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12338469411 kayongo mutebi_women_political_representation_participation_uganda

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  • 1. Women’s Political Representation and Participation in Decentralized Systems in Africa: UGANDA
  • 2.
    • Democratization in Uganda began with advent of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Government in 1986
    • Government has since tried to fight the cause for women’s emancipation through affirmative action and enacting gender sensitive policies
    • Uganda’s Constitution is one of the most gender sensitive constitutions in the world
  • 3.
    • To harmonize the provisions of the 1995 constitution with decentralization, the local government act was passed in 1997
    • Resistance Council (RC) introduced to facilitate people’s participation in national development through ensuring sound local level politics
    • RC evolved into local councils which then led to the implementation of decentralization through the local government act (1997)
    • This policy has provided opportunities for women to participate in local leadership from the grassroots level
  • 4.
    • Under the RC System only 1 out of the 9 councilors had to be a woman
    • Currently under the LC system, 1/3 of the councilors are expected to be women
    • At LC1 and LC2 levels women’s representation has increased
  • 5.
    • The Government of Uganda has put in place structures to facilitate the decentralization process
      • District and Sub- Country councils in rural areas
      • City and Division councils in urban settings
      • Municipal and division council in municipalities and towns
    • The Local Government Act provides that 30% of the seats on local councils are reserved for women
  • 6.
    • Despite these provisions, women are ill equipped to utilize such opportunities due to cultural and societal impediments, preventing them from full participation in the political processes
    • ‘Women continue to be the Poorest of the Poor’
  • 7.
    • Challenges:
      • Patriarchical culture of discrimination in government institutions
      • Most powerful positions in government are taken up by men
      • No system in place to build the capacity of women and confidence to participate in decision-making
  • 8.
    • Achievements:
      • Increased women’s representation in local councils
      • Confidence building in women--> women becoming leaders in society
      • Services have been brought closer to the people
      • 90% of Uganda's population lives in rural areas; over 50% of these are women--> decentralizing power and responsibilities is a great opportunity for women to participate in decision making
  • 9. UCOBAC Contributions
    • Training female councilors
    • Collaboration between organized grassroots women groups in the community and local authorities
    • Local to Local Dialogues have created safe spaces for women to participate effectively
    • Economic empowerment of women
    • Human Rights Awareness
    • Paralegal Programs
    • Legal Empowerment Programs
    UCOBAC Contributions
  • 10. Policy Recommendations
    • Need for policies and emphasis on increased spaces and opportunities for women to participate in local decision making
    • Increased numbers should be coupled with capacity building for quality and effective representation
    • Decentralization should be a process with emphasis on first building capacities of local government, before decentralizing responsibilities, power and resources
    Policy Recommendations:
  • 11.