The Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA) is taking family courts to local community courts to handle gender based violence cases.
In commemoration of 16 days of activism against gender based violence, victims in Kasangati, Nsangi, Nabweru and Nebbi and neighboring areas are going to receive free legal aid services and their cases heard in respective nearby courts.
FIDA Programme Officer, Lillian Kobusingye said the campaign started by launch of Family Justice Desks in selected most vulnerable areas where legal Officers are deployed to offer free legal services.
She noted that with the financial support from Democratic Governance Facility, access to justice for women and children in Kampala, Lwengo, Kapchorwa, Kabale, Kamuli, Mbale and Arua districts has been improved.
“The overall objective of the project is to strengthen access to substantive justice through integrated intervention for the vulnerable and empowerment of needy persons to bring legal services closer,” noted Kobusingye.
The initiative is aimed at increased protection of women’s rights and gender equality through addressing the root causes of vulnerability and powerlessness of women.
The desks at courts are to be manned by volunteers of FIDA Uganda. These family justice desks will ensure that women and children at the courts are able to access justice or services of a lawyer who will be able to give them legal assistance and advise on how to proceed with their matters,” she added.
At Kasangati, a lady named Annet Nakanwagi said most women cannot come out and openly accuse their husbands of sexual violence.
“In Buganda there are issues we don’t speak about in the open like rape in marriage which is also considered as a form of sexual violence so if this initiative continues, more women will be assisted,” said Nakanwagi.