Gender Minister Frank Tumwebaze has rallied leaders across the country to fight Gender Based Violence (GBV), Chimp Corps report.
“I call upon all the Political and Technical Leaders, in particular the RDCs, DPCs, DISOs, DCDOs, Probation Officers and Councilors to support our efforts on fighting GBV,” said Tumwebaze.
The Minister spoke on Sunday during the Women’s Day celebrations in Mbale district, Eastern Uganda.
“We have to strengthen case management,” he said, adding, “The tendency of Enforcement Agencies, turning away girls and women who report cases of GBV under the pretext of culture, insisting that GBV is a private and domestic issue which should be addressed by families and concerned individuals should stop.”
Cases of GBV in Uganda have been on the rise in recent years.
According to the Uganda Police Force’s annual crime report, gender-based violence cases that were reported and investigated increased by 4% (from 38,651 to 40,258 cases) between 2015 and 2016.
The 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey revealed that up to 22% of women aged 15 to 49 in the country had experienced some form of sexual violence.
The report also revealed that annually, 13% of women aged 15 to 49 report experiencing sexual violence.
This translates to more than 1 million women exposed to sexual violence every year in Uganda.
Tumwebaze said the Ministry is “renewing the fight” against GBV and urged partners especially community gatekeepers to be allies not accomplices.
“We will strengthen and review laws where necessary to hold law enforcers who fail to support the victims of GBV accordingly,” he pointed out.
Tumwebaze said Uganda continues to witness growing cases of empowered women who are subjecting their spouses, especially those who are out of employment to GBV.
“This should also stop. We all aspire for stable homes and families where all women and men, girls and boys are safe, secure and enjoying their fundamental human rights,” he added.
The National theme for this year’s celebration is “Celebrating 25 Years of the Constitution: Milestones on Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Uganda”.
Tumwebaze also said government is registering progress in the Uganda Women’s Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP) or known as women fund which aims at improving access to financial services for women and equipping them with skills and information for enterprise growth, value addition and marketing of their products and services.
“To date, a total of Shs 104billion has been disbursed under UWEP (women fund) and a total of 135,873 women from 10,922 women groups have been supported to start enterprises,” said Tumwebaze.
He said the Ministry’s proposal for the next Financial Year 2020/2021, is to create UWEP Tier 2 which will target primarily women entrepreneurs with successful business enterprises (just taken off beyond start-ups) to access more capital support to expand their enterprises, create employment, transfer skills and engage in exports.
The Government of the United Kingdom supports the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) where Government provides a social pension (the Senior Citizens Grant) of Shs 25,000 per person on a monthly basis to a total of 165,640 Older Persons.
The Ministry is implementing the National Roll-Out of the Grant based on the adjusted age threshold of 80years and above for all the new districts.
“By June 2020, we hope that the roll-out will be completed and a total of 358,000 older persons will be able to benefit from the grant,” said Tumwebaze.