As part of our reflection and projection into the future, FOWODE would like to build an epic legacy initiative, a Leadership Centre. Here are more details about this Legacy Initiative.

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Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE) is a national women’s rights organization established in 1994 with a vision of a just and fair society where women and men equally participate in and benefit from decision making processes. FOWODE’s mission is to promote gender equality in all areas of decision making. FOWODE advocates for inclusive and just governance that gives women voice, choice and power. Furthermore, it champions women’s political consciousness and nurtures alternative and transformative leadership to shape a future that promotes social justice and strengthens collective power.

FOWODE promotes authentic civic engagement, advocates against unequal power structures and lobbies for public resources to benefit women equitably with men. FOWODE engages public institutions to raise awareness and influence decision-making and priority setting to catalyze gender transformative change. Additionally, it provides thought leadership on the advancement of gender equality in governance, budgeting and development.


As part of our reflection and projection into the future, FOWODE would like to build an epic legacy initiative, a Leadership Centre. The USD 7,800,000 center will be both a visible embodiment of women’s independent organizing, and a vital practical base from which to advance the struggle for gender equality. It will be women activists’ own space, designed by them, run by them, tailored to their needs: a safe haven from coercion and pressure; a vibrant hub for imagining and planning together; and a launchpad for campaigns that will take on power, privilege and prejudice.

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FOWODE has embarked on the fundraising for the Leadership Center and will hold a ground breaking ceremony for the Centre in March 2021 at the site in Kasangati Town Council.

Through the Leadership Centre, we will;

  1. Amplify women speaking up without constraint to build independent and authentic voices for women's rights
  2. Build and strengthen women leaders to champion gender equality
  3. Facilitate networks and connections to bring about togetherness for equality and women's rights
  4. Be a feminist base for powerful campaigns for women's rights making it a launch pad for action.
  5. Be a safe and empowering space for women's safety, dignity, voice and agency with the goal of ending violence against women.

Our Legacy Project is one whose architecture tells the story of magnificence of the African woman, equality, democracy and Feminism.

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The architecture and design is inspired by the African Woman's headscarf and embodies three sustainable Strands

  1. Environmental sustainability that is inspired by the principles of the Green Architectural Movement
  2. Social sustainability that guarantees sustainable incomes for the work on just society. Social and cultural life amenities and systems for citizen engagement as well as spaces for people to engage
  3. Economic sustainability that allows initiatives to live beyond donor dependent as it will generate its own resources

Our Appeal as we launch this Centre

  • That citizens in all diversity join us in building this legacy space

Celebrating Young Women In Leadership.

FOWODE would like to recognise two young women in leadership this week.

Ruth Kitamirike - Makerere University Guild Representative Council (GRC).

Big congratulations to our 2020 camp alumna, Ms. Ruth Kitamirike who  was recently voted to the Makerere University Guild Representative Council (GRC) to represent the School of Law!

Ruth Kitamirike, was part of our transformative leadership training in 2020. FOWODE rejoices in every young woman who dares to take up the leadership mantle. In this case, we are proud and honored to have contributed to Kitamirike’s leadership journey and look forward to a term of transformative leadership.




  Shamim Nambassa – Mak Guild President Elect.

A big congratulations to Shamim Nambassa the Guild President Elect of Makerere University.

Forum for Women in Democracy congratulates you. Your win is a win for all women.

Are We Glimpsing Gender Equality in Uganda’s Recent Permanent Secretary Appointments?

By Peace Namayanja.

In July, President Museveni’s government unveiled the new list of permanent secretaries for the Republic of Uganda. The released list revealed 40% women more top leadership positions as Permanent Secretaries. With the current Parliament consisting of 34% females, 38% female ministers, 42% female state ministers and 40% of the newly appointed Permanent Secretaries being women, this offers hope for women’s interests to be advanced in the current presidential term. H.

The 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, article 32 clearly stipulates that woman have the right to affirmative action for the purpose of redressing the imbalances created by history, tradition or custom. In article 33, the supreme law of the land highlights that the State shall ensure gender balance and fair representation of marginalized groups on all constitutional and other bodies. (National Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy, VI). By having a fair representation of women Permanent Secretaries, Uganda is making strides towards the fulfilment of the Maputo Protocol article 9 which is vocal on ensuring increased and effective representation and participation of women at all levels of decision-making. Additionally, this aligns well with Uganda’s commitment to the 30% minimum representation of women in top leadership as per the Beijing Platform of Action of having sustained laws on affirmative action for women in national politics, and deliberate efforts to promote women’s participation in Parliamentary business.

