Political Ground Still Unleveled for Women – Report

1744 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
At least 83 women are contesting for open Parliamentary seats, competing in a pool of 1,306 men. Only seven women are contesting for district seats against 376 male candidates and one, Maureen Kyalya Walube is contesting for the presidency.

False Propaganda and negative attitudes towards women are key factors presenting unfair competition to women vying for political seats in direct constituencies; a new report by the Women Democracy Network indicates.

The finding resulted from a study to map out positive trends and persistent deficits ahead of the 2016 general election. It was conducted in the districts of Yumbe, Masaka, Kanungu, Gulu, Kampala and Mbale, highlighting political engagements, benefits and challenges for equal participation of women in Uganda's political arena.

At least 83 women are contesting for open Parliamentary seats, competing in a pool of 1,306 men.  Only seven women are contesting for district seats against 376 male candidates and one, Maureen Kyalya Walube is contesting for the presidency.

However, 45 percent of respondents in the survey said they would not vote for a female presidential candidate citing incompetence of women and the sensitive nature of elective positions. Others would only vote for women for the purposes of gender balance, the survey indicates.

Ritah Achiro the Executive Director of the Uganda Women's Network, a member of WDN attributes the poor attitudes on participation of women in politics to the lack of transparency in the manner in which political parties address issues of gender equality.

She believes that if political parties prioritize equality, the general thinking that women cannot lead in direct elective seats will be redirected.
 
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WDN Executive Director Perry Aritua says she was disturbed by a finding among voters in West Nile that women are more competent when they are married unlike their male contenders who are never put on the spot to defend their marital status.

She says the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development need to devise a way to change such attitudes before it totally erodes the achievements in women empowerment.
 
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About the author

Annet Lekuru
Annet Lekuru is the Uganda Radio Network bureau chief for Arua. She is new in this post, assigned August 2016. However, she is no stranger to URN subcribers and readers.

Lekuru started her journalism career in 2011 with training from Radio Paris where she worked until April 2015. She started writing for URN in May 2015 as a freelance reporter.

Lekuru loves and continues to admire URN because of the reporter privilege to identify and report on issues close to one's heart which offers an opportunity to the reporter to develop a passion in a beat and report on it exhaustively.

With a background training in Conflict Sensitive Journalism she hopes to graduate into doing remarkable and recognised human rights and human interest stories in the near future.

She is interested in reporting on issues of justice, law, human rights and health.