Empower Girls to Reduce Gender Based Violence -Museveni

4005 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Museveni was speaking at the launch of the National Policy on Elimination of Gender Based Violence in Uganda, an event that coincided with the start of 16 Days of Activism, a global campaign against Gender-Based Violence.

Gender based violence cannot be eliminated in Uganda unless the girl child and women are financially empowered and educated to fend for themselves, President Yoweri Museveni has warned.

Museveni says the levels of gender based violence in communities thrive due to lack of financial empowerment among women in marriage. He says that women, especially in the rural areas will be less vulnerable to gender based violence if they are able to match up to their counterparts in urban areas through engaging in economic activity.

Museveni was speaking at the launch of the National Policy on Elimination of Gender Based Violence in Uganda, an event that coincided with the start of  '16 Days of Activism,' a global campaign against Gender-Based Violence.

The policy seeks to promote, prevention, response and ending impunity of gender based violations in the country. It will supplement efforts by other policies especially those that address gender based violence.
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Museveni however poked holes in the policy, noting that it does not study the different settings in society, take into consideration the different community settings of urban and rural women and assess their needs.
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The President further said traditional norms have in a way encouraged domestic violence, a vice which women must report.
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According to statistics from Ministry of Gender, the prevalence rates of gender based violence among women between 15-45 years have reduced from 34 percent in 2006 to 27 percent in 2011, while sexual violence incidences have reduced from 39 percent to 28 percent during the same period.
Rosa Malango, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Uganda, says more needs to be done to prosecute crimes of gender based violence.
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High Court Judge David Batema, who gave a keynote address, tasked Parliament to pass the controversial Marriage and Divorce bill. Batema, in defending the bill, says incidents of domestic violence will rise if individuals are not provided avenues to leave the marriages.
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However, Museveni suggested that the bill is amended to handle matrimonial property to avoid conflict, as well as streamline inheritance of property.
Monica Amoding, chairperson of Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA), which spearheaded the tabling of the bill, says the law is urgently needed to protect women's rights in marriages.
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About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.