Ugandan Women Marginalised

On 14th December 2019, His Excellency Yoweri Kagutta Museveni drew my attention to the gender dynamics in the Government of Uganda. He did so, when he made what he described as “minor changes to the Cabinet.” Changes that he clarified making in exercise of powers vested in the President in the Constitution of our Republic of Uganda; and also in pursuance of the goals of his political party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), currently the ruling party.

A close analysis of the December 2019 reshuffled Cabinet reveals that our women’s voice is quantitatively underrepresented in Cabinet.  All the top five Cabinet positions – the president, vice president, prime minister and the two deputy prime ministers – are men.

Among the 28 full ministers, only 10 are women; a proportion of 36 percent. Among the 47 state ministers, only 16 are women; a proportion of 34 percent. Overall, therefore, in the 80 strong Cabinet of Uganda, there are only 26 women; a proportion of 35 percent.

Ms. Florence Naduk of Kara-Tunga Karamoja Tours & Arts, Ms. Norah Owaraga the Conference Keynote Speaker, and Lady Justice Jane Justice Abodo Naduk during a health break at the First Karamoja Women Conference.

Contextualise this status quo within the demographics of Uganda, where we, women, are 51 percent of our population. How come, President Museveni, seemingly, does not take our numeric strength into consideration, when in pursuit of the goals of NRM and of Ugandans in general?

And yet, potentially, numerically, our women’s vote is the largest single block in Uganda and potentially it is the determinant vote in a free and a fair Ugandan presidential election.

This is part of the keynote address that I gave to the First Karamoja Women Conference, themed: Women, Power Up: Breaking Barriers to Socio-Economic Development” that was held at Hotel Leslona in Moroto in Karamoja in Uganda and was attended by 100s of women from all over Karamoja. Continue reading, download a PDF of the full text of the address here.

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