Peter Asiimwe Awuyo, Peter Anthony Kopoka
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess factors affecting women political participation in Ugandan Parliamentary elections. The last three decades of the National Resistance Movement government switched their language and strategies to the new empowerment chant where they wanted to empower key marginalized groups including women, youth and people with disabilities. Uganda has made tremendous progress towards gender equality over the last 20 years. The country has one of the most gender-sensitive constitutions in the world and has many laws and policies in place to address gender imbalances and womens empowerment. The challenge remains at the implementation level. This specific project was laid out to investigate how womens attitudes affect their participation in parliamentary elections, establish the impact of womens economic status on their participation in parliamentary elections in Greater Mukono Region and lastly, to explore the opportunities available to enhance womens participation in parliamentary elections in Greater Mukono Region. The research project used a mixed research design which employed quantitative and qualitative approaches. A sample of 98 respondents was selected from 15 parliamentary constituencies. Simple random and stratified random sampling was used to identify the respondents. Data was collected using self-administered questionnaires and individual interviews as a tool of data collection with both primary and secondary data. This data was then analyzed using descriptive statistics by applying the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) for better interpretation. The study findings for objective one revealed that women leaders hold a positive attitude about women participation in Parliamentary Elections. The study findings revealed that economic deprivation for women is affecting their participation in parliamentary elections. This was the case because the study established that the cost of political campaigns hindered women participation in the 2016 and 2011 parliamentary elections. According to the study findings presented in chapter four for objective three, findings suggest that women being educated and sensitized on their rights, with Family Support; Party Support and presence of good laws and policies are opportunities that enhanced women political participation in the 2016 and 2011 parliamentary elections. The role of the political parties and NGOs was instrumental too. The study concluded that women leaders hold a positive attitude about women participation in Parliamentary Elections, the study too established that women actively participated in Parliamentary Elections and general elections either as candidates or voters during the 2016 and 2011 general elections. Further the study concluded that economic deprivation for women affected their participation in the 2016 and 2011 parliamentary elections. Lastly the study concluded that there existed opportunities that enhanced women participation in parliamentary elections at the national and party levels. Non-governmental organizations were found to be instrumental in helping to improve women participation in parliamentary elections. The good laws and policies like the affirmative action, equal opportunities act was instrumental in aiding women participation in parliamentary elections; at the party level, these offered a general plate form and some parties like NRM offered campaign funds for their candidates including women. For NGOs, these were found to be instrumental in civic education and election monitoring which helps to report and deter illegalities.
Keywords: Women Political Participation, Ugandan Parliamentary Election