WDF Africa Gender Based Violence awareness
Gender-based violence (GBV) is an everyday threat for Ugandan women and girls. National demographic data from 2020 reveal that 56% of married women aged 15-49 reported having suffered physical and/or sexual violence by a husband (Uganda Bureau of Statistics, 2021).
By the end of September 2023, members of the GBV Sector Working Group (SWG) managed 4,239 incidents, reported in the GBVIMS from all thirteen refugee hosting districts in Uganda
Recently, while interacting with one of the survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV), she said “Musawo, as woman, it’s okay for my husband to beat me whenever things go wrong at home, even with my swollen eyes after being beaten hard by my husband, I cannot deny him intimacy at any time, whether I am menstruating or not.” She went on to say “In our culture, being subjected to physical discipline by one’s spouse is viewed as a demonstration of care and a form of necessary discipline. Denying my partner intimacy might jeopardize the well-being of my family, I feel compelled to fulfill my marital duties.”
Such statements from a GBV survivor hit me hard as a Midwife and Women’s Health Specialist. I asked myself, “Does she know that as a woman, she has rights that need to be respected?.”
The above scenario isn’t any different from the recent research findings from one of the studies which showed that GBV ranks at the top of Ugandans’ priorities among women’s-rights issues that need vital government and societal attention. Whereas most Ugandan citizens detest a husband’s use of physical force to discipline his wife, half report that violence against women and girls is a common occurrence in their communities, both urban and rural. In Uganda, while some of us are confident and know that the police takes GBV cases seriously, the majority still think that women and girls reporting violence will be criticised and that domestic violence is a private matter to be handled within the family. In fact, others say, reporting such GBV cases is a taboo and one can instead be disowned by their own communities.
Wdf Africa is spear heading the GBV eradication in Bugiri in the Eastern Uganda and all hands are on deck