13 January 1959 |
|Residence||New York City, New York State, US|
|Education||Degree in aeronautical engineering|
|Occupation||Engineer, politician and diplomat|
|Years active||1981 – present|
Winifred "Winnie" Byanyima (born 13 January 1959 ) is a Ugandan aeronautical engineer, politician and diplomat. She served as the Director of the Gender Team, in the Bureau for Development Policy at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), from 2006, and in May 2013 was appointed Executive Director of Oxfam International.
She was born in Mbarara District, in Western Uganda. Her parents are Boniface Byanyima, one-time National Chairman of the Democratic Party in Uganda, and Gertrude Byanyima, a former school teacher, who died in November 2008. Winnie Byanyima attended Mount Saint Mary's College Namagunga, in Mukono District. She went on to obtain a degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Manchester, becoming the first female Ugandan to become an Aeronautical Engineer. She later received a masters degree in energy conservation from Cranfield University.
Following the completion of her training as an aeronautical engineer, Ms. Byanyima worked as a flight engineer for the now-defunct Uganda Airlines. When Yoweri Museveni started the 1981 – 1986 NRA War, the Ugandan Bush War, Byanyima left her job and joined him. Museveni and Byanyima had grown up together at the Byanyima household when both of them were young. Winnie Byanyima, Yoweri Museveni and Winnie's husband, Kizza Besigye, were all combatants in the NRA, during the 1981 – 1986 Ugandan Bush War.
After the NRA won that war, Byanyima served as Uganda's ambassador to France, from 1989 until 1994. She then returned home and became an active participant in Ugandan politics. She served as a member of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the Ugandan 1995 Constitution. She then served two consecutive terms as a Member of Parliament, representing Mbarara Municipality, from 1994 until 2004. In 2004, she was appointed Director of the Directorate of Women, Gender and Development at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She served in that capacity until she was appointed as Director of the Gender Team in the Bureau for Development Policy at the UNDP, in November 2006.
In January 2013, Byanyima was announced as the next Executive Director of Oxfam International, replacing her predecessor, Jeremy Hobbs who held the position since 2001, and as of 2014[update] heads the International Non-Governmental Organisations Accountability Charter. Winnie began her five-year directorship at Oxfam on 1 May 2013.
In January 2015, Winnie Byanyima co-chaired the World Economic Forum in Davos. She decided to use the forum to press action in view of narrowing the gap between rich and poor. The charity’s research claims that the share of the world’s wealth owned by the richest 1% of the world population has increased to nearly 50% in 2014, whereas 99% shares the other half. Oxfam's figures are strongly contested by several economists.
Winnie Byanyima is married to Kizza Besigye, the former chairman of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) political party in Uganda. Together, they are the parents of one son called Anselm. Byanyima is a member of the FDC party, although she has significantly reduced her participation in partisan Ugandan politics since she became a Ugandan diplomat in 2004. She has five siblings: Edith, Anthony, Martha, Abraham and Olivia.
- AfDB, . (29 October 2010). "Interview With UNDP Gender Team Director, Winnie Byanyima – "Incorporating Gender Perspective in All Steps of Economic Policy Management Process"". African Development Bank (AfDB). Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- Administrator, . (15 January 2013). "Winnie Byanyima Appointed To Lead Oxfam International". OxfamBlogs.Org. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- Conan Businge, and Ali Waiswa (13 November 2008). "Byanyima's Wife Dead". New Vision. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- Butagira, Tabu (6 May 2011). "Besigye Injuries Disturbing, Says Byanyima". Daily Monitor. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- Onyalla, Harriette (29 November 2006). "Byanyima Scoops Top Job". New Vision. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- Kiggundu, Edris (15 January 2013). "Winnie Byanyima To Head Oxfam". The Observer. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- Business, Reporter (6 May 2013). "'‘Income Inequalities Threaten Africa'’". The Herald. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- Raymond Baguma, and Abdulkarim Ssengendo (4 February 2011). "I Cannot Leave Baby Besigye, Says Winnie". New Vision. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- Basiime, Felix (17 November 2008). "Winnie Byanyima Hails Deceased Mother". New Vision. Retrieved 19 July 2014.