ABSTRACT

Article 180(1(b)) of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda stipulates that one-third of the membership of each local government council shall be reserved for women. The Local Governments Act (Republic of Uganda 1997a) fl eshes this out with specifi c mechanisms for women’s inclusion. Local councils-which were already by then a well-established system based on fi ve tiers of local council from the village to the district level-were expanded after 1997 to include women through an add-on approach, with 30 per cent extra seats added for women councillors.1 The increase of women in local government took place in the context of an elaborate process of fi scal and administrative decentralization intended to improve developmental performance through a transfer of powers from the centre to the locally elected local government councils. Although there are concerns about the add-on approach to women’s inclusion in Uganda, the minimum of 30 per cent has brought visible feminine presence into local government structures.