Hon. Dr. Miria Matembe is a strong proponent for and an advocate of women’s rights in Uganda. She holds an Honours Degree in Law from Makerere University Kampala; a Masters of Law from University of Warwick in the United Kingdom and an Honorary Doctor of Laws (LL.D) from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
For over two decades beginning in 1989, she was a member of Uganda’s Parliament where she was representing Mbarara District. She was the first Minister for Ethics and Integrity in the Government of Uganda from 1998 to 2003, after which she became a member of the Pan-African Parliament representing Uganda. While serving in the Pan African Parliament, she was the Chairperson of the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline (a permanent committee of the Parliament).
Hon. Dr. Miria Matembe was a member of the Uganda Constitutional Commission (The Odoki Commission, 1989 to 1992) that drafted Uganda’s 1995 Constitution and a delegate of the Constituent Assembly that debated Uganda’s 1995 Constitution from 1994 to 1995. She was one of the experts from Uganda and Kenya that reviewed and made proposals on the Proposed Constitution of Tanzania and presented their findings to the Warioba Committee in 2015, under the auspices of Kituo cha Katiba.
She has actively participated in civil society. She is currently the chairperson Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU); co-founder and Chairperson of Action for Development (ACFODE) a leading women’s NGO; a founder of the Centre for Women in Governance (CEWIGO) and has for years been a member of the Uganda Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA). Hon. Dr. Matembe has played a role in the founding of some regional women’s organizations such as Women Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) and African Women’s Development Network (FEMNET).
Since she left active politics, she has worked as a consultant on women and politics in Africa for National Democratic Institute (NDI), Club Madrid, Isis WICCE, UNDP and UN Women.
In June 2006, Hon. Dr. Matembe became a Reagan Fascell Democracy Fellow with the National Endowment for Democracy. She is a recipient of many awards, among them, the 100 world heroines.
She is also the author of several articles and books, including Miria Matembe: Gender, Politics, and Constitution Making in Uganda, 2002 and The struggle for Freedom and Democracy Betrayed, 2019.
She began her professional career, as a State attorney at the Ministry of Justice in 1979 and was subsequently a lecturer in Law at Uganda College of Commerce from 1979-1983 and a senior lecturer in Law at Chartered Institute of Bankers from 1983-1989.