Human rights activists launch a campaign against sexual rights violations in Uganda.
By Irankunda Godfrey
Uganda Women Parliamentary Association in collaboration with Civil Society Organisations and Youth movements has launched a joint action against all forms of sexual assault, that have been committed against women and girls. The campaign has been named “MY BODY, MY CONSENT”
While addressing journalists at parliament today, Hon Annah Adella, the chairperson Uganda Parliamentary Association revealed that Members of Parliament and Civil Society Organisations are dissatisfied with rampant sexual violations against women and yet perpetrators go unprosecuted.
Adella explained that it is a shock to find out the nature of offenders who range from friends to relatives, to bosses at workplaces, to strangers, to police officers preying on suspects in police custody.
The campaign “ My Body, My Consent” is geared towards creating a Uganda that if safer for both women and men to freely, enjoy their sexual rights through expediting the passing of the sexual offenses Bill, providing legal and psychosocial support to victims of rape and sexual violence in all forms by encouraging victims to speak out, naming, and shaming perpetrators of sexual assault and rape.
Among the actions to be undertaken during the campaign include holding a mega protest rally in the city. They also intend to do public interest litigation on several human rights of the brave ladies who spoke out and the suit will be done.
The team also intends to inform the intending perpetrators of the above crimes that the law is watching, putting out a list of all organizations that can help sexually violated ladies and their contacts so that they can help.
Hon Jovah Kamateka- the Chairperson parliamentary Human rights committee, also a member of the Uganda women parliamentary Association condemned police which instead of helping victims of rape frustrates them by raping them more or some times police neglect the rape victim complaints.
Meanwhile, Kamateka called on Boys both at home, in institutions to protect their sisters saying that God gave boys more authority and strength to protect their sisters as females is a weaker sex.
The legislator further asked men to desist from sexually violating the rights of their wives whereby men think that it’s their right to have sex at any time without considering the health, willingness, and consent of their wives.
“If your wife tells you that she is not feeling well due to health-related issues like after delivery, caesarian operation, tiredness or any other genuine reason, don’t force her into sex. Respect her emotion and wait” Kamateka says.
According to the annual Police report on sex-related crimes registered in 2017; 15,093 were registered and in 2018, 17,521 were registered indicating a rise in the acts. Rape cases registered at police in 2017 were1,335 and 1,580 in 2018. Defilement cases reported, also increased from 14,985 in 2017 to 15,366 in 2018. This threatens the future of the girl child.
Violence against women has recently taken new, more sophisticated forms. An increasing number of women are, for instance, reporting cyber-bullying and abuse through social media and smartphones.