Cabinet ministers have approved a proposal to borrow US$40.0 million (about Shs148 billion) from the International Development Association of the World Bank Group to projects related to gender-based violence, Col. Shaban Bantariza, a deputy government spokesman said in a Tuesday statement.
The loan, according to the spokesman’s statement will be channelled to strengthening Social Risk Management and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) prevention and response projects through “increasing participation” in associated programs.
The loan is also required to increase utilization of multi-sectoral services for survivors of Gender-Based Violence in targeted districts, according to the statement.
The development comes amidst increased cases of gender-based violence in the country, especially in rural areas.
Early March a Member of Parliament named Onesimus Twinamasiko stunned many when he said it was okay to beat women in order to “call them to order”. He would later be forced to apologise.
According to the Demographic Health Survey in 2011, 56 per cent of Ugandan women experience physical violence.
Another survey made in 2016 showed that 22 per cent experience sexual violence.
Gender-based violence goes beyond physical and sexual abuse, and touches forms like psychological abuse, forced and early marriage, female genital mutilation, and the denial of resources and services are all forms of violence against women.
Uganda is among nations with the highest rates of early marriage in the world, with 40 per cent of girls marrying before the age of 18 and 10 per cent marrying before age 15.