GIRLS’ RIGHTS CLUB MEMBERS PETITION TORORO DISTRICT AUTHORITIES TO END SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST THE GIRL CHILD

On 26th May, 2017 Forum for African Women Educationalists Uganda Chapter (FAWEU) through the Girls Advocacy and Empowerment Project (CEDAW) held the District Girls’ Rights Club meeting in Tororo with the major objective of sharing experiences and identify cases of sexual abuse the girls faced with the community. The meeting also focused on finding lasting solutions to the sexual violence abuses the girl child is faced with in addition to agreeing on the action points to combat the vice.

The meetings also focused on drawing direct attention to the challenges and violations related to education, Gender Based Violence and Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) in relation to how they are impacting the life of the Girl child in terms of access to social services delivery like Health, Education and protection from the Uganda Police Force. It was also intended to develop an advocacy plan to address the sky rocketing sexual, physical, emotional and psychological violence afflicted on the girl child in addition to high cases of teenage pregnancy, child marriage, defilement and rape.

During the meeting, the Girls Right Club members handed over the petition to the Ag. LC5 Chairperson Tororo district, Mr. Alia Jimmy Apumeri calling for an end to all forms of sexual violence against the Girl Child including; teenage pregnancy, early child marriages, rape and defilement, violent abuse – sexual, physical, emotional and psychological. The petition called for punitive action against the perpetrators of these vices in addition to improved education standards in the district.

Mr. Alia Jimmy Apumeri, the Ag. LC5 Chairperson Tororo district was touched by the life stories and experiences shared by the GRC members and he said that, “The district has committed to continue ensuring that the rights of the girl child are respected, promoted and protected. We have already presented to the Ministry of justice and Constitutional Affairs through the office of the Attorney General two bylaws - ordinances protecting the girl child from sexual exploitation and abuse; and promoting education standards for approval and a team from there will be visiting us in a period of two weeks’ time to conclude this process.”

Mr. Onyango Jorome, the District Labour Officer Tororo appreciated the platform availed by FAWE Uganda and partners to organizer meetings with district authorities. He said, “As a result of the CEDAW project and the different trainings organized for both the girls, their capacity has been built and they are now fully empowered to talk and discuss issues affecting them in addition to advocating for their rights. As Government, we shall do our part including providing social services to address the challenges the youth are facing such as increasing access to health, education and credit facilities like the youth livelihood fund for them both at the district and sub county level.”

He advised that, “The project needs to reach out to as many stakeholders as possible with these sensitization messages/campaigns and meetings to change the mind set, the existing practices and cultural believes that at times condone the negatives practices. People targeted could include; teachers, cultural and religious leaders, local council leaders, elder’s and members of the community to guarantee safety and protection for the girl child.” He further, called upon the district leaders to design creative means of monitoring the schools to avoid scenarios of teachers using and abusing pupils i.e. to dig for them or do their domestic chores while at school.”

 

ASP. Kamulya Sowali, the Uganda Police Force Spokesperson of Eastern Region responding to some of the complaints including the corruption allegation raised by the girls against

the members of Police Force during the meeting.

ASP. Kamulya Sowali, The Uganda Police Spokesperson of Eastern Region said that, “We are dedicating all our efforts as the Uganda police force to fight issues of sexual violence against the girl child though we are faced with major challenges in this struggle including; negotiation by both parents and perpetrators to settle issues of sexual violence such as teenage pregnancy and defilement back door. Parents also forge the age of their children to above 18 years making it very hard to prosecute and investigate such cases.”

On the alleged corruption or bribery among members of the Uganda Police to kill cases, he urged members of the public, “To report such cases of the police force extorting money from both the parents and perpetrators to the responsibilities authorities. Those found guilty of corruption, would not be sympathized with in this operation. He called upon members of the public to follow-up cases rigorously after reporting to ensure that perpetrators are brought to book.”

The Girls’ Right Club members also called upon members of the public to stop girl child abuse and report any case to revenant authorities including the local council leaders (LCs) and the Uganda police force for timely handling. The Non-Governmental organization (NGOs) were also urged to support in training and awareness creation in the communities about girls child rights; and the Government structures at district level assigned to follow-up and ensure that those who violet girl’s rights face the full wrath of the law.

The meeting was attended by numerous stakeholders including the Sub county leaders from the four implementing sub counties of; Merikit, Kisoko,Osukuru and Rubongi; the Girls’ Right Club members, district duty bearers including the Residence District Commissioner, District Education Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, Uganda Police, Gender officer, Head teachers, Learners and Community Volunteer Facilitators.

The CEDAW project is implemented by Forum for African Women Educationalists Uganda Chapter (FAWEU) in Partnership with Plan International Uganda and Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA).

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Project implemented in partnership with:

Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA)