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Minister Mateke Asks Prosecutors Not to Frustrate GBV Victims :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Minister Mateke Asks Prosecutors Not to Frustrate GBV Victims

Addressing the high rates of teenage pregnancies, Minister Mateke emphasized the need to strengthen parenting, noting that neglecting parental duties for financial gains compromises children's safety and protection.
minister Mateke Adressing the gathering

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Sarah Mateke, the State Minister for Gender, Labor, and Social Development has urged prosecutors to avoid impeding Gender-Based Violence (GBV) cases when individuals seek justice through their offices. Mateke cited an incident where an unnamed defilement victim reported her file had disappeared from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

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Expressing concern, Mateke highlighted the frustration victims face when pursuing justice in GBV cases. She made these remarks during a National symposium on ending child marriage and teenage pregnancy, hosted by Action Aid at the Sheraton Hotel in Kampala.

Action Aid, alongside UNFPA, the Ministry of Gender and Social Development, and UNICEF, convened to review their work in various communities, evaluating progress made and persistent challenges in combating teenage pregnancy.

Addressing the high rates of teenage pregnancies, Minister Mateke emphasized the need to strengthen parenting, noting that neglecting parental duties for financial gains compromises children's safety and protection.

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However, despite the minister's plea, reports persist on the challenges of prosecuting GBV cases. Instances have been noted where victim families collaborate with perpetrators, obstructing previously reported cases.

Xavier Ejoyi, Country Director of ActionAid Uganda, identified social norms as a major obstacle, emphasizing the urgent need to shift perspectives from viewing children as potential spouses and mothers.  

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Ejoyi stressed the pivotal role of education in redirecting children away from early marriage. He urged the government to prioritize funding education and healthcare to support efforts in ending child marriage and ensuring the welfare of young mothers.   

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Statistical data from the Ministry of Gender showed a mere one percent reduction in teenage mothers aged 15-19 from 2016 to the present, hovering at 25%. Lydia Wasula, presenting the statistics, expressed concern over the slow progress despite extensive efforts.    

Karin Boven, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Uganda, highlighted that 34 percent of girls are married before turning eighteen, a direct violation of the law. However, the existence of the law has had little impact in curbing this trend, according to available statistics.

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