The 20-year armed conflict in northern Uganda has left a complex and traumatic legacy, including a brutal culture of violence against women. Many Ugandan women will face rape, domestic violence, and early and forced marriage in their lifetime.
Although strict legislation on violence against women has been passed, such as the 2010 Domestic Violence Act, women are still vulnerable as the laws have not been effectively implemented.
Knowledge of the 2010 Domestic Violence Act is poor and the police are often dismissive of cases of violence. The situation is exacerbated by widespread attitudes and beliefs that justify violence against women and girls.
Despite bearing the brunt of the conflict, women have also been sidelined in the peacebuilding process and decision-making. Even with international commitments adopted by Uganda to address women’s rights, progress has been unacceptably slow. There has been no political will to involve women in post-conflict recovery, which means their needs and concerns have not been addressed.
Women’s rights in Uganda
- 58% of women believe that a husband is justified in beating his wife (Source: Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2011).
- 48% of women have experienced physical violence from a partner, while 36% have experienced sexual violence from a partner (Source: UN Women 2011-2012)
- 31% of seats in Parliament are held by women (Source: UN Women 2011-2012)
Supporting women in Uganda
We are working with two women’s rights organisations towards:
Making a difference
Last year our partners:
- Trained 100 cultural and religious leaders on violence against women and raised awareness of the issue through drama productions
- Reached 350 people in rural communities about the issue of violence against women, increasing the rate of referrals to the police and counselling services
- Highlighted the gaps in women’s role in peacebuilding in the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan for Northern Uganda to the Prime Minister’s office. This was taken on board and now waiting approval by Parliament