'Violence against women is a shame'

Date: Monday, February 4, 2019

UN Women/ Uganda
State Minister for Gender and Culture signs her commitment. Looking on is UN Resident Coordinator Rosa Malango and Dr. Maxime Houinato. Photo: UN Women Uganda

Violence against women is a shame. No woman deserves to live in constant fear of Gender Based Violence,” Ms. Rosa Malango, the UN Resident Coordinator said this during the launch of the 5-year  joint programme on Gender based Violence (GBV)and promotion of Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) in Uganda.

The programme worth USD 28 million (SEK 250 million) aims at combating Gender Based Violence and improving Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) of men, women, girls, boys in Uganda. The programme will be implemented by UN Women and UNFPA in partnership with the Government of Uganda with funding from the Embassy of Sweden.

The programme will be implemented in 14 districts which include, Abim, Amuria, Kaabong, Kaberamaido, Kiryandongo, Kotido, Napak, Nakapiripirit, Pader, Yumbe, Moroto, Gulu, Bundibugyo and Kampala. The selection of districts focused on districts with high preverence of GBV, high urban population, selected Refugee hosting districts and UN intervention districts but with minimal funding.

Ms. Malango said the joint programme on GBV will soon be reinforced by the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative on ending Violence Against Women and Girls.

According to the UN Women Deputy Country Representative, Ms. Anna Mutavati, the joint programme will focus on creating an enabling policy, legislative and accountability environment for elimination of GBV and improvement of SRH services, reduce social tolerance for GBV and improve sexual and reproductive health rights, increase utilization of quality integrated GBV and SRHR services in the target districts, and strengthen coordination, partnerships, learning and innovation for integrated SRHR and GBV multisectoral response.

“While we want to work on laws and prevention of Gender Based violence, we want people to have access to quality services in terms of Health, Justice, and Protection. We want to ensure that all these services are available,”Ms. Mutavati said.

The Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Per Lindgarde revealed that ensuring Gender equality remains a top priority for the Swedish Government. “We are ready to work with government and the UN agencies to find innovative ways to end Gender Based Violence in Uganda, “he said.

Mr. Per Lindgarde noted that GBV is one of the largest obstacles to development thus making it necessary to have joint efforts from all stakeholders to be able to end violence against women and girls by 2030.

“As we continue to engage in ending Gender Based Violence (GBV), I call upon every one of you to join us. Gender equality cannot be achieved without the men and boys. Real change will never happen unless everyone is involved,” he said.

While launching the programme, the Minister of State for Gender and Culture, Hon. Peace Mutuuzo, said the programme is timely and relevant in building on the gains already achieved by the government in addressing the underlying social causes of GBV and gender inequalities.

Ms. Mutuuzo said the focus should be put on changing the mind set of individuals towards the negative social and cultural norms that perpetrate violence against women and  girls.

“Enforcement alone shall not work. We need to focus on changing the mindset. Once the mindset is changed, then we shall have won the battle against GBV,”Ms. Mutuuzo noted.

The event was attended by representatives from Local Government, CSOs, Sweden in UG & UN