Added: April 8, 2017 – Last updated: September 2, 2017


Author: Benjamin Twagira

Title: ‘The Men Have Come’

Subtitle: Gender and Militarisation in Kampala, 1966–86

Journal: Gender & History

Volume: 28

Issue: 3

Year: November 2016 (Published online: October 18, 2016)

Pages: 813-832

ISSN: 0953-5233 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1468-0424 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | African History: Ugandan History


Link: Wiley Online Library (Restricted Access)


Abstract: »This article explores the gender implications of the militarisation of the Mengo neighbourhood of Kampala. It analyses how the hyper-militarisation under post-colonial regimes, particularly those of Milton Obote and Idi Amin, marked a significant gender reversal. The military presence in Mengo emasculated civilian men, who were attacked and abused by soldiers, and led women to assume the roles of ‘protectors’ who safeguarded men, children and their homes. Women volunteered for the most dangerous tasks at the household and community levels and faced constant dangers, including rape, violence and other forms of abuse. Using oral histories collected from the residents in Mengo in 2014, I examine this reconfiguration of gender roles and its reverberations in contemporary Mengo. Interviews with the women and men from Kampala describe the various ways women protected people and spaces and at the same time stress men's vulnerability. This article therefore challenges popular conceptions of women as weak and vulnerable and in need of men's protection in militarised situations.« (Source: Gender & History)


  Masculinity and the militarisation of Kampala (p. 817)
  Women as protectors of urban homes and family members in militarised Kampala (p. 821)
  Rape and its social context in militarised Mengo (p. 826)
  Conclusion (p. 828)
  Notes (p. 829)

Wikipedia: History of Africa: History of Uganda / History of Uganda (1962–71), History of Uganda (1971–79), History of Uganda (1979–present)