Lira Renews Campaign Against Domestic Violence

2932 Views Lira, Uganda

In short
Marry Akao, the Officer in Charge of the Child and Family Protection department in Lira District; says Agali, Ojwina and Agweng sub counties register the highest number of cases of domestic violence.

Lira district has renewed the "Eliminate Gender Based Violence" campaign. The campaign targets amongst other things the elimination of domestic violence, women inheritance, forceful marriage, blocking the sale or mortgaging the sale of family property without consent of both partners and promotion of equal ownership of property.
The district intends to engage community leaders such as cultural, religious and clan leaders in a door to door campaign to sensitise the community on dangers of domestic violence and some of the identified practices. Records from the Gender, Labor and Social Development Ministry data base show, that Lira district has the highest number of cases of domestic violence and child abuse.

The district registered 453 cases of domestic violence between January and June this year. Of these 216 cases involved physical assault on both men and women.  Francis Okello Olwa, the Lira District Community Development Officer, says their previous efforts to implement the campaign stalled due to lack of an ordinance to enhance community mobilization and participation. 

He says they are in final stages of enacting the 'Lira District Gender Based Violence ordinance' to boost the campaign. The proposed ordinance stipulates a six month jail term for offenders, two weeks of community service, a fine of 40,000 Shillings or both. 

According to Okello, the ordinance will empower community leaders to mobilize and punish those found contradicting its provisions.

//Cue in: "To prevent GBV ….
Cue out: …. We are aware."//
46-year-old Beatrice Ajok, a resident of Adyel Division has welcomed the revival of the campaign proposed ordinance, saying many women have been victims of domestic violence. According to Ajok, several women have lost their lives resulting from domestic brawls.
48-year-old Lucy Akullu, a mother of three and resident of Central Division in Lira town, says she divorced her husband due to domestic violence. She urges the local authorities to expedite the enactment of the ordinance and enforce it strictly.
George Opio Rashid, the speaker Lira District Council, says they have already finalized the first and second reading of the ordinance. He says they are only left with the final presentation of the bill before the council before it is forwarded to the Attorney General for further perusal and final approval next year.

Florence Adong, the Lira District Councilor for Persons with disabilities is optimistic that the ordinance will help eliminate economic and physical violence against Persons with Disabilities-PWDs in the district.

Marry Akao, the Officer in Charge of the Child and Family Protection department in Lira District; says Agali, Ojwina and Agweng sub counties register the highest number of cases of domestic violence. 

Adding that, physical assault, economic violence, sexual abuses and forced marriages form the bulk of the cases.


About the author

Ronald Odongo
Ronald Odongo is the URN Bureau Chief Lira, Northern Uganda.A multimedia Journalist, Media trainer and investigative enthusiast. Lira,Apac,Dokolo,Oyam, Kwania, Otuke, Amolatar,and Alebtong districts fall under his docket. Odongo has been a URN staff member since 2012 though he had been a contributor since 2006.

Odongo started out as a bicycle reporter for Radio Unity in 2004. He was Radio Rhino FM's senior reporter, Luo news anchor and station producer between 2006 and 2011. Odongo started out as a freelance writer for Uganda Radio Network in 2006.

Odongo is particularly interested in reporting on community health, and education concerns. Good governance and human rights beats are dear to Odongo as a former Lord’s Resistance Army rebels captive 1996-1998.