Multi–party politics and women’s freedom of expression: The case of Parliament in Uganda
Muyomba, Nalubuga Lillian
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This dissertation seeks to answer a general question: Does an increase in women’s representation in parliament guarantee full enjoyment of women’s freedom of expression? For purposes of this research, the lack of empirical evidence about women’s freedom of expression in the legislature serves as a point of departure, generated by the increase in numbers of female MPs in the Parliament of Uganda. The research design is qualitative in nature, with empirical evidence from interviews conducted among 112 respondents including MPs, civil society actors, policy makers and the academia. The research strategy was a case study of the 8th Parliament of Uganda. Findings reveal that while women in parliament are on the right development trajectory in terms of numbers, enjoyment of their right to freedom of expression leaves a lot to be desired. Women are still faced with the challenge of playing a male-dominated game which affects their freedom of expression. .It has been argued that while numbers are important for women in parliament, presentation of critical and intelligible issues is far more important. This study makes key recommendations including the need for continuous capacity building of female legislators; defining a reform agenda for women in parliament and, the improvement of parliament-civil society relations. Hence this study contributes to strengthening and validating the theory of critical mass with regard to women’s participation and confidence in parliamentary politics in Uganda.