“This book from an intellectual activist has the great virtue of starting with the moment that exits, and not the one she wishes existed. That moment is an affirmative reform from above that increase the number of women legislators and clearly alters the gender profile of parliamentary politics in Uganda…This Uganda based study succeeds in illuminating issues that will resonate elsewhere.”
Mahmood Mamdani, Professor of politics at the University of Cape Town South Africa and is author of Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism and Politics and class Formation in Uganda.
Among African countries, Uganda is unique in its affirmative action program for women. In the late 1980’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni announced this belief that Uganda’s successful development depended on increased gender equality and backed his opinions by setting several women-centered politics in motion, including a 1989 rule that at least thirty-nine seats in the Ugandan parliament be reserved for women.
In this fascinating study, based on in depth interviews with both male and female parliamentarians, women in non-governmental organizations and rural residents of Uganda, Sylvia Tamale exposes how women’s participation in Ugandan politics has unfolded and what the impact has been for gender equality. The book examines how women have adapted their legislative strategies for empowerment in light of Uganda’s patriarchal history and social structure. The author also looks at the consequences and implications of women’s parliamentary participation as a result of affirmative action handed down by the state, rather than pushed up from grassroots movement.
Although focusing on Uganda, Tamale’s study is relevant to other African and non-African countries grappling with the twin challenges of democracy and development.
Content: Introduction- profile of five political women-Genders and the politics of parliamentary representation-Women in the parliamentary electoral process-The gender dynamics of intra-parliamentary politics-Women’s legislative activities inside parliament-Into the trenches: Women legislators and their constituents-Media-ted portrayals of women politicians-Conclusion –Appendix- References-Index.