Civil rights advocate
Sylvia Rosila Tamale is a Ugandan academic, and human rights activist in Uganda. She was the first woman dean in the Law Faculty at Makerere University, Uganda.
Tamale received her Bachelor of Laws with honors from Makerere University, her Master of Laws from Harvard Law School, and her Doctor of Philosophy in sociology and feminist studies from the University of Minnesota in 1997. Tamale received her Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Center, Kampala, in 1990, graduating at the top of her class.
Tamale has been a visiting professor at the African Gender Institute of the University of Cape Town and a visiting scholar at the University of Wisconsin. In 2003 she was condemned by Ugandan conservatives for proposing that gay men and lesbians be included in the definition of “minority”. Tamale was the dean of the Faculty of Law and Jurisprudence at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, from 2004 to 2008.
Awards and honours
From 1993 until 1997, she received a Fulbright-MacArthur Scholarship to pursue her studies at Harvard. In 2003, she won the University of Minnesota Award for International Distinguished Leadership for her work at the university. In 2004, she was awarded the Akina Mama wa Afrika Award by Akina Mama wa Afrika, an international, Pan-African, non-governmental development organisation for African women based in the United Kingdom with its African headquarters in Kampala, Uganda. In 2004, she was recognized by several women’s organisations in Uganda, for her for human rights activism.
On 28 October 2016, she became the first female lecturer to give a professorial inaugural lecture at Makerere University. Her lecture was entitled Nudity, Protests and the Law, inspired, in part, by the earlier-in-the-year nude protest of Stella Nyanzi at the university. In her speech, Tamale called for a revision of the Ugandan laws that discriminate against women.
- 1999: When Hens Begin To Crow: Gender and Parliamentary Politics in Uganda
- 2006: “African Feminism: How Should We Change?”
- 2011: Editor, African Sexualities: A Reader