African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 389


From no- party to multi-party competition: Analysing women’s candidature in Uganda’s 2006 national elections

Josephine Ahikire* and Aramanzan Madanda
Department of Women and Gender Studies, Makerere University Plot 45, Pool Boad, Opposite Makerere University Swimming Pool, P. O. Box 7062 K`mpala, Uganda.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 10 September 2008
  •  Published: 30 November 2009


This article examines the question of women’s candidature in Uganda’s multi-party elections in 2006. For 20 years since 1986, Uganda was governed under a no-party system known as Movement. Under this system electoral competition took place within a framework of individual merit where nomination was based on one’s individual decision to stand for public office. Within this same period there was remarkable increase in women’s political participation at levels with faster progress being made at the local government level than the national and executive. In the following article, derived from a study conducted in 10 districts just before the February 2006 general election held under a multi-party dispensation, we demonstrate that while multi-party politics has thrown up enormous opportunities for possible expansion of the women’s political participation, it has also generated more challenges and complicated existing ones. At the same time the parties remain largely patriarchal men’s clubs. The bridge for women’s political participation is still shaky. The article, however acknowledges that although the bridge is shaky, it is important that it exists at all.


Key words: Women's candidature, elections, transition, political parties.