Civil society organizations Foundation for Human rights Initiative (FHRI) and Women Leadership Development (WLEDE), on Thursday 18th February 2016 observed the 2016 general elections particularly assessing women participation and overall electoral administration.
Highlighted in their findings was the fact that more women participated as electoral staff and polling agents at a rate of 97 females: 76 males. There was also an increment of women contesting for mainstream parliamentary positions from 38 in 2011 to 91 in 2016, female winners who will make it to parliament is however likely to increase by only 2 members. Other findings drawn from reports indicate,
Increased voter turnout: an increased Voter turnout with a 61.08% voter turnout attributed to long queues; closure of polls and absence of names in the voters’ register.
Opening of polling station: FHRI/WLEDE observers in 85% of the polling stations reported that the opening of polls was after 7:00am contrary to official Electoral Commission start time. The late delays were attributed to logistical delays in delivering voting materials.
.Election Violence: Incidences of violence mostlikely deterred women from coming out to vote. In Kasese Municipality for example an incident of a rounded up and bundled onto a truck a scene, was likely to invoke negative attitudes among females. Such scenes of excessive use of power by security personnel over women participating in political activities portrays women negatively and reinforces unequal power relations between women and the state; thus deterring women from full political participation.
Deployment of Security Personnel: 26 polling stations reported the presence of at least 1 security constable as required by the Electoral Commission guidelines. They were calm and not intimidating. However, parts of Kampala and Wakiso reported heavy presence of security personnel.
Participation of Women, PWDs and the elderly: Results from 26 polling stations showed that 76.9% polling stations offered support or some kind of assistance to vulnerable groups such as the elderly, pregnant women and PWDs.
A table of provisional results showing women contestants who won direct parliamentary seats
Name Constituency Party
1 Betty Amongi Oyam South UPC
2 Birungi Caroline Kyamuswa NRM
3 Betty Nambooze Mukono municipality DP
4 Reheema Watongola Kamuli Municipality NRM
5 Syda Bbumba Nakaseke NRM
6 Betty Kamya Rubaga North UFA
7 Amelia Kyambadde Mawokota North NRM
8 Evelyn Anite Koboko Municipality NRM
9 Margaret Muhanga Kabarole NRM
10 Rose Mutonyi Masaba Bubulo West NRM
11 Florence Namayanja Bukoto East DP
12 Nyakecho Annette Tororo North NRM
13 Ruth Katushabe Bukomansimbi North NRM
6. Closure of Polls and Vote Counting: Polling stations that opened late were also observed to close after the stipulated 4:00pm. The Electoral Commission later issued a statement for closure of polls to be extended to 7:00pm although this was not effectively communicated to all concerned.
All considered, there was a general increase in women participation with women participating more than men, as electoral staff and polling agents at a rate of 97 females: 76 males. There was also an increment of women contesting for mainstream parliamentary positions from 38 in 2011 to 91 in 2016 although the female winners who will make it to parliament is likely to increase by only 2 members.
For More information please contact:
Deputy Executive Director (Programs)
Foundation for Human Rights Initiative
Telephone contact: +256773486911
Women Leadership Development
Phone Number: 0706795203