THE Non- Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has urged women to know and claim their rights if the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV) is to yield positive results. THE Non- Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has urged women to know and claim their rights if the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV) is to yield positive results.
NGOCC Public Relations Officer Nalucha Ziba said GBV is mainly caused by disparities in power relations, a situation which leaves most women vulnerable and dependent on men because their Social-Economic Status is low.
Ms Ziba said women are naturally disadvantaged in society and the fact that some women are reluctant to stand up for their rights makes it worse.
“Society today is male dominated. This leaves women in awkward situations which makes it hard for them to pull out. It is high time we started questioning [certain] policies to ensure that programs to benefit women at their lowest are implemented”, she said.
Ms Ziba added that issues surrounding tradition and socialisaion are contributing factors to GBV giving an example of girls expected to get married at a certain age even before they are independent and able to understand marriage.
Ms Ziba urged government and other stakeholders to provide opportunities for women.
“Women mainly rely on small businesses to survive and it is hard for them to access loans. It is for this reason that they need to be empowered”, she said.
And Victor Mbumwae, a Specialist in Information Management at the Ministry of Gender and Child Development said government is determined to thoroughly address issues surrounding GBV.
He said a lot of measures have been put in place to address the situation.
Mr. Mbumwae lamented that the enactment of the Anti-GBV Act, the holding of media breakfasts every quarter of the year and training the media in GBV reporting are some of the measures that have been put in place.
“Government deliberately enacted the Anti-GBV Act of 2011 to address issues of GBV. This law provides for neighbours and the general public to report cases of GBV if the actual victims are reluctant to do so”, he noted.
He added that this law further provides for funds to empower victims hence, they are not dependent on others.
“A number of successes have been reported from the time the Anti-GBV Act was put in place. Among them is the fact that GBV is a criminal offence; it has also enabled the easy identification of inefficiencies in the judicial system as the law is now clear; and the distinction in institutional framework is obvious,” Mr. Mbumwae said.
The Anti-GBV Act was enacted in 2011 mainly to provide for the protection of victims of GBV, constitute the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Committee, establishes the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Fund, and provide for matters connected with secondary to the above among others.