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Lawmakers Call for Comprehensive Approach to Address Gender-Based Violence, Highlighting Neglected Needs of Men



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Lawmakers have stressed the importance of adopting an all-encompassing strategy to combat Gender-Based Violence (GBV), pointing out that existing efforts predominantly focus on women, neglecting the concerns of men.

During a plenary sitting on November 23, 2023, Members of Parliament (MPs) responded to a statement on the 16 Days of Activism against GBV presented by the Minister of State for Gender, Labour, and Social Development (Gender and Culture), Peace Mutuuzo.

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Speaker Anita Among emphasized that boys have become increasingly vulnerable due to the neglect of their needs, leading to a rise in crime rates and subsequent instances of gender-based violence. She urged a holistic approach, stating, “If you cannot look after the boy child, this is the boy child who will become your in-law tomorrow. We should not abandon the boy child.”

Omoro County MP, Hon. Andrew Ojok, raised concerns about the disenfranchisement of boys in various sectors, including health and education, pushing them towards substance abuse. He advocated for a balance in affirmative action, ensuring empowerment for both boys and girls.

Minister Mutuuzo highlighted child neglect and abandonment as emerging causes of GBV, noting that they contribute to increased emotional violence among children and women. She stressed that GBV is pervasive in Uganda, affecting individuals irrespective of their social, economic, and political status.

The Minister revealed that this year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign aims to mobilize increased long-term sustainable investments from government, private sector foundations, and other donors working to end violence against women and girls.

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However, Hon. Cecilia Ogwal (FDC, Dokolo district) questioned the impact of the campaign, noting the absence of a report on its effectiveness since its inception. She called for government involvement of rural women, asserting that current activities primarily target urban women.

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The 16 Days of Activism, a global campaign against gender-based violence initiated in 1991 by the Women’s Global Leadership Institute, will be observed this year on November 24 at Siriba Primary School in Bweyale, Kiryandongo district. The campaign, originating from Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA, aims to train women in leadership based on global best practices.

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