The Women Human Rights Defenders Network – Uganda (WHRDN-U) have asked the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga to intervene in the escalating trend of violating women’s rights in Uganda.
Women led by United Nations Resident Coordinator, Rosa Malango met the Speaker on Thursday at the Parliamentary chambers.
They told Kadaga that law enforcement agencies have frustrated their freedom of association, for that matter they implored her to fight for their rights using her office as a Speaker of the National Assembly.
The WHRDN- U Executive Director Brenda Kugonza said that most women in Uganda have been denied access to justice due to impunity and the system which has marginalized them.
Kugonza asked Kadaga to also help them in prosecuting public officials, cultural, political and business leaders who have violated women rights.
Kadaga promised to put forward their request before the House and see if a special investigation committee will be set up.
Meanwhile according to the 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS), over 22 per cent of women aged 15 to 49 in the Uganda experience some form of sexual violence. The report also revealed that annually, 13 per cent of women aged 15 to 49 report experiencing sexual violence. This translates to more than 1 million women exposed to sexual violence every year in Uganda.
Violence against women has recently taken new, more sophisticated forms. An increasing number of women are, for instance, reporting cyber-bullying and abuse through social media and smartphones.
Also the ineffective of laws has posed a big challenge to the fight against VAW. Laws such as the Penal Code (Amendment) Act 2007, the Domestic Violence Act 2010, the Sexual Offences Bill and the Marriage Bill do not address key aspects of VAW. None of these laws criminalises marital rape, for instance.
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