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Change of attitudes enabling Gender-Based Violence to decline

(Background left to right): William Carlos, the ambassador of Ireland to Uganda, Caroline Kego, a social development advisor at the embassy and Aine Doody, the head of co-operation, Irish embassy, pay tribute to Harriet Nabirye (foreground), a survivor of gender-based violence (PHOTO: New Vision) (Background left to right): William Carlos, the ambassador of Ireland to Uganda, Caroline Kego, a social development advisor at the embassy and Aine Doody, the head of co-operation, Irish embassy, pay tribute to Harriet Nabirye (foreground), a survivor of gender-based violence (PHOTO: New Vision)

 

GBV became the major obstacle to poverty reduction, and the drive to curb the spread of HIV and AIDS, according to the Ambassador of Ireland to Uganda William Carlos.When the government of Ireland embarked on providing support towards ending Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Busoga region in 2011, 70% of the women were found to have been victims.

 According to the 2006 Uganda Demographic Health Survey, the women had experienced either physical or sexual violence from the age of 15. Half of the women experienced this violence from their husband or intimate partner within the home.However, only 6% of the women reported their cases to formal institutions like the police, according to the 2006 survey.

GBV became the major obstacle to poverty reduction, and the drive to curb the spread of HIV and AIDS, according to the Ambassador of Ireland to Uganda William Carlos.It equally blocked opportunities to access education and failed efforts to achieve full equality between men and women plus boys and girls. The cost of GBV was suffered by women, children, families, and communities.Now eight years down the road, Busoga sub-region has registered significant progress and reduced cases of  GBV from 74% (in 2006) to 48% (in 2016).

 “It all stemmed from a change in attitude and practices that promoted GBV leading to more women breaking their silence and seeking help whenever GBV occurred,” Ambassador Carlos who hosted a reception at his residence in Kampala to celebrate the gains on ending GBV said.

A total of 192 community activists were trained and supported to mobilize communities to end GBV. Mr. Carlos said the new Ireland policy for international development is focused on gender equality and addressing GBV.

“We all know that development cannot be achieved where there is a high prevalence of GBV in all its forms whether it is in the home, in communities or the workplace, whether it is sexual, physical or emotional,” he said.

 

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Published: April 27, 2019