MA IDS Thesis Projects

Date of Award


Document Type



College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences


International Development and Service

Degree Name

International Development and Service, MA


A common effort to combat gender inequality is to create more access for women in employment, education, and skill development opportunities. Research has found that women continue to face difficulties to engage in such opportunities despite the policies and reforms that appear to have increased access. The structural changes have made little effect on changing the cultural factors that prevent women from effectively engaging in opportunities and thus, gain empowerment. This study seeks to explore the culture of Iganga, Uganda and how it influences women’s opportunities. The research project investigated Iganga’s cultural factors in which nine participants described how the local culture has impacted women on their growth in opportunities. Data was thematically analyzed and seven core themes, four of which had sub-themes, emerged that reflected Iganga’s culture. Key findings are discussed in terms of significance on how community members’ perspectives on women engaging in opportunities affect the overall expansion of women’s development and gender equality.