Violence against women and girls is perhaps the most widely spread and socially tolerated form of human rights abuse in Uganda and around the world. It includes domestic and sexual violence, forced and early marriages, bride price-related violence, widow inheritance, and female genital mutilation. However, in many communities in Uganda, when a man beats his wife, neighbors and close family members often ignore the situation because they consider it a private matter. Others see it as a sign that the man cares about his wife.
Violence against women and girls results from a complex interplay of individual, family, communal, and societal factors. In today’s hierarchy of social power, men hold a higher status. Husbands, male partners, and even male relatives use violence as a way of imposing their will over women. Much of the violence is justified by, and perpetuated as, "tradition" or "culture." Children observe and internalize these behaviors, learning that violence is an acceptable means of getting their way, thereby perpetuating an intergenerational cycle of violence.
Cabinet approved the Elimination of Gender Based Violence (GBV) policy for Uganda in its Wednesday 17th August, 2016 seating.
This was announced by the State Minister for Gender and Culture Hon. Peace Mutuzo on Thursday 18th August, 2016 at Hotel Africana during the National dialogue on unifying action for medico-legal services for GBV survivors.
“I celebrate with all of you today because the Cabinet Memo on the GBV policy was unanimously passed. Everyone in Cabinet poured their hearts out on the need for a policy’ said Hon. Peace.
This followed continued lobbying by the Domestic Violence Act Coalition over the years for Cabinet to have the policy passed to pave way for the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act 2010. (http://www.cedovip.org/index.php/news-events/latest-news/85-ministry-of-gender-commits-to-have-the-national-gbv-policy-finalized-by-end-of-year ).
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Over ten years of continuous, hard work is finally about to pay off in Uganda. The Uganda Police has developed a new curriculum which, for the first time, will include training on gender-based violence (GBV) issues and crimes. The Center for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP) began working with the police in 2004 to advocate for GBV to be included in the police training curriculum. GBV was included in the curriculum and the curriculum was approved by the Police Council to be a standard tool for all trainings. The curriculum is now in its final stages of being accredited by the National Council of Higher Education and will be implemented soon. This is the story of CEDOVIP’s close partnership with the police, and the positive impact that this partnership is about to have on the community.