Speaker Anita Among has asked the government to kick off the implementation of the laws passed by Parliament aimed at protecting girls and women against gender-based violence.
Some of the laws that were passed by Parliament include the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, 2010, the Domestic Violence Act, 2010 and the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2009.
Anita Among made the remarks during the launch of the annual international campaign dubbed, “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” (GBV) with an appeal to be at the forefront of creating awareness among the people they represent.
She noted that although Parliament has passed legislation aimed at eliminating “the virus”, implementation has remained poor due to budgetary constraints.
“Once we create this awareness, you are making accountability to yourself on what contribution you have made to the community in reducing the gender-based violence amongst women and girls,” she noted.
“The laws must be implemented to the latter and there should not be any discrimination. We also need to ensure that the laws on gender-based violence elimination must be budgeted for,” said Among.
Furthermore, the minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Betty Amongi, said there was a growing trend of violence among couples which the campaign hopes to address, adding that cases of defilement are on the increase which is persuaded by parents, guardians and relatives.
“We know fathers, brothers and other relatives who have defiled their daughters and sisters. We are seeing many in the media. We, therefore, want to start with homes. Violent homes can easily force a girl to run away from her violent home into early marriage,” she stated.
In the past months, videos and photos showing cases of gender-based violence have been circulating on social platforms media, especially Twitter where many young girls in villages are being forced into marriage. The cases are in the districts of Kyotera, and Nakaseke among others.
Another scenario is that of a renowned musician Douglas Sseguya popularly known as Weasel beat his wife terribly with evidence in pictures that circulated all over social media. These among others are examples of gender-based violence in Uganda today and such issues need to be addressed immediately.
The campaign which was launched is supported by the Ugandan Women Parliamentarians Association (UWOPA), UN Women, the United Nations Population Fund and the embassies of Netherlands and Sweden.