The Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development (GLSD) has launched sixteen days of activism campaign against Gender Based Violence (GBV) which will be held in Budaka under the theme ‘Orange the world: fund, respond, prevent, collect’.
The campaign begins today November 25, 2020 which is the International day for elimination of violence against women and runs up to December 10, the International Human Rights day.
Speaking to the press at Uganda Media Centre on Wednesday, the Minister of state for Gender and Culture Affairs Peace Regis Mutuuzo said that there is an urgent need to address the escalating cases of GBV especially during the covid-19 lockdown period.
She added that the campaign is a platform for voices of survivors and activists to be heard.
“The 16 day campaign against GBV is observed annually as a call to action for all actors in Government, civil society, local communities and development parties to raise awareness on GBV prevalence, reflect on strategies for prevention, response and how to end impunity,” she said.
Mutuuzo revealed that GBV impacts negatively on the economic, social and public health issues in the country.
“Uganda has also registered 161 cases of murders resulting from domestic violence. It is relevant to note that many cases of GBV against children go un-reported through any of the recognized channels,” she said.
According to Uganda Police Forces Criminal Investigations Directorate, a total of 10,280 cases of GBV were reported from January to April 2020. Of these, 46.8% were cases of domestic violence, 43.2% were for defilement and 5.6% were for rape.
She further noted that during the COVID-19 lockdown, Uganda experienced high levels of teenage pregnancy and child marriages.
“We believe that the launch will provide opportunities to different people to reflect and dialogue about these important issues of GBV that we will address and also reduce on teenage pregnancies that are at a high level,” Mutuuzo added.
“We need to promote male engagement for the safety of women and girls as well as call for a positive behavioral change among men and boys in protecting women and girls against all forms of GBV,” she stated.
Mutuuzo further noted that the government has made efforts to curb the GBV incidents and prevalence in the country.
“Some of the solutions government has come up with are; having progressive legal and policy frameworks that criminalizes GBV, National male involvement strategy for prevention and response top GBV (2017), establishing 18 GBV safe space/shelters across the country for psychological support and innovative strategies for addressing poverty among others,” she revealed.