By Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa/Umoja Standard.
Kampala, Uganda: Centre for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP) – a Civil Society Organization that works to create safe and healthy relationships and families through preventing domestic violence believes, if stakeholders came together in the fight, violence cases would be minimized.
Speaking after a two-day training (21-22nd November, 2022) for Journalists on ‘Reporting on Violence Against Women and Child Marriage’, at Reproductive Health Uganda Offices in Kamwokya, Diana Nansumba, a Program Officer at CEDOVIP stressed that no one can work in isolation to bring the vice of Gender-Based Violence and Violence Against Women to an end.
“This is the time to for all of us to unite just like the UN theme state, to join efforts, to work together. A journalist can work with a CSO or any other stakeholder to see that the message is put out to reach bigger masses. There’s power in numbers”. Diana quoted.
She mentioned that ‘16 days of activism is all about bringing to light the different forms of Violence and calling all stakeholders to see that women get access to same opportunities as men, like when they go to hospital, they are not treated as second class citizens, in whatever they do, they should be treated as a priority just as their female counterparts.
“This is a call to action for every stakeholder to do something, it can be posting something in regards to women rights, ending child marriage, ending all forms of violence”. Said Diana.
She implored Ugandan population to always speak out arguing that there is power in voices. ‘It is very sad to see something going wrong in the community and keep quiet, suppose it is your child! Report such cases from the community.
While facilitating journalists on principle reporting regarding Violence Against Women and Child marriage, Ann Nassamula, the Program Officer at CEDOVIP noted that there are nine core ethical principles that media should follow while reporting on violence against women; Accuracy, fairness, impartiality, duty to inform, privacy, protecting sources, payment for interviews, don’t harm and survivor-centered approach.
She said that these are important as they will help a journalist not to re-inforce negative stereotypes that fuel social norms which contribute to violence against women perpetuation and its acceptable.
She believed that the latter principles are so crucial and encompass all other relevant other principles in executing journalist’s work in this docket.
Josephine Kamisya the Interim Programs manager at CEDOVIP took it to the family level saying that members should exhibit a non-violent life as failure to effect it directly or indirectly harm others.
“Change begins with one person then it spreads. if you are to advocate for change, then you should be able to live it so that people can see non-violence in you and emulate you”. She noted.
She informed that there are four forms of violence; the physical violence– that entails acts that directly inflict pain or harm on someone’s body, psychological violence– which harm ones’ feelings and emotions and are not visible but heavily impact on someone’s esteem-these can be insults, name callings and others, they are humiliating and dehumanizing.
“There is sexual violence, which attacks someone’s sexuality-it can be rape, defilement, name-calling, forced sex, infidelity, using objects and economic violence which deprives someone from owning property.
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs through International Human Rights Day on 10 December.
This year, the UN marks the 16 Days under the theme “UNiTE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”.