SIGI Uganda

The OECD Development Centre and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) launched the first country pilot of the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) in Uganda in 2013 to strengthen national policy making aimed at tackling the root causes of gender inequalities.


SIGI Uganda offers policymakers and the development community with the first comprehensive evidence base of the impact of discriminatory social institutions on gender equality and development. For the first time, discriminatory laws (formal and informal), attitudes, norms and practices have been recorded and quantified across the different regions of Uganda, putting the spotlight on the effects of discrimination on gender inequalities, poverty and the marginalisation of women.

The results of the country pilot were presented at a two-day workshop in Kampala, Uganda, on 27-28 May 2015.


Key findings


The SIGI Uganda shows that investments in reducing gender inequalities hold important potential to improve women’s rights and reduce gender gaps. Over the past two decades, Uganda has achieved solid progress, courtesy of comprehensive laws and policies strengthening women’s political participation and land rights, among others. However, gaps and challenges remain across some key areas affecting women’s rights. Gaps between opinions, perceived and actual practices highlight the urgency to tackle discriminatory social institutions through a multi-pronged and holistic approach.

  • Discriminatory family code: Prevalence of early marriage remains pervasive with regional disparities: on average one in two Ugandan women was married before turning 18, up to two in three women in the East Central, Mid-Eastern and Mid-Northern sub-regions. Early marriage is widely accepted, but only for girls: 45% of respondents declare that girls should be married by 18, while 85% believe than men should be married later.
  • Restricted physical integrity: Prevalence and acceptance of domestic violence are still high: twice as many women than men experienced spousal violence in their lifetime; one in two Ugandan women have been victim at least once during their life and one in three in the last 12 months. More than one in two Ugandans agree that spousal violence against women is justified under certain circumstances – two in three in the West Nile and Mid-Eastern sub-regions.
  • Son bias: Improving attitudes towards the division of household chores and caring activities between girls and boys are not translating into changes in practice. While two-thirds of Ugandans agree that girls and boys should have an equal share of caring responsibilities, half of the population reports that in practice, girls are still performing more housework.
  • Restricted resources and assets: Land rights and management remain male-dominated: only one third of land is owned or co-owned by women. There is widespread support for this inequality: 27% of the population supports unequal land rights , reaching as high as 54% in the Mid-Northern sub-region.
  • Restricted civil liberties: Securing women’s access to justice remains a challenge: one-third of the population believe that women do not enjoy the same opportunities as men to access justice, i.e. police, courts of law and local traditional authorities; this rises to 60% in the Southwest sub-region. The same share agree that unequal access is justified.


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