Home Health 16 Days GBV Activism: Budgetary Constraints Crippling GBV Elimination Efforts- Speaker Among

16 Days GBV Activism: Budgetary Constraints Crippling GBV Elimination Efforts- Speaker Among

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Despite various Legislation Efforts, the speaker of parliament says budgetary constraints have continued to cripple efforts aimed at eliminating Gender Based Violence (GBV).

While she launched the annual international campaign dubbed, ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV)’, the speaker said that GBV has become a ‘ persistent Virus’ thus an urge for double and collective efforts to have it cubed.

“As Parliament, we need to ensure that the laws on GBV elimination must be budgeted for, it is one thing to pass a law and another to have it implemented,” said Speaker Among.

The Speaker was concerned that the population is unaware of the laws addressing GBV and charged the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development to popularise the existing laws during the campaign.

The campaign is supported by the Uganda Women Parliamentarians Association (UWOPA), UN Women, the United Nations Population Fund, and the embassies of the Netherlands and Sweden.

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The Minister of Gender, Labour, and Social Development, Betty Amongi, said the campaign which commences on 25 November 2022, will focus on tackling GBV at the household level cognisant that many cases happen in homes.

“We know fathers, brothers, and other relatives who have defiled their daughters and sisters. We are seeing many in the media. We, therefore, want to start with homes,” said the minister.

She added: “Violent homes can easily affect girls from pursuing education – a girl will be forced to run away from her violent home into early marriage.”

Minister Amongi said there was a growing trend of violence among couples which the campaign hopes to address. She cited the 2021 Uganda Bureau of Statistics report which puts intimate partner sexual violence prevalence at 36 percent and physical violence among women at 47 percent.

Legislators during the plenary sitting, tasked the minister to conduct the campaign activities in rural areas as opposed to the cities, saying GBV cases are more prevalent in rural areas.

“Sensitisation activities seem to be at the upper strata of our society yet GBV is mostly in the rural area, can I be told what activity is there in Dokolo so that I can be part of that rural woman who is being abused, who does not know the legal framework to defend her?” asked Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal.

MPs re-emphasized the Speaker’s plea to empower boy children and Men involvement who they said, have been neglected.

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“We are putting much emphasis on girl children and our boys are going astray. If you go to the villages, the roles that men used to play have been relegated to women; its women who pay school fees and take care of homes,” said Kole South MP Peter Ocen.

MP Godfrey Kayemba said: “Boys grow up but they are not empowered and that is why boys have complicated hearts and acts. I have a friend in my constituency who was beaten by his woman and when he went to the Police, they just laughed at him”.

Legislators also want the judiciary to expeditiously settle GBV cases saying the 2021 Police report indicates a poor conviction rate.

“The action report from the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs shows the conviction rate of rape perpetrators in the last year at 5 percent, which means it could take almost 20 years to convict a rape perpetrator,” said Kole North MP Samuel Opio.

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He added: “Many of these cases ‘die’ at the Police station and fail to proceed through the justice system to the prosecution.”

Among the legislation legal provisions in place include the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, of 2010, the Domestic Violence Act, of 2010, and the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act, of 2009.

Efforts of this kind speak volumes to DaParrot’s Special Project ‘Her Story’ in which DaParrot will be telling Stories of teenage mothers; highlighting teenage pregnancies, a form of violence against women and girls.

The campaign aims at raising awareness of the negative impacts that violence and abuse have on women and girls with calls to have it out of society permanently.

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