Gulu District Passes Ordinance on Gender Based Violence

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In short
Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Gulu LC V chairperson says the law seeks to among other things protect and promote the rights of Gender based violence victims, prevent Gender based Violence, reduce psychological and physical injuries and death.

Gulu district council has passed an ordinance in an attempt to stem cases of Gender Based Violence. The ordinance stipulates a fine not exceeding UGX 40,000 or imprisonment not exceeding six month or both for anybody convicted for Gender Based Violence.
 
The ordinance, which was overwhelmingly endorsed by the councilors on Tuesday, also states that in addition to the punishments, offenders will cater for the expenses incurred by the victim, an amount to be determined by court.
 
It also states that, the consent of the victim shall not be a defense to a charge of GBV. The ordinance calls for an establishment of a GBV, Child protection working group that will ensure regular compilation and reporting of non identifying GBV incident data, discuss and analyze the report and disseminate it to key stakeholders.
 
It also requires each sub county in the district to designate trauma healing centres and provide sufficient medical kits. The ordinance also tasks cultural leaders to mediate and reconcile cultural issues relating to gender based violence and discourage sexual gender based violence.
 
It also regulates the operation of Disco, Video and betting halls that includes ensuring no child enters such premises, that Bar business shall only operate from 5: 00pm to 2:00am. Now the Ordinance will be forwarded to the office of the Attorney General for scrutiny and approval before it is enforced. 

The district is hopeful that, once enforced the law will help reduce cases of Gender based violence tremendously. Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Gulu LC V chairperson says the law seeks to among other things protect and promote the rights of Gender based violence victims, prevent Gender based Violence,  reduce psychological and physical injuries and death.

Gender Based Violence is rampant in Uganda. In 2007 the Uganda Bureau of Statistics published a report showing that 68% of married women aged between 15 and 49 had suffered violence at the hands of their spouse. In northern Uganda that figure is thought to be even higher.

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.