As the year 2021 comes to an end, we salute thousands of influential women that are actively involved in transforming Uganda and the world at large. The Cambridge Dictionary defines influence as “the ability to affect people or events.”
The list, therefore, celebrates Ugandan women in leadership who inspire the next generation of women. It features several outstanding women from various backgrounds, picked from both the private and public sectors. They are respected civil servants, successful politicians, steadfast activists and reputable members of the civil society organization. What cuts across all of them is that they have all made moves that have challenged the normal and inspired many. In no particular order, here are some of the influential women.
Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja is the first Uganda female Prime Minister and leader of government businesses in parliament.
Nominated to the office in June 2021, Nabbanja has proved what women can do if given the space and ability. Kakumiro District Woman MP previously served as State Minister of Health for General Duties. She is famous for her aggressive style of work which earned her the title of “a no-nonsense woman” Nabbanja has registered success in her first six months in office. An improvement in service delivery and timely coordination and supervision of government projects speak volumes.
Born in 1969 in the present day Kakumiro district, Nabbanja holds a Bachelor of Democracy and Development Studies and Masters of Arts in Development Studies all from Uganda Martyrs University.
Rebecca Kadaga is one of the most powerful and significant female leaders in Uganda. She is currently serving as the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the East African Community Affairs.
Kamuli District MP was the first female speaker of parliament in Uganda, the position she held between 2011 to 2021. For Kadaga, being the first female speaker of Parliament is a great and unique opportunity for her to leave a significant stamp on the legislative arena.
Born in 1956, in Kamuli district in Eastern Uganda, Kadaga has been an MP since 1989 and she has several academic qualifications.
Namayanja Rose Nsereko
The Deputy NRM party Secretary-General, Hon. Rose Nmayanja Nsereko has for many years been at the centre of advocacy for women empowerment. The NRM party ideologue has also taken the initiative to start up the Rose Namayanja foundation, a non-profit organization aiming at moulding young people to become influential in the world. As a feminist, Namayanja through “Rose Namayanja Foundation” has tried to break the status-quo by creating an equalized environment under the principle of equity between women and men.
Born 18 August 1975, Namayanja is a Ugandan lawyer and politician currently serving as the Deputy Secretary-General of the ruling NRM party.
She is the former party’s National Treasurer, Minister of Information and National Guidance, Minister of State for Luwero Triangle in the Prime Minister’s office and former Nakaseke District Women Representative in Parliament.
Anita Annet Among
Born 23 November 1973, Among is a Ugandan accountant, lawyer and politician who currently serves as the Deputy Speaker of the 11th Parliament of Uganda. She also concurrently serves as the elected member of parliament for the Bukedea District Women Constituency, the same position she held in the 10th parliament.
Among inspires many people due to her ability to preside over parliamentary sessions consisting of over 500 legislators.
Jane Ruth Aceng
Dr Jane Ruth Aceng is a Ugandan paediatrician and politician. She is the Minister of Health, a post she was appointed to in June 2016. The Lira district woman MP Aceng, will always be remembered for her aggressive efforts in the fight against the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic that broke out in Uganda in 2020.
As a Public Health expert, Aceng has vast experience both as a manager and practising medical personnel, which she accumulated while serving in various capacities, among them as Director General Health Services where she was responsible for coordinating technical functions for the delivery of health services, a role she has fulfilled until her appointment as the Minister for Health.
Pheona Nabasa Wall
Pheona Nabasa Gladys Wall, commonly known as Pheona Wall, is a Ugandan lawyer and Public Relations Officer with over 15 years of experience. Nabasa became an inspirational female figure when she was elected president of the Uganda Law Society in September 2020. Her approach towards legal issues in the country has been noted as futuristic.
Sarah Bireete is a lawyer, Human rights activist, and the executive director of the Center for Constitutional Governance (CCG). The Human rights advocate has played a pivotal role in the fight for human rights in Uganda through her CCG initiative, an institution that acts as one of the constitutional watchdogs in the country.