Post-war economic opportunities in northern Uganda: Implications for women’s empowerment and political participation

This is a women-focused study which looks at peace dividends and their nature, as well as the direction they are taking. The overall objective is to map out economic opportunities for women in post-war northern Uganda and the implications for their broader political participation and empowerment. 

Northern Uganda is emerging from a brutal conflict which has spanned over two decades since the mid-1980s. The anti-government rebellion intensified by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) faction, led by Joseph Kony, has had an enormous economic impact, destroying infrastructure, markets, investment and livelihoods; drastically altering the demographic and skills base of the region; compounding countrywide divisions, especially between the north and south of Uganda.

While the Juba Peace Talks failed to reach a signed peace agreement between the LRA and the government of Uganda, a period of relative peace and security has since been enjoyed in northern Uganda, and has led to a renewed sense of hope regarding the rebuilding of the region’s economy. This optimism has seen the government, development partners and investors either planning to make the most of possible opportunities in the north’s post-conflict economy or contributing to peace through development endeavours. This study is concerned with gender dynamics in the post-war economy, focusing on women’s positioning in the peace economy.