Former Makerere University researcher-turned activist Dr Stella Nyanzi has expressed concern over the increasing gender inequality at Uganda’s oldest university.
Dr Nyanzi raised the concern after the new Makerere University Academic Staff Association (Muasa) administration chart (2018-2020) was released, showing only males occupying all the 16 leadership positions.
She wondered why males are still holding many leadership and academic positions at the university despite having many qualified female professors.
“How is it possible that in this day and age, the oldest university in Uganda has no woman elected onto the executive of its academic staff association? What patriarchy is this? What phallocentricism allows Muasa to be a leadership organ occupied by only men?” she said.
Dr Nyanzi also highlighted the dominance of men in the Makerere administration structure.
“The chancellor is a man, the vice chancellor is a man, the deputy vice chancellor in-charge of academic affairs is a man, the deputy vice chancellor in-charge of finance and administration is a man and the academic registrar is a man,” she said.
However, Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi, the Muasa chairman, said their constitution is very clear on who is eligible for any leadership position.
“The Muasa constitution which governs us is very clear on who should become a leader and actually during its review, it had a good representation of women,” he said.
Dr Kamunyu added that gender balance at the university is among Muasa priorities.
“We are committed to empowerment of women and building an environment where men and women have equal opportunities and fair competition,” the Muasa boss said.
After serving as the association’s public relations officer for two years, Dr Kamunyu was in December elected the new Musa chairperson, replacing Dr Muhammad Kiggundu-Musoke.
Other members of the Muasa executive include: Assoc. Prof Edward Nector Mwavu (Vice Chairman), Dr Michael Walimbwa (General Secretary), Dr Geoffrey Nuwagaba (Deputy General Secretary), Mr Hussein Oria (Treasurer), and Dr Ronald Kakungulu-Mayambala (Academic & Research). Others are Mr Arthur Mugisha (Welfare), Mr Allan Ochieng (Public & External Relations), Assoc. Prof. John Bosco Lamoris Okullo (CAES college representative), Mr Milton Wabyona (CHUSS college representative) and Dr Anthony Tibaingana (CoBAMS college representative).
Dr Andrew Tamale (CoVAB college representative), Dr Amin Kiggundu Tamale (CEDAT college representative), Dr Erem Geoffrey (CHS college representative) and Mr Mwanje Aloysius Desire (COCIS college representative) complete the list.