There is urgent need to address the escalating cases of GBV especially during the COVID 19 lockdown period.
Today, Uganda has joined the rest of the world to launch the sixteen ( 16) Days of Activism Campaign Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) 2020 through the Ministry of Gender. The Campaign on the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women will end on 10 December, the International Human Rights Day.
The 2020 Global theme for the Campaign is “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, prevent, collect”. The campaign is intended to raise awareness about gender-based violence and provide a forum for dialogue and strategy sharing on good practices for preventing and responding to GBV.
Gender-Based Violence impacts negatively on economic, social and public health issues in the country but the Minister says the series of events will be a platform for voices of survivors and activists to be heard.
According to the Uganda Police Forces, Criminal Investigations Directorate, a total of 10,280 cases of GBV have been reported from January-April 2020. Of these 46.8% were cases of domestic violence, 43.2% were for defilement and 5.6% were for rape. Uganda has registered 161 cases of murders resulting from domestic violence.
Minister Mutuuzo says that many cases of GBV and Violence Against Children (VAC) go un reported through any of the recognized channels.
It has also been observed especially during the COVID 19 lockdown, that Uganda experienced high levels of teenage pregnancy and child marriage, she added.
According to the Police report, 4442 cases of defilement were reported between January and April 2020. The SAUTI (116) toll free line reported 800 cases of sexual abuse between January and May, 2020 including increased cases of teenage pregnancy.
Ugandans have been encouraged to use all channels available to report GBV cases for example the Sauti VAC/GBV toll free reporting line for violence against children and women so that the National Gender based violence Data Base (NGBVD) a system that is used for collecting data captures all the information for action by the relevant stakeholders.
“We believe that the launch of the sixteen days against gender based violence as well as the other events, that are to be held in different parts of the country will provide opportunities to different people to reflect and dialogue about these important issues.”
However Minister Mutuuzo also acknowledges that Gender Based Violence doesn’t only affect women, and girls, but also men and boys in the society.
Budaka District Local Governement, will take lead in the campaign with support from Obwa lkumbania Bwa Bugwere and other organizations.