CEDOVIP officially launched the SURGE (Support to Uganda’s Government on Gender Equality) program in Kampala district in the parishes of Kabalagala, Kibuye in Makindye division, Bwaise, Makerere III inKawempe division and, Kamwokya II in Central.
The program will focus on the prevention of violence against women and girls specifically commercial sex exploitation of children. The launches included peaceful demonstration marches, poster facilitations, VAWG prevention board games (snakes and ladders and Ludo game) and drama performances aimed at raise awareness about VAWG.
Community members who participated in the launches deepened their knowledge about VAWG, forms of VAWG/CSEC and acknowledged that VAWG/SEC happens and are common in their communities. They recognised that VAWG/CSEC have negative consequences to the lives of women and girls e.g, unwanted pregnancies, school dropout, HIV/STI infections, family breakages,increased crime rate like recent kidnaps and continued sexual abuse/harassment to women and girls, these require urgent attention. Community members committed to mobilize other community members to participate in the Community Activists VAW prevention activities. The public launches reached out to approximately 2000 people; 946 women, 734men and 320 children.
The community leaders who officiated as guests of honour at the various events committed to supervise the trained stake holders/activiststo ensure that VAWG prevention activities are implemented as planned, closely collaborate with duty bearers to apprehend perpetrators to enforce the laws; to learn more about VAWG, be proactive in identifying cases of VAWG/CSEC and immediately addressing them. They further urged the community to reach out to the CAs to learn more about violence against women and how to create happier, healthier and safer intimate relationships in homes. They encouraged community members to take action at individual level to prevent VAWG/CSEC by:
- Knowing that all forms of violence against women and girls are crimes that should not be tolerated.
- Speaking out when they see or know about women/girls experiencing violence and seeking for support from LC, Police, Courts of law because everyone is equally protected by the laws of Uganda
- Demanding and ensuring that duty bearers use the laws to apprehend perpetrators of violence against women and girls
- Demanding that the area MPs advocate for budget allocation for the implementation of the Gender Based Violence Laws
- Reach out and help girls and women who have experienced violence to seek for services to help them address their problems.
And Local Leaders/duty bearers to
- Apprehend the perpetrators of violence against women and girls using the Domestic Violence Act
- Speak out and raise awareness about violence against women and girls in village meetings- as a crime that is not tolerated in your community
- Refer cases of violence against women and girls to Police, probation and welfare office and Magistrate Court
- Mobilize and inspire community members to participate in violence against women and girls prevention activities to learn more about how to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls
The SURGE is a five year program implemented by CEDOVIP, Actionaid, and Mifumi funded by DFID UK-AID.