Post-war economic opportunities in northern Uganda

Implications for women’s empowerment and political participation

This report sets out to examine and understand the position of women in the peace economy and politics, and the interaction between their increased economic power and their participation in political and public life in northern Uganda. Women have played a key role in the region’s economic recovery after the war, enabling them to increase their income significantly; however, not at a level which would allow them to achieve economic security, and break free from the cycle of economic survival and merely meeting practical needs. Development and reconstruction policies in northern Uganda have not taken into account the important contribution made by women in the building of a peace economy. Furthermore, very little attention has been paid by development planners to the high levels of sexual violence against women and the way in which unequal gender relations continue to affect the economic recovery. All this explains, to a large extent, women’s poor participation in politics in northern Uganda, even though their increased income has allowed many of them to play a more central role in decision making within the household and to acquire greater mobility and influence in decision-making bodies in communities.