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Celebrating breaking barriers

October 4, 2023      

An educator, activist and academic. She was the first woman university graduate in East and Central Africa from Oxford University with a Bachelor of Arts (Hon) in History in 1954

Born in Hoima, in 1925. Sarah started school in kindergarten class at Duhaga Girls’ School in Hoima where she studied up to Primary 4, joined King’s College Budo, In 1938, where she and later train at Makerere College  as a teacher.

In 1951, she joined Oxford University where graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1954. She was the first East and Central African woman to graduate from Oxford University at a time when no tertiary institutions granted degrees in East Africa

Her championing of women’s rights in Uganda has come a long way. Soon after her arrival at Gayaza High School, she discovered that her salary was to be less than that of her male colleagues. In protest of this, she offered to work without any pay for one year to repay for sponsoring her studies. After one academic year, she told them, she would resign and find employment that would pay her, not as a woman, but as a worker, an ordinary employee. Her action yielded results. The Headmistress reported her action to the wife of the Governor, Sir Andrew Cohen who approached her at the school. She stood her ground and after this meeting, she received equal pay for equal work done. This was how she broke the barrier of unequal pay