Uganda Women’s Empowerment Research

The transforming experiences of women in Uganda who learned Transcendental Meditation
Brenda Nakalembe, founder of Uganda’s United Women’s Platform for Empowerment and Development recognized the potential for the Transcendental Meditation technique to help fulfill her mission to empower women. More than 600 women and 200 children have learned TM through the program at UWOPED. At one beginning phase of TM training for 80 UWOPED mothers, Dr. Leslee Goldstein, who has many years experience in educational administration and teaching TM, was excited to conduct her PhD research through the Uganda TM women’s organization and evaluate the benefits of the TM training.

Leslee Goldstein, conducting a cross-cultural study involving mothers in Uganda, Nepal, and USA for her PhD thesis, will share her thoughts on: ‘Empowerment from Within in the Lives of Mothers: Research on the Transcendental Meditation Programme.’

The final results of the study were statistically significant, and showed that the Transcendental Meditation technique can be considered a practical program for developing empowerment in the lives of mothers in Uganda, by developing their sense of personal competency, or self-efficacy; by reducing perceived stress; and by enhancing mental and physical quality of life, specifically reporting clearer thinking and planning abilities, and improved physical energy and vitality. These results indicate improved ability to cope, take initiative, and persevere in effectively handling life’s challenges.

Brenda Nakalembe remarks: ”Before offering TM we had some success with our training programs for the mothers, but had to work hard to inspire and engage them in activities to better themselves, and often they would not continue because of being depressed or unable to function in their lives. Now, with the addition of the TM training I see that mothers are experiencing greater emotional stability, less anger, clearer thinking, happiness, and wellbeing, and they are more motivated and engaged in taking care of themselves and their children. It is quite remarkable, and they report that their families are more harmonious and that they have less conflict with their neighbors. Seeing changes in their neighbors has brought more and more women to UWOPED to take part in all of our trainings, especially the TM training.”

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