Winnie Byanyima

Date of Interview: 
former Director of the UNDP Gender Team, Bureau for Development Policy

Winnie Byanyima discusses her background, what led her into politics and the challenges she faced as a woman in Uganda.

Winnie Byanyima, Director of the UNDP Gender Team, Bureau for Development Policy, was elected three times to the Uganda legislature and was a founder of the Assembly’s women’s caucus. Before joining UNDP, Ms. Byanyima served as Director, Women, Gender and Development Directorate of the African Union Commission. She was also a founding member and first chair of the Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE), a national NGO. Ms. Byanyima has served on many expert and advisory panels and as a consultant of the UNDP, UNIFEM and other UN agencies. She is a member of the Executive Board of the African Capacity Building Foundation and the International Centre for Research on Women. Recently, she was a member of the UN Millennium Development Goals Task Force on Education and Gender Equality. Ms Byanyima has authored several publications on issues of gender and governance, including a handbook she co-authored for the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) entitled “Parliaments, the Budget Process and Gender,” and “A Rising Tide,” a biography of prominent Ugandan women politicians and activists. Ms. Byanyima holds an M.Sc. and a B.Sc. in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering from Manchester University (UK).

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