African Female Leaders: Rebecca Kadaga, Uganda’s First Female Speaker of Parliament


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Rebecca Kadaga is a prominent figure in Uganda’s political landscape. Celebrated as the first female Speaker of Parliament in Uganda, she is currently serving as First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs in the cabinet of Uganda. Her journey is one of resilience, determination, and breaking barriers, becoming a role model for women across the nation.

Born on May 24, 1966, in Kamuli District, Uganda, Kadaga grew up in a modest family that instilled in her the values of education and hard work. Her thirst for knowledge led her to pursue academic circles, where she excelled both in her studies and leadership roles.

She studied law at Makerere University, one of the most prestigious institutions in Uganda, and earned a Bachelor of Laws degree before beginning her legal career.

Kadaga’s political journey can be traced back to the early 1990s, when she first entered the political arena as a member of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party. Her determination to challenge gender disparities led her to advocate for women’s rights and gender equality throughout her political career.

She rose through the ranks within the NRM party, taking on various roles such as Chairperson of the NRM Women’s League and as a Member of Parliament representing Kamuli District.

In 2011, she made history by becoming the first-ever female Speaker of Parliament in Uganda. This unprecedented achievement shattered the glass ceiling in Ugandan politics and served as an inspiration for women across the country.

During her tenure as Speaker, Kadaga actively worked towards strengthening legislative processes, promoting transparency, and consolidating democratic principles within Uganda’s parliamentary system. She has been instrumental in advocating for inclusive legislation that addresses the needs of all Ugandan citizens, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or social background.

Her term as Speaker of Parliament marked a watershed moment in championing women’s rights and gender equality in Uganda. She has championed initiatives that have empowered women, including advocating for increased representation of women in political offices and decision-making positions.

Kadaga has also been a vocal supporter of laws and policies that protect women’s rights, such as the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. Her tireless efforts have brought attention to critical issues such as gender-based violence and discrimination and inspired a new wave of female leaders in Uganda. Through her leadership, she has encouraged women to step into positions of power and has become a symbol of hope and possibility for generations to come.

Kadaga continues to campaign and advocate for change. Her legacy will forever inspire and empower not only the women of Uganda but also individuals around the world who aspire to make a difference in their communities.

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