By Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa/ Umoja Standard.
Kampala, Uganda: According to Annual Police Report, 2022, 120 girls were defiled by parents up (42.9% increase) from 84 in 2019. 17,664 domestic violence cases in 2020, up by 29% from 13,693 in 2019.
18,872 victims of domestic violence were recorded in 2020. Of these, 3,408 male adults, 13,145 female adults, 1,133 male juveniles and 1,186 female juveniles. This strained government budget in trying to normalize the vice which is still escalating.
It is against this background that Ministry of Local Government engaged different stakeholders to devise ways on how they can reduce the prevalence and increase financing to bring down the vice.
Presenting on behalf of the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Local Government, Benon Kigenyi- the under-secretary in the ministry mentioned that Gender-Based Violence is a global occurrence with impacts that undermine human right and development.
He therefore said that Uganda’s government recognizes GBV as a critical public, human rights and socio-economic concern.
“Adoption of the NDP III has brought in place policy and planning reform with implications for financing interventions that address GBV across all Gov’t institutions and agencies”. Mr. Kigenyi stated.
He believed that it was critical to engage different stakeholders to jointly find ways of advocating for increased financing of GBV interventions in district development plans and budgets.
Judith Mutabazi from National Authority sought for integration of GBV prevention and response interventions in district development plans.
She added that there is need for local governments to include a specified budget code to tag all resources on the role of mitigation, response and prevention expenses for GBV in their work plans and budgets.
She however stressed that interventions should be inclusive with community sensitization as the problem emanates from the grassroot.
On the same matter Julius Mukunda- the Executive Director of Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) stressed that although there was a decline in the number of reported cases of defilement between 2014 and 2019, there has been and increase of rape cases reported in the same period.
“Today, we seek to increase financing towards GBV response and its prevention in Local Governments – a guide ULGA advocacy agenda 2023. Funding local governments is critical”. Said Mr. Mukunda.
“There is always this talk of the government is broken and personally I don’t agree with it because the gov’t spends money where it is interested and that money will be there”. He added.
Ms. Luta Shaba – The Spotlight Initiative Program Coordinator at Office of the UN Resident Coordinator Uganda expressed that lock down led to increased teenage pregnancies as a result of girls being locked in families with their brothers and fathers.
She added that it incest and most girls are got impregnated by some family members saying this needs a serious conversation at length.
However, Jotham Mwesigwa- the Speaker Rwampara District sought that while advocation for rights of women and girls also men and boys should be sought about as some of them are suffering silently.
The engagement was part of the 16 days of Activism, 2022 that are climaxing on 10th/Dec ember, 2022.