The Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Rebecca Kadaga has directed the Parliamentary Committee on Gender to follow up on the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act 2010 by Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social development.
The Speaker made the directive while meeting with the Domestic Violence Act coalition on Tuesday 19th August 2014 in her Boardroom at Parliament.
The coalition that comprises of over 25 civil society organisations coordinated by CEDOVIP met with the Hon. Speaker to advocate for the itemization of the implementation of the DV Act on the national budget by;
- Getting Speaker’s commitment and action to task MGLSD to have cabinet to approve the national GBV Policy.
- Influencing the Speaker to task the Gender Committee and Uganda Women Parliamentary Association to ensure that funds for implementation of the Domestic Violence Act for the various sectors are allocated on the national budget.
“We have been following up many things from Ministry of Gender but they have gone into hiding, my staffs make sure you organise the committee of Gender to meet with the Coalition to make their recommendations before they finalize and present the report before the house for debate.”Hon. Speaker Kadaga said in her response during the meeting.
The Hon. Speaker also expressed concern over the lack of access to copies of the law by the duty bearers mandated to enforce them.
“Am also perturbed that Parliament formulates policies and laws but there is no distribution system for the law beneficiaries. It is four years now and the duty bearers are still unable to get copies of the Domestic Violence Act. I have on several occasions’ tasked government to establish regional depository centres to ensure access across the country.” added the Hon. Speaker.
The coalition also gave an update on progress of the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act by the coalition:
- Translation of the Act into 8 local languages and dissemination, Capacity building for various duty bearers including: LCs, police health care workers, CDOs, magistrates and probation officers, Ongoing media campaigns to create public awareness about the act, Support to various law enforcers to streamline how to support implementation of the DVA e.g. Police to draft the proposal for the establishment of GBV directorate, monitoring implementation of the DVA through the JLOs sector and streamlining referral networks to increase survivors access to justice.
- However according to the Executive Director of CEDOVIP Tina Musuya, despite the efforts by civil society, government commitment and action towards implementation remains slow as evidenced by very low resources allocated to implementation of the DVA despite the high prevalence of domestic violence as indicated by :
- The Uganda Demographic and health survey 2011 shows that 56% of women experience violence, 16% pregnant women experience violence 28% have experienced sexual violence.
- The Police annual crime report 2013 also indicated that Domestic violence and Defilement were the highest reported crimes in the country; 9,598 defilement cases and 3,426 cases of domestic violence.
“Madam Speaker, domestic violence and violence against women also has negative impact on the economic development of the country. Uganda loses 77 billion shillings annually to deal with domestic violence. Consequences of violence against women affect every member of society, the situation is particularly alarming considering that the Domestic Violence Act 2010 exists, yet domestic violence continues to happen with impunity” adds Tina Musuya.