In the recently concluded 2011 general elections of Uganda the polls show an increase in the number of women who have emerged winners for the different political positions. According to the Uganda Electoral Commission website, the number has increased from 98 women to 130 women for the 9th Parliament of Uganda. 8 of these women were aspirants for seats previously dominated by the men.
The Women Democracy Group (WDG) comprised of civil society organisations such as Action for Development, Centre for Women in Governance, Forum for Women in Democracy coordinated by Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET) embarked on training of prospective women candidates which has largely contributed to the increase of women in politics and decision making. A candidates training manual was developed which was used during the trainings. This was undertaken with support from Deepening Democracy Programme / DANIDA and DCA (Dan Church Aid).
There was also an increase in the number of women vying for the different political positions at local council levels in the different districts in the country. Amidst the difficult economic, social, cultural and political terrain that continue to hinder women’s effective participation in politics and decision making, most women emerged winners of the different political or leadership positions in their respective counties.
The trainings were undertaken in over 60 selected districts across Uganda in central, western, northern and eastern regions. Out of the 2500 women candidates trained, 2214 were nominated to represent their political parties and 1546 women won the different political positions in the different districts. The training focused on public speaking and presentation skills, running successful campaigns, winning elections, fundraising, women and political parties, and what to do on polling day and after polling day among others.
On behalf of the Women Democracy Group, UWONET would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the women who made it to Parliament and local council positions across the country. To the women who did not make it, elevating to higher leadership positions in society is a process that starts before and also goes beyond the election time. More importantly leadership can be taken on in both formal and informal processes. So do not give up seize every opportunity around you.