National Association Of Women’s Organisations in Uganda (NAWOU) on 13th February 2023 organized a meeting with Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) to influence action on the development of legislative budget and policy reforms that will accelerate gender equality and reduce the prevalence of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the districts of Nebbi and Kaabong.
NAWOU with funding from OXFAM International is implementing a phase II project; “Prevention and Response to GBV through institutional support (Creating Greater Gender Equality)” in Nebbi and Kaabong district. The goal of the project is to decrease in the level of GBV in target communities and to contribute to the realization of greater gender equality to eliminate violence against women and girls.
The meeting was attended by 19 Members of Parliament, Assistant Commissioner Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and and an Economist from Ministry of Finance.
The Assistant Commissioner Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Magie Chomukama, opened the meeting and remarked that the ministry was born out of the CSOs advocacy on gender equality. She highlighted the need to define institutions like private sector and parliament to aid Uganda in achieving gender equality. The relationship between GBV and development exists, which is why most programs address GBV. For example, in 2015, the ministry focused on women economic empowerment, which is multi-dimensional. A study was conducted by MGLSD on the impact of GBV, and it was realized that Uganda loses approximately 77 billion shillings annually on GBV due to its associated costs that include legal, witnesses testifying, police investigations, and medical expenses, among others.
The meeting was successful in laying commitments and strategies that shall aid the attainment of gender equality. The Members of Parliament have committed to working with NAWOU to see to it that gender equality is attained. They have successfully enacted the Prohibition of FGM Act 2010, GBV, Succession Amendment, and person trafficking Act, and are still struggling with the market and sexual offenses bills.
Emerging issues from the meeting include the project being implemented in only two districts yet GBV is rampant throughout the country. The MPs recommended that alcoholism ought to be handled with venom because it has split families apart.
The meeting was a great success, and the alliance built and implementation of the commitments in a multisectoral approach shall aid the attainment of gender equality.