The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze has decried the common public tendency of considering Gender Based Violence and violence against women as cases resolvable at family level.
The Minister says this attitude has left many victims of violence without any support from the responsible organs and at the mercy of their tormentors.
“A woman is assaulted and when she goes to police, she is told to return back home and resolve the matter there. This is because we take these cases lightly under the guise of them being “family affairs”. This must stop and therefore calls for renewed effort to involve community gatekeepers like Community Development Officers, Local Councils, Police and others,” Tumwebaze said.
He was Thursday meeting a high level delegation from the European Union, led by Ambassador Attilio Pacifici and the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Rosa Malango at the Ministry headquarters in Kampala.
The Minister said there is need to start holding accountable responsibility-holding officers who neglect GBV and violence against women cases. He revealed that CDOs across the country would soon be converged for a refresher training on their roles and responsibilities as part of the renewed efforts.
Tumwebaze also called for a strong umbrella body akin to the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) through which all social development sector programmes are synchronized, implemented and jointly monitored.
“This will go a long way in improving coordination and making the interventions more impactful” He observed.
Ambassador Attilio said the EU and UN are keen on innovations and scaling-up evidence-based models to comprehensively address violence against women and girls through the Spotlight Initiative, whose implementation commenced recently.
With funding from the EU and UN, the programme strives to combat harmful practices, strengthen sexual education and promote sexual and reproductive health rights, contextualized to a post-conflict environment.
Ms. Malango revealed that Uganda was privileged to be among the only eight countries in Africa and the only one in East Africa where the Spotlight Initiative is being implemented.
The initiative is expected to be officially launched by President Yoweri Museveni during this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations to be held in Mbale.
Ambassador Attilio said the celebrations will also be a great occasion to talk about the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995). The Declaration provided a global framework for achievement of irreversible and measurable progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment without leaving anyone behind.
The meeting was attended by among others; the acting Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Mr. James Ebitu and the Commissioner Gender and Women Affairs, Angela Nakafeero.
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