Political participation and the realisation of women's rights to socio-economic empowerment : a case of Masindi District
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The purpose of the study was to establish the extent to which women’s political participation translates to their human rights to social economic empowerment in Masindi district. The topic was considered of absolute importance since it provides lessons on political participation as one of the means to realise women’s rights to socio-economic empowerment. The study sought to address four specific objectives namely: (i) to establish whether women's political participation in Masindi district had translated into into the realisation of their human rights to social empowerment; (ii) to establish whether women's political participation in Masindi district had translated into the realisation of their human rights to economic empowerment; (iii) to examine the causes of the violations of women's socio-economic rights in Masindi district; (iv) to generate recommendations to address the violations of women's socio-economic rights. A case study design was adopted as as quantitative and qualitative approaches. The data collection methods used were questionnaires and key informant interviews. An accessible population identified was 210 from which a sample size of 132 was determined. Of the 132 questionnaires administered, 127 were returned (96% response rate). Of these, eighty-seven (87) constituting 69% were female while forty (40) constituting 31% were male. The study findings revealed that there was a statistically significant positive relationship between political participation and women’s rights to socio-economic empowerment in terms of control over, ownership of, and utilization of productive resources; community mobilization; access and utilization of health care services; access to education services and business enterprise as designated by a Regression Coefficient of 0.526 at p=0.01<0.05. This implies that political participation translates into women’s socio-economic empowerment. The study concluded that while knowledge of political systems; training opportunities on women’s leadership; platforms for networking, lobbying and advocacy; and learning and exposure contributed to the 27.4% variance in socio-economic empowerment of women, training opportunities on women’s leadership was the greatest predictor of variation. Key recommendations of the study are; capacity building programs should be given higher attention since it significantly contributes to women’s rights to social economic empowerment and networking, lobbying and advocacy platforms should be given high attention because they equally contribute significantly women’s rights to social economic empowerment.