GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE: KASESE’S DETERIORATING SITUATION

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Leaders and other stakeholders in Kasese district western Uganda have expressed concern over the deteriorating situation as gender-based violence (GBV) cases escalate in the area.

A report from the Kasese District Community Development office confirms that cases including defilement, rape, incest, teenage and early marriages among women and girls are high due to poverty, weak law enforcement, lack of sensitization and other common challenges across Rwenzori sub-region and other hotspots in western Uganda and the country as a whole.

In Kasese district and municipality as of June 8, 2023, the rate of early pregnancies stands at 30.6% resulting from peer pressure and poverty among the population where at least 7,319 were impregnated between 2020 – 2022 during the COVID-19 lockdown – with Nyamwamba division taking lead with over 1,500 cases.

These GBV cases have compelled the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda to convene an interactive dialogue aimed at increasing public knowledge, influence, attitude and opinions on nonviolence against women and girls in the area.

In a meeting at the Catholic Bishop’s hall in Kasese town on Wednesday, June 7,2023, Dr. Rebecca Kivumba Mayanja, the Manager of Reproductive Health and HIV at the Inter-religious Council of Uganda, encouraged the people to fight against the vice of early and teenage marriages as a way of enabling young people realize a bright future. She argued that early sex among the children could lead to death in addition to becoming a health hazard to the girl children and other challenges that hinder development.

While commenting on the matter, Mr. Aaron Ainomugisha who is the team leader RISE for Community and Media Empowerment-UGANDA challenged stakeholders to empower girls, boys, the media and other members of the community to boldly denounce all untold GBV incidents in their locations. He also called for safer spaces for victims and enough resource allocation to related projects.

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