As a way of complimenting Government’s role of creating awareness on the different Gender-related Legislation, NAWOU with development support of We Effect under the project “Capacities of Women Organizations to Promote Gender Equality Increased in Hoima District” is conducting a capacity building training on the most significant Ugandan Laws related to Gender and Women’s rights. The training is implemented among 25 women groups (with a small portion of men) from 8 sub-counties in Hoima District. It aims at unpacking provisions within these Legislation including; the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda 1995 – as amended in 2005, the Domestic Violence Act 2010, the Penal Code Act Cap 120 as amended in 2007, the Marriage Laws, the Succession Act Cap 162, the Land Act 2008 and the Marriage & Divorce Bill, in a bid to protect women from all forms of discrimination and violence. The training has witnessed a high level of ignorance (over 80%) on these Laws and their provisions. Majority are blaming Government for their ineffectiveness in informing the citizens of Uganda about the enacted Laws as well as enforcing them, particularly for the rural communities.
NAWOU Program Manager, Susan Asio facilitates a session on the key Gender-Related Laws to Kaiso Women’s Group in Buseruka Sub County.
During the training several cases have been reported including one of a 15 year old girl who had been taken advantage of by her primary school teacher and got pregnant. Other cases of defilement for example in Kyabigambire Sub-county cases are silenced by taking bribes and in some cases the girls are married off to the perpetrators for material gain by the victim’s parents. One particularly disturbing case is one where the father lost his wife to HIV/AIDS and turned his biological daughter into his sexual partner besides the girl being only 14 years old in primary seven. Concerned community members reported the case to police and had the man arrested. However, after 2 days, he was released. The man is currently living with his daughter as his wife. It is because of such occurrences in the communities that NAWOU is stepping in to try and create awareness about the rights and laws that protect women and girls from violence and support them in accessing justice. The training in addition is supporting the women groups to identify key gender issues that affect their development, peace and security and gender equality, as evidence for advocacy to Government.
A participant from Mother’s Union presents the key Gender Issues of Hoima Municipality.