Dr. Roswitha Kremser, the Head of Office of Austrian Development Agency, said that they observed a dire situation of women in particular citing testimonies about the continued existence of female genital mutilation, lack of access to land, gender based violence and others.
Roswitha cited a need to establish special courts for cases on Gender Based Violence noting that they are to engage government through the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ministry about the matter in order to support their establishment and operation.
The European Union (EU) heads of mission in Uganda
have appealed to government to establish special courts on Gender-based violence.
The envoys who on Thursday concluded their four-day
retreat in Eastern Uganda told Journalists that Gender-based
violence, early marriages and Female Genital Mutilation continue to inflict severe
pain on communities despite laws being in place.
Dr. Roswitha Kremser, the Head of Office of Austrian
Development Agency, said that they observed a dire situation of women in
particular citing testimonies about the continued existence of female genital
mutilation, lack of access to land, gender based violence and others.
Roswitha cited the need to establish special courts
for cases on Gender Based Violence.
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The Ambassador of Italy Massimiliano Mazzanti also said
that it was unfortunate that the Eastern region is leading in Gender Based
Violence and teenage pregnancies.
His Belgium counterpart Rudi Veestraeten said
that it was disappointing that there are proper laws prohibiting violence and Female
Genital Mutilation but the practices continue to inflict pain on women and the
He expressed displeasure against local politicians
whom he said continue to keep silent against the practices for fear of losing
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France Ambassador Jules-Armand Aniambossou said that
he was disappointed with the negative tradition in the Eastern region
especially the tradition of forced child marriages, gender based violence.
He emphasized the need to ensure proper girl child
education and respect for women rights by government. Jules-Armand also noted
that they will have to come up with proposals to ensure changes in the negative
traditions against the girl child and women.
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Swedish Ambassador, Per Lingarde also noted that the
prevalence of gender based violence, child marriages and female genital
mutilation was the most striking issue for him during the four-day retreat. He
appealed for more funding to uplift the standards of health and education in the
Eastern region so that negative practices like these are eliminated.
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The Head of the European Union delegation in Uganda Atillio
Pacifici said that traditions are important since they give a sense of
belonging but noted that some of the traditions lock communities into the past.
He said that in a world changing so fast, it is not
fair that girls go through practices like forced marriages which infringe on
their rights. Pacifici noted that their position on the matter should not be
interpreted as meddling since they ought to speak out.