Ignorance of Policies Fuelling GBV in Moroto

1719 Views Moroto, Uganda

In short
Ignorance of the communities about the existence of relevant policies on their welfare has been rated as a leading cause of Gender Based Violence GBV in Moroto district.

Ignorance of the communities about the existence of relevant policies on their welfare has been rated as a leading cause of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Moroto district.   

A report from community based services in Moroto district indicates that a number communities are still ignorant of gender policy, Childrens' Act, HIV/AIDS work place policies and culture among other policies and laws.

Margie Lolem,  the district community development officer, says the communities take gender based violence issues for granted and fear to report perpetrators to police. She notes that while the national figures show that up to 80 percent of gender based violence related cases are reported to relevant authorities,  only about 60 percent have been recorded in Moroto. 

"Gender Based Violence issues are treated as normal business in families especially in our male dominated community. People fear reporting these cases because they don't want to become witnesses in court. In most cases, they want the issues resolved at home but it's a bigger challenge in the district," Lolem said.  

Records also indicate that physical harm accounts for more than 15 percent of gender violence acts in the district while seven percent are as a result of economic marginalisation. The report notes that due to ignorance, women and girls are deprived politically, economically, socially and religiously in the community. 

The report presented by Sylvia Atugongya on behalf of United Nations agencies during the launch of 16 days of Activism in Moroto shows that most of the GBV offences are ignored. Atugongya noted that police annual crime reports between 2011 and 2016 show that GBV offences often go unpunished and yet cost the country a lot.

"The centre for domestic violence prevention indicates that gender based violence costs the Uganda economy 77 billion shillings annually in the medical and police costs and lost earnings," part of the report reads. 

Christine Akot, the district local council vice chairperson says there's need to invest in education to stop GBV. Akot notes that encouraging children to embrace education helps in sensitisation of communities against GBV and empowers locals to demand for justice. She attributed the ignorance of the community about GBV to lack of sensitisation from stakeholders. 

Moroto district has been recording lower cases of GBV over the years with only 15 percent cases reported in 2005 to 2006, 25 percent in 2007 to 2009 and 33 percent between 2010 and 2014. The district realised a 60-percent GBV recorded cases from 2015 to date.