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.
Alternative dispute resolution responses are found to cause more harm than good to women experiencing intimate partner violence.
CEDOVIP in partnership with the International Center for Research on women and Beyond Borders have published a study that examines the justice and efficacy of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) responses for women seeking justice after experiencing violence in intimate relationships.
The study “Whose justice, Whose Alternatives; Locating Women’s Voices and Agency in Alternative Dispute Resolutions Responses to Intimate Partner Violence” focuses mainly the most common forms of ADR; mediation and arbitration. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution which is a method of resolving disputes that serves as an alternative to court proceedings.
ADR usually involves a group or an individual who facilitates a discussion between the parties involved in the reported incident. The process ultimately leads to an agreement and concession, determined by the parties themselves. ADR follows a step-by-step process that can typically be summed up in four steps. The first step, initial report and information-gathering, consists of someone bringing the incident to the facilitator’s attention. The summons and hearing occur after the facilitator accepts the case and decides to pursue a resolution. At this point, the facilitator sets a date for the hearing and summons those involved in the incident. The facilitators hear testimonies at the hearings. The decision/punishment should conclude with an agreed-upon decision which may involve a punishment or an order for reparations. Finally, enforcement may occur if the facilitator and parties decide on a method to guarantee that the agreed upon terms are met. This would be enforced by the ADR authority or the community.
The study especially considered women’s voice and agency in ADR processes to determine if these practices are helpful to the victims or biased towards their perpetrators. Through various documents and interviews, the authors examined ADR responses to intimate partner violence in the Global South, their prioritization of women survivors’ voices and agency, and examples of ADR approaches that prioritize the voice and agency of women survivors of intimate partner violence more successfully. The study ended with recommendations for stakeholders and activists alike that could help them create more women-oriented ADR processes.