Since the 1990s there has been an unprecedented rise in the number of women in parliaments in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the literature finds little evidence that increased women's representation has had significant effects on policy outcomes. Uganda has been a pioneer in increasing the number of women legislators. Legislative outcomes were poor from 1996 to 2006, but several pro-women laws were passed in the 2006–2011 multiparty period. Legislative developments since the reintroduction of multiparty politics in Uganda suggest that women have made use of restricted political space to advance their concerns. The new multiparty dispensation, however, does not seem to have been a significant factor. While the increased number of women in Parliament has contributed to pro-women policies, other important factors include the role of the women's caucus in Parliament, the support of male legislators, and relationships between female legislators and actors in civil society and the aid community.

Vibeke Wang

Senior Researcher and Coordinator: Gender Politics