Friday, February 24, 2006

Uganda's first lady leads the way

As the Ugandan president and his challengers prepare for a showdown at the polls on Thursday, the country's first lady is also running for election after a campaign which has seen women politicians making remarkable progress. Janet Museveni (57) is making her first foray into politics by running as a parliamentary candidate in rural Ruhama in western Uganda.

On a continent where men have dominated post-independence politics, the past year has seen the beginnings of a gender shift. As well as President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in Liberia, there is Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, South Africa's Deputy Prime Minister, who joins two other prominent female leaders in Southern Africa: Zimbabwe's Deputy President, Joyce Mujuru, and Mozambique's Prime Minister, Luisa Diogo.

Critics say Uganda's first lady has an unfair advantage: not many candidates have the president campaigning on their behalf the weekend before an election.

Full story at Mail & Guardian 23 Feb 2006.

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