The impact of women members of parliament on policy outcome affecting children in Ugandan, 2001-2009
Kakuba, Sultan Juma
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ARTICLE: The impact of women on decision making in Uganda had been constrained for long because of the patriarchal nature of the societies in the country. But since 1986, women have gained recognition and representation in the Parliament. This has given them a unique opportunity to present and influence issues of their concern into legislation. The study is based on content analysis of parliamentary debates, particularly contributions to issues related to children and subsequent policy outcomes. Using systematic stratified sampling a total of 377 hansards were selected out of 752 corresponding to plenary parliamentary sittings which had been held in the period 2001-2009. With the help of content analysis, data were extracted from the sampled hansards, coded and categorised on issues raised and debated in parliament to promote and protect children. The study findings show that though women were new comers in the Parliament, they displayed that they are equal to the task agitate for legislation to improve the status of children and family issues in Uganda. The study uncovered that women Members of Parliament raised many issues to prioritise the welfare and needs of children into legal framework in the country. These included child labour, child sacrifice/child trafficking, street children defilement and girl child education among others. The study found that this resulted into enacting and amendment of laws such as the Child Act, Expansion of defilement and Persons With Disabilities Act among others. The study concludes that women as mothers and Members of Parliament have achieved some legislation, which can positively impact on the status of children. Therefore, there is need to put these legislation into practice because having them on paper is not good enough to improve on the conditions of children in the country.