Working Paper
Published 2023

This paper interrogates the reality of gender backlash in Uganda by tracing the process of legislating on the 2019 Sexual Offences Bill (SOB). We trace the early beginnings of the Bill by highlighting the motivation that guided the framing of the Bill, the role of individual actors and alliances in pushing for the gender equity reform, and the oppositional forces against the reform. Working with participatory forms of qualitative research methods, the focus on the legislative cycle of the SOB as a policy case aimed to enable us to understand what constitutes backlash, and its drivers and manifestations.

While this approach is an opportunity to contribute to and broaden conceptual debates on gender backlash in Uganda and beyond, it is also aimed at working closely with women’s rights activists to identify forms of backlash and inform feminist voice and response to the opposition dynamics and the impact on the gender equality agenda – thereby contributing to creating capacity in voice to counter backlash against gender justice.

About this resource



Mwiine, A.A. and Ahikire, J. with Katushabe, J.; Pamara, H. and Amanya, A. (2023) Unravelling Backlash in the Journey of Legislating Sexual Offences in Uganda, IDS Working Paper 585, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, DOI: 10.19088/IDS.2023.007