KAMPALA– Civil society organizations in the country have expressed about the decreasing funding towards the increasing cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) which affects mostly women and girls.
At the launch of the 16 days of activism against GBV, at Action Aid International Uganda (AAIU) offices in Kampala, key players noted with concern that the government in its budget, allocates very little money towards sensitization and elimination of these Acts.
“Donor funding towards women’s rights work continues to shrink despite increased momentum and clear evidence of need. Systems to track and enforce budget allocations for gender equality remain weak and data on national budgets to address violence against women and girls are hardly available.” Mercy Munduru, Head of programs at Action Aid International Uganda.
Xavier Ejoyi, the Country Director of Action Aid International Uganda commended key players in the Justice Law and Order sector for having established a special session to handle GBV cases (brain child of Action Aid and partners) which has reduced case backlog in the judiciary.
“As men, am a man, we need to make a commitment first by acknowledging that this is a very serious issue. Many time the attempt to justify and divert narrative around Gender Based Violence is done by men to conceal the evil that is eating up our society.”
He added that in eliminating violence there is no need to point out on which gender suffers most, but the focus should be on how to bring to end those bad practices.
Elizabeth Kemigisha, an advocate from FIDA Uganda commended Civil Society players for the teamwork which has enabled them to join together and come up with one strong voice that can be of great impact to the fight against Gender-Based Violence.
“Members of the community should support the victims of Gender Based Violence rather than always relying on Non-Government Organizations which rely on donor funding. There are still a few challenges which need to be addressed especially at Police stations and health facilities where victims are asked to pay for Police form 3.”
Hawa Birabwa, an Advocate from Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) applauded Action Aid for always bringing together key players involved in advocating for civic rights.
“There is a need to empower men as we have done to the women for a happy home. Ladies should not take marriage as a do-or-die thing.”
Sheeba Namulindwa, Action Aid Coordinator in charge of Eastern Region noted that Uganda has very many good laws and Policies towards eliminating inhumane practices against women and girl child, but these have not been effective due to the limited funding to support enforcement as well as sensitization process.
“Uganda has a very young population majority of which end up in teenage marriage. We need to push for investment into education, skilling because an unproductive population is a threat to the country’s development.
She also noted that Uganda is at 25 percent when it comes to teenage pregnancy and thus the need to have it addressed as soon as possible to save the future ot this country.
These have went further and called upon development partners to invest in women’s rights organizations, women’s movements, and community initiatives that are playing a vital role in providing services at a local level, bolstering women’s empowerment and reaching those at risk of being left furthest behind.
Secondly, the citizens to take action by using their creativity to promote a message of zero tolerance to violence. They also implored all Ugandans to use their time to engage with frontline organizations working for a world where women and men have equal rights.
At the launch, all stakeholders were dressed in black to honor victims of Gender-based Violence as well as to create more awareness among the general public.
16 Days of Activism
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, is a campaign which kicked off on 25th November, at the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. it calls for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.