The leadership contribution of womenpersonnel in national security: A case study of Uganda's People Defence Forces (1999-2007)
Kiraahwa, Monica Miriam.
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In Uganda’s national army the UPDF, numbers of women personnel have been found to be very low. The few who are there occupy low positions and play subsidiary roles, a factor that greatly undermines their contribution. The purpose of this study was therefore, to examine the leadership contribution of women personnel in national security in Uganda using UPDF as a case. The role played by the women personnel in UPDF towards national security as well as the challenges they face were examined. The study utilized both qualitative and quantitative research methods relying on survey questionnaires. These questionnaires were administered to purposively selected respondents. Interviews and documentary review were also employed to bolster data gathered by questionnaires to add reliability. Quantitative data recorded was cleaned, transcribed and coded to ensure accuracy and consistence. Then, percentages and frequency tables were drawn. Qualitative data was also transcribed and thereafter, analyzed thematically in accordance with the objectives of the study. Major findings of this research included the following: Most women personnel in UPDF are not given significant leadership roles to play. They are mainly engaged in support duties like intelligence gathering, office administration including secretarial work and attending to patients in sick bays. Very few of them have been engaged in direct combat duties let alone taking on command and control roles. Major obstacles in their way to exercise their potentials include: discrimination in recruitment; training and promotions; placement; sexual and physical abuses. The study contributes in the field of national security by filling the gap that exists in research on women personnel in UPDF. By examining their leadership contribution in national security, the research provides vital data that can contribute towards the improvement and realization of leadership potentials of the women personnel in Uganda’s military establishment and to the nation at large. In view of this, the study recommends that gender mainstreaming policies focusing on affirmative actions for women personnel in UPDF be given due consideration.