Assessment of Indicators Associated with Women Empowerment in Uganda (Evidence From Uganda Demographic Health Survey 2016)
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Women’s empowerment is a multi-dimensional process that involves transforming ideas, norms, relationships and structures of resource and power allocation. Progress is never linear, assured or free from setbacks. But progress on women’s empowerment can be, and has been made in most countries around the world. In thinking, about the pathways to women’s empowerment in practice, it is important to avoid unfounded generalizations within or across locations, groups of women or dimensions of empowerment. While it is the people living in particular communities and societies that drive and sustain changes to patriarchal and other exclusionary social norms, international ideas, assistance and solidarity are an important part of the story of progress of women empowerment. It is therefore upon the government of Uganda and its ministries to come up with better and friendly policies that will work towards empowering the women so that gender equality is achieved. This paper sought to examine the indicators associated with women empowerment in Uganda. Secondary data obtained from the Uganda Health and Demographic Survey of 2016 was used for analysis since this tends to be a national survey and therefore would give nationally representative results. 6 variables were used with 2,479 observations. The variables were level of education of the woman, participation in household decision making, decision making on contraceptive use, ownership of assets (land and/or house) and experience of severe violence from husband/partner. Analysis was carried out using STATA 14. The results of the study showed that there was significant relationship between participation in household decision making and education level (p=0.0001), decision on contraceptive use (p=0.000), ownership of assets (land and/or house), (p=0.000). Therefore there is urgent need for government of Uganda to keep improving girl child education in Uganda as this keeps them more knowledgeable about women empowerment, health and investments to own assets. The government also has to come up with gender based violence eradication programs and policies to increase women’s ability to live to full potential. The study also showed that majority of women (95.42%) dropped out at primary or secondary level or have never been to school. Therefore for government to achieve gender equality, a keen eye needs to be kept on these indicators of women empowerment.