“Violence against women is endemic in every country and culture, causing harm to millions of women and their families, and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic”
– Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General –
Nearly 1 in 3 women aged 15 years and older, around the world have been subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner, non-partner or both, at least once in their lifetime, indicating that levels of VAWG have remained largely unchanged over the last decade. This according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
These numbers do not reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and would be even higher if they included the full continuum of violence that affect women and girls including sexual harassment, violence in digital contexts, harmful practices and sexual exploitation.
As for Uganda, COVID-19 restrictions caused a lapse in gender-based violence services, which were not initially prioritised as essential health services during COVID-19 restrictions.
The Nnabagereka Development Foundation to joined the rest of the world to commemorate 16 Days of Activism starting November 25th to December 10th 2021. The commemorations were held in the four districts where the DREAMS project is implemented; Mubende, Mityana, Kassanda, Luweero.
Some of the girl-participants who moved around their communities display placards to demonstrate against Gender-Based Violence.
The activities included;
- “Women’s Marches” where the girls marched around their communities with IEC materials on the prevention of HIV and GBV.
- Community dialogues with district leaders who pledged to utilize their positions to advocate for women’s rights, preach against GBV.
- The activities were also highlighted with the launch of the teqball game in all districts as an approach to creating a safe space for men and boys to explore positive forms of masculinity
To conclude the two-week-long activities, we also run a TikTok on #MenagainstGBV which had men mention ways they can help prevent/end violence against women and girls.