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Women Decry Increase in Physical, Sexual Abuse

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According to a statement by the United Nations, violence perpetrated against women is as common a cause of death and incapacity for those of reproductive age, as cancer, and a greater cause of ill health than road accidents and malaria combined. It adds that half of the women killed worldwide were killed by their partners or family.
International Day for the Elimination of VAW Graphics by UN Women

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Women in the Albertine Graben have expressed concern over the rising cases of Gender-based Violence in the region.  They say that many of them are enduring  sexual harassment, mistreatment, domestic violence, restrictions on freedom of movement, segregation, and forced marriage, among others. 

But much of the violence is often unreported due to impunity, shame and gender inequality, the women observed in an engagement meeting held in Hoima town, ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, marked across the world today. The Day is aimed at stamping out abuse of women and girls.

According to a statement by the United Nations, violence perpetrated against women is as common a cause of death and incapacity for those of reproductive age, as cancer, and a greater cause of ill health than road accidents and malaria combined. It adds that half of the women killed worldwide were killed by their partners or family. 

Peninah Ruhindo, a resident of Kigaaga in Kabaale Sub County cites the ongoing compensation of persons affected by the refinery in Kabaale as one of the triggers of violence in the oil-rich region, as men seek to take control of all the money offered to families by the government.    

//Cue in; “Kale Abakazi ba…

Cue out…bataka baire ebyo.”//    

The women have also expressed worry over the delay by the Police and courts to dispose of gender-related violence cases. They are now demanding for redress from the government, Civil society organizations, the police and the courts to have women’s rights fully recognized and respected and those behind violations of women’s rights punished accordingly.   

Evas Katusiime, a resident of Kakindo Village in Buliisa district calls for equal access to resources, opportunities and services, as well as representation and participation in decision‑ and policy‑making in adding that violence is often seen as a mechanism for the subjugation of women.  

//Cue in; “biletezerwe nka rundi… 

Cue out…onte yiriri habwaki.”//     

Margret Kagole from Kigwera in Buliisa says the condemnation of these heinous crimes must be accompanied by effective legislation and enforcement.    

//Cue in; “Ebizibo nka bya…

Cue out…aba nabugabe kuiteye.”//           

Margret Ruhigwa, a resident of Bujura ward in Bujumbura division observes that while protecting women’s rights, it is important to end violations of women’s dignity and calls upon the government to come up with avenues for enhancing the emancipation of the women.   

//Cue in; “Abakazi abali mu…  

Cue out…Tukyali kubi muno.”//  

Sostin Namanya, the Gender Officer National Association of Professional Environmentalists-NAPE expressed concern about the ongoing feminization of poverty, as well as the widening the gender gap in rural areas that she says need to be immediately addressed to protect women in rural areas.   She says much needs to be done to the situation of rural women, who disproportionately bear the brunt of poverty and climate change repercussions in the Bunyoro sub-region.  

//Cue in; “We also call… 

Cue out…on national levels.”//

The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, issued by the UN General Assembly in 1993, defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life”, the UN highlighted on the Day. 

The World Health Organization (WHO), says that women who experience physical or sexual abuse are twice as likely to have an abortion, and the experience nearly doubles their likelihood of falling into depression. In some regions, they are 1.5 times more likely to acquire HIV, and evidence exists that sexually assaulted women are 2.3 times more likely to have alcohol disorders.

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