Since 1997, over 8000 women have gone through the African Women’s Leadership Institute(AWLI), going on to carry forward the feminist agenda into decision making spaces to bring about transformative change. On the 21st of April, Ugandan AWLI alumni in political leadership positions from different cohorts of the AWLI met for a high level breakfast meeting convened by the Chairperson of Akina Mama wa Afrika, Dr. Maggie Kigozi. The reunion was organized to provide a platform for AWLI Alumni for networking, peer learning and collective envisioning of leadership that can deliver the feminist agenda.
The event brought together women political leaders currently serving in the parliament of Uganda and those who have previously served there and moved on to other political leadership roles. At the meeting, the women leaders shared about their experience at the AWLI and how it has since then shaped their political career and vision. Many leaders present, credited Akina Mama wa Afrika for having a deeper understanding of oppressive systems that impact on people’s lives especially women and girls and how that has guided and influenced their advocacy.
Echoing through the room were various feats that the women leaders had taken on in their capacity. Former MP (Kumi District), Hon. Monicah Amoding shared about her work in creating an enabling environment for women political aspirants in 2026 to contest on the direct seats. She credits AWLI for the exposure and support that propelled her into her political career. Within an area like Women’s sports, AWLI alumni, Babirye Kityo has used her position as the President of the Uganda Netball Federation to advocate for equal funding and opportunities with support from women in high leadership including the IGG, Speaker of Parliament among others.
Among the victories shared were also the challenges experienced on the political landscape, one woman leader shared about an attempt at her life that left her with severe injuries and yet that did not dampen her spirits. They shared about the the challenges of competing in male dominated positions where they were frowned upon and redirected to affirmative action seats. There was an exchange of intergenerational issues around women’s political participation with some champions of the Uganda feminist movement like Hon. Miria Matembe speaking about how to serve people effectively when handling large constituencies. Hon. Matembe urged the political leaders to tirelessly advocate and serve women and girls as they are the most underserved populations.
The event was wrapped up with a reflection session on what visions of good leadership the women leaders. Among those mentioned were; Gender-responsive budgeting; Stronger collaboration between CSOs and women political leaders; Strengthening Uganda WOPA as the entity to carry forward the women’s agenda; Economic justice for women; Amplification of women’s issues in parliament; Fight against GBV; mentorship of young girls into leadership. These visions were followed up with commitments from the leaders about their role in bringing this vision to life. The leaders committed to bringing this vision to life through continuous advocacy for safety in political parties and women’s leagues in particular. They also committed to building the capacity of young women in leadership and to create an enabling platform at all levels.
The reunion reawakened the spirit of siblinghood among the alumni and reinforced the commitment towards the gender equality and justice.