Quotas and Qualifications in Uganda

Diana Z. O’Brien

in The Impact of Gender Quotas

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199830091
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932924 | DOI:
Quotas and Qualifications in Uganda

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This chapter studies the personal and political characteristics of women elected to reserved seats in Uganda to assess whether quotas promote inexperienced and unqualified female party loyalists. Using biographical sketches, Diana Z. O’Brien compares the profiles of quota women and their non-quota counterparts, both male and female. Although the earlier mode of selecting women to the reserved seats via an electoral college did not contain checks on candidate quality and clearly promoted elitism and patronage, the direct election of candidates implemented in 2006 has altered these patterns in significant ways. The statistical data suggests that, on the vast majority of measures, quota women do not differ significantly from other MPs. Indeed, on some indicators they appear to be better prepared for office than non-quota legislators. The evidence thus demonstrates that quotas have not advanced women that are less qualified or more elite than other MPs.

Keywords: gender quotas; reserved seats; political recruitment; political backgrounds; political experience; candidate qualifications; Uganda

Chapter.  7303 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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