Uganda government has been urged to come up with measures that mitigate domestic violence against women if their economic potential is to be realised.
The Country Director for United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) for Uganda Maxime Houinato observed Uganda has the potential to develop but is being compromised.
He said this is because people with the capacity to fully participate in economic activities that generate money are being left behind.
He noted that vices such as domestic violence especially for women and young girls being forced into early marriage keep widening the income inequality because these are not productive.
“As a country, Uganda loses about US$ 77 million annually due to violence against women. Once women are brutalized, they spent a lot of time nursing wounds, paying medical bills and other social and psychological effects yet women and the youth contribute a great percentage to the country’s workerforce,” Houinato told East African Business Week in an interview recently.
UN Women is a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women and Uganda is member.
Houinato said that government should ensure that people’s rights are protected to enable them effectively participate in the social and economic transformation of the country, If Uganda is to meet the Sustainable Development Goals especially the goal on ending poverty.
“Uganda needs to ensure that all girls go to school and boys are not engaged in child labour. The two have serious impact on social transformation of such a cluster of generation,” he said. “Government should ensure that laws that protect such groups are enforced to mitigate the burdens associated with child labour and early marriages.”
Although Uganda Introduced free Universal Education both at Primary and Secondary level , many Uganda youths have not yet embraced it 100%. Some have left school to venture into supplying cheap labour especially in the agricultural related industries. Other are working in mining quarries this has exposed many to contract diseases.
According to Houinato, acts such as early marriages should be punished by government to ensure that all children go to school since education is source of capital which will support them to overcome poverty in future.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO