Report shows women are under-represented in Ugandan Police Forces

Flickr/AMISOM: Ugandan police officers attending celebrations for International Women's Day, 2014
July 4, 2023

Makerere University Rotary Peace Center collected data from 28 Ugandan police regions between March 2022 and February 2023 to inform gender interventions needed in the Police Force to reach gender parity amongst the officers deployed to United Nations peacekeeping missions. The subsequent report revealed that out of Uganda's 43,717 police officers, only 7,777 were women – women represent 18.3%.

The researchers of the study highlighted that theses figures are particularly concerning given the there have been significant efforts to establish and implement policies and strategies to improve the representation of women in police forces. The lead researcher, Professor Hellen Nambalirwa Nkabala, pointed to the following to perhaps explain why: gaps in deployment criteria and selection, household constraints, gender roles, insufficient resources, gender stereotypes, and negative attitudes towards women.

Further highlighting the exclusion of women from the Police Force, Nkabala said, "Some of the women in the police force lack the skills for driving manual cars and operating heavy machinery as well as low ICT skills which bring about low proficiency levels."

The study recommends greater engagement with the public to reform views on gender roles and social norms; investing in infrastructure to remove the structural and institutional blockers to women applying and fulfilling operational-policing roles; fast tracking police gender policy, strategy and action plan; developing gender leadership and technical capacity; and building coalitions of support and accountability with government, academic institutions and civil society.

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