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SGBV a Big Security, Economic Problem in the Great Lakes - Experts :: Uganda Radionetwork

SGBV a Big Security, Economic Problem in the Great Lakes - Experts

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New findings by experts suggest that Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) is a big threat to peace, security, stability and economic development in the Great lakes Region (GLR).

The findings, a result of data collected from 11 countries that form the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), was presented today in a conference paper presented by Dr Okwach Abaji, a regional consultant on SGBV, at an experts meeting in Arusha, Tanzania.

In the findings, SGBV is rampant in all the 11 countries in the Great Lakes namely Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Zambia. Others are the DR Congo, Congo Brazaville, Angola, Sudan and the Central African Republic.

Dr Abaji said one-third of women and girls aged between 15 and 43 years have experienced physical or sexual abuses in the region, with the worst affected countries being Uganda, Kenya, D R Congo, Sudan and CAR.

He said abuses against women and girls are rampant in countries that are at war as well as countries now experiencing peace mainly because there is embedded impunity in the communities.

Dr Abaji, who has been collating situation reports from all 11 countries, said SGBV pose a great threat to security and stability in the region as it is used as a tool of war and terror.

He said children born out of SGBV end up traumatized and are ready targets of armed thugs and rebels, making them a time-bomb that needs to be taken care of in time.

Dr Abaji said because SGBV affects mainly women and girls who are the backbone of agriculture, productivity is lowered and this results into food insecurity, deaths and reduced economic development.

The findings show that is violence against women was curtailed it would expand economies in the Great lakes by over 40 percent.

In Uganda, for example, the International Centre for Research and Women found out that the cost of domestic violence to the economy is a whooping 2.5 billion dollars annually.

Dr Abaji said SGBV has enormous psychological, health and social implications, mainly on women and girls.

He said because of the many bad impacts of SGBV, the experts and gender ministers must urge their presidents to commit to zero tolerance of the scourge and provide leadership and commitment in line with international instruments like the UN resolutions, the Maputo Protocol, the ICGLR Pact and the Goma Declaration.

Dr Abaji said the presidents need to be challenged on why they are not committed to fighting SGBV like the commitment they are showing in democracy and good governance.

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