Miriam Katunze, a Research Analyst with EPRC has presented preliminary findings from a paper titled “Increasing women’s participation in private sector decision-making: the case of Uganda’s firms”.

While presentating her maiden findings, Katunze hinted that although the number of women joining the labour market is increasing, their representation in decision-making spheres particularly in private sector business has stayed low.

The presentation was made on 19th October 2016, at Hotel Africana, during the 3rd National Women’s Week convened by Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET), an advocacy and lobbying linkage of national women’s NGO’s and individuals, operating in Uganda.

Conducted under the objective; “To examine determinants to women’s advancement in to top business management”, the study takes advantage of World Bank’s 2013 enterprise Surveys data for Uganda.

Outcomes reveal that firms’ willingness to take on a female manager is encouraged by among others, the firm’s age and female ownership and discouraged by business environment factors of corruption, problems with tax administration, customs, and trade regulation procedures.

The paper recommends incentivisation of skills development, strong business collective action and ensuring firm survival as ways of strengthening firms’ capacity to hire and increase women’s representation in top management within the private sector.

Other participants raised the need for women to be more aggressive and attain greater education so as leverage their employability. Additionally, the need to improve the sanitary environment in primary schools, and elimination of stereotypes against women was also echoed

According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics 2013 data, Female employment to population ratio improved from 78.2 percent in 2006 to 86.8 percent in 2010. Recommendations such as those put forward by Katunze’s paper, would ensure a shift to wage and salaried jobs for women and their subsequent participation in decision making.