a ways to go.
"When I was 14, my sister became pregnant and had to stop going to school,” he said. “I found it so unfair, like so many girls here in Kamuli."
He was 16 at the time, and already realized that things had to change.
Equality, from father to son
Allan’s 67-year-old father, Nkono, said his son's activism has had a positive effect on him.
“We influence each other,” he said. “Allan convinced me to let my daughter go back to school. You have no idea how proud I am of my daughters, who have all graduated."
In Uganda today, women still do not have the right to own land. But thanks to Allan’s influence, his father donated a piece of fertile land to his mother and he now contributes to the household chores. Thanks to the division of labor, the family income has increased.
Football and dialogue
Since early 2016, Allan has been one of Plan International's youth activists. He started the initiative “Tugemereghalala,” which means “to collaborate together.”
"We have boys’ clubs and girls' clubs, as it's important for young people to have the opportunity to meet separately so that they can talk freely about what's occupying their lives and thoughts,” he said.
Soccer is one of the ways Allan motivates boys.
“At half time, I talk to them about their stereotypes and the prejudices,” he said. “Their first reaction is almost always negative. But when I show them pictures I've found on the Internet—a woman repairing a car or a man doing the dishes—they open their eyes."
It is important that both genders come together to understand each other.
"There are times when girls’ and boys' clubs get together,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to break the clichés, a dialogue is born, and boys see and hear that girls are not necessarily weak."
One day, I'll be a gender expert
Allan and the other young campaigners also work with their community and the police.
“When we learn that a girl has been attacked, we denounce it,” he said. “And when parents are planning to marry their underage daughter, we intervene as mediators."
One of Allan’s ambitions is to bring about changes at the national level. He is advocating for improved sex education and health care in Uganda.
The goal: fewer teenage pregnancies.
Allan recently helped launch an international petition, which was a huge success. The petition was submitted to the government, which promised to release the budget needed to implement a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health program. "I do not intend to stop there," said Allan. “One day, I'll be a gender expert."
Allan proves that #GenderEqualityIs everyone’s business. In one sentence or photo, use social media to tell us what #GenderEqualityIs to you!