The women’s movement in Uganda has grown from a background where the nationalist project that led Uganda to independence had its ultimate focus and aim on decentralisation of colonial privilege, and inheriting colonial state power rather than democratisation (Mamdani, 1996). The post-independence period has seen the women’s movement grow from infancy, despite being retarded by authoritarianism and civil strife. Significant public presence of women is related directly to affirmative action policies.
The coming into power of the current regime coincided with the end of the United Nations Women’s Decade and the Conference in Nairobi at the end of 1985. The Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies called for a new organisational terrain in the women’s movement in Uganda and Africa as a whole. As expected, the women’s movement in Uganda has continued to be affected by both internal and external dynamics, which in many ways have put untold pressure on those at the forefront of the movement. Remarkable achievements have been made in some areas while a lot on the women’s agenda still remains unresolved.
The women’s movement in Uganda continues to grapple with various issues affecting its sustenance and effectiveness of its operations. The seemingly long journey that is far from complete has left many with feelings of fatigue and exhaustion which is manifested in the current apathy and failure to actively engage the state.
An effective response to these and other emerging challenges calls for a strong women’s movement with the ability to sustain engagement while continuously replenishing its ranks in a bid to secure the gains made by the movement.
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