Activists want government to increase the resource envelops it allocates to Justice Law and order sector to enable the agencies expedite gender-based violence cases.
They say that Ugandan courts are struggling to dispose off gender based violence cases because other agencies such as Police have not completed investigations on the matters due to limited resources.
“Inadequate funding to government machinery mandated to protect the lives of Ugandans and investigate cases related to gender based violence is big hindrance to access to justice by women who reports such cases to police.
“Government should come in and rescue the situation by allocating enough funds to those institutions to enable them dispose off such cases in time,” said Laureen Karayi Nabimanya, the Gender Transformation and Empowerment specialist at Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET) told Journalists in Kampala yesterday.
She observed that accessing Justice by ordinary women is becoming very expensive because the victims incur costs for police to carry out investigations, transport the accused for arrest and also in supporting police to carry out forensic examinations, among other processes.
“This is challenging for the women in Uganda who are the most impoverished. Being asked to bear these additional costs makes justices distant reality yet the country is experiencing high rates of case related to gender based violence,” she said.
According to the Uganda Demographic Health Survey report for the year 2011, 56% of women aged between 15 and 49 years have experienced physical violence at some point in life while 22% have experienced sexual violence. According to the report, this translates into more than 1 million women who are exposed to sexual violence every year.
Uganda is among countries with strong legal framework, which if well implemented, can end violence against Women and Men. Some of the legal Instrument is the Ugandan Constitution of 1995, the Employment Act 2006, the occupational safety and Health Act of 2006 among other legal documents, the Activists is urges that if such Laws are Implement Uganda will be country free of Gender based Violence.
Sandra Komuhiimbo, the coordinator, research knowledge management and advocacy at UWONET told East African Business Week that the organization registers more complainants on monthly basis from women especially at the two centres they are operating in Busoga region districts of Namutumba and Kamuli. The most cases women are reporting are related to economic and sexual violence related cases.
“In Namutumba, many women report case related to sale of lands and other family properties, women being battered by their husbands when they refuse to allow their husbands to sale off family lands; and other women reports cases of husband neglecting to take care of their families,” she said.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO