Legislators under the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) have appealed to government through the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development to prioritize funding Gender Based Violence (GBV) prevention.
The MPs led by Mitoma Woman legislator, Jovah Kamateka and Kamwenge Woman MP, Dorothy Nshaija made the call while addressing the media at an event to launch 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign.
Kamateka said that government should put in place response activities with specific focus on preventing GBV at the community level and the work place.
She also appealed to the Ministry of Health to allocate specific funds for GBV- interventions and programs aimed at equipping health staff and facilities to provide accurate evidence required to prosecute perpetrators of GBV.
Every November 25th to December 10th, the International campaign on violence against women and girls (VAWG) unites activists, organisations and individuals across the world to raise their collective voices during the 16 days of Activism Campaign on Violence against women and girls.
This year’s theme is “End Gender Based Violence in the World of Work” and targets institutions in which gender-based violence is perpetuated and push for systemic change and accountability.
Kamwenge Woman Member of Parliament, Dorothy Nshaija said that one in five of the women has experienced sexual violence compared to 8 percent in men.
“Despite existence of laws such as the Domestic Violence Act 2010 and Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, implementation remains limited and abuse rampant. Reporting of GBV remains low, investigations poor and legal cases experience dismissal more often than conviction,” Nshaija said.
She too appealed to Parliament to expedite the amendment of the Employment Act (2006) to mandate all employers regardless of the number of workers they employ to have a sexual violence policy as a requirement.
Statistics reveal that 27.8% of women in Uganda experience sexual violence while 51% of women experience life time abuse by their intimate partner.
Another worrying statistic indicates that 44% of men believe that battering one’s wife is justified under some circumstances.
Government recently introduced special courts to handle gender based violence in Uganda which women’s rights activists say will go along way in addressing the low prosecution rates of such crimes.
Last year, Police revealed plans to transform its Child and Family Protection Unit to a fully fledged Directorate in a bid to reinforce its capacity to fight against gender based violence.
This, according to Police, will boost the financial resources as well as the other logistical needs required to handle these cases which have been rising year on year.