Over the years, the Uganda government has made positive strides in appointing women in top leadership and technical positions, although lack of sufficient data makes it hard to predict whether women’s overall situation has improved. Numerically, the proportion of women in top leadership positions has been improving over time. From the appointment of Joyce Mpanga in 1987 as the Minister for Women and Development to having two women ministers and three deputy cabinet ministers in 1989, women leaders continuously advocated for the government's intention to raise women's wages, increase women's credit, employment opportunities, and improve the lives of women.

Significantly, women’s appointments into Permanent Secretary roles over the last 2 regimes has consistently improved compared to the previous trends. With a 40% consistency in women appointments 2016-2020 and 2021-2026 this enhances women's voice, credibility, capacity to influence key decisions and also play an oversight role. To date, having 40% female permanent secretaries exhibits sensitivity to gender imbalance and a desire to address disparities in laws and policies; access to Health, and education. This is a golden opportunity for gender mainstreaming in government programs and policies including gender responsive public service delivery.

Whereas there is an increase in trend, women in leadership positions are still challenged by perceptions about their abilities to deliver as leaders. Also, the sexism attached to women in leadership obscures them from contributing to debatable policy making processes, hence diverting them from their agenda. These continuous negative perceptions targeted at women in leadership affects their capacity to access positions of influence.

According to a Country Analysis: Leadership in Advancing Women’s Rights in Public Decision-Making Processes in Uganda, these and more lead to women’s failure to conceptualize issues, leading to their inability to make linkages of women’s rights equality and equity with broader issues resulting into a failure to identify entry points and frameworks to work with. Significantly, limited efforts have also been paid to institutional machineries that can support gender mainstreaming in policies, programs and service delivery for the betterment of women. The Ministry of Gender Labor and Social Development, which is a national gender machinery still has inadequate technical and financial resources to address the enormous tasks in its mandate. Amongst other limitations are patriarchy, which is rooted in all leadership structures despite progressive laws; the continuous monetization of politics, that is, presidential candidate shs.20, 000,000, MPs Shs.3,000,000, Local Council IV Shs.200,000 local councils Shs.50,000 which makes it difficult for women to vie for direct seats to pave way for their fate in leadership. Cultural norms and practices that continue to keep women in the domestic arenas coupled with the burden on unpaid care work still play a critical role in keeping women on the sidelines of political leadership.

Having more women as permanent secretaries presents a grand opportunity for enhancing gender responsive public service delivery. There is therefore need to refocus on; strengthening institutional mechanisms to deliver gender equality in public administration and services delivery; strengthening the capacity of capable passionate women leaders and sensitizing decision makers; as well as identifying existing role model women leaders to empower and mentor women who are new entrants in leadership and decision-making spaces. The Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE) has contributed to this agenda by recognizing, identifying and positioning women as credible leaders in elective and higher positions of power hence promoting women’s leadership and accountability to their rights. We continuously ensure that women meaningfully participate in decision making processes in order to center women’s needs in debates, policies, laws and budgets.

Peace Namayanja is the Program Manager, Women and Leadership Program at FOWODE

The Untimely Death Of a FOWODE Beneficiary

On Monday November 15, 2021, Ms Hope Tukamushaba was found dead in her house in Lyantonde at 11pm. The circumstances of her death have not been ascertained yet but she had cuts on her head.

Hope was a beneficiary of Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE). She was a member of Tusekimu Women’s group for our AWESOME project, ardently attending our trainings on Women and Leadership but particularly interested in the ones on Sexual Gender Based Violence. She had become a reliable and promising agent of change for FOWODE, going the extra mile to teach against SGBV in the town councils. An enrolled nurse, the 27-year-old leaves behind a 3-year-old girl and a little boy she had adopted.

FOWODE mourns Hope the mother, the nurse, the exceptional civic educator she was fast becoming and so much more that we shall never know. FOWODE condemns violence of any nature against anyone. We hope that justice will be served and the culprits will be brought to book.

Thank you for your efforts to eliminate SGBV from your community, Hope. It is a pity you had to go at the hands of violence.

Rest In Peace our dear Sister!!