THE high level of poverty has increased cases of gender-based violence, the Uganda Human Rights Commission has said.
â€œWomen are affected by poverty more than men and this increases their dependency on men for survival and support,â€ said commissioner Grace Akello.
She explained that poverty weakens womenâ€™s bargaining power in sexual relations.
Akello was speaking at the launch of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence at the Grand Imperial Hotel in Kampala last Wednesday.
She called on the Government to start income-generating projects for vulnerable women to help them become self reliant.
Akello also observed that the failure to report cases had increased violence incidents.
â€œMany female victims of gender-based violence are tied to their cultural beliefs and do not report cases.â€
Other women, she said, do not report cases for fear of stigmatisation.
Akello called for the adoption of a human rights-based approach to prevent violence, saying it would enhance participation of the victims in decision-making.
â€œThe Government, in cooperation with the international community, should ensure that women subjected to violence have specialised assistance such as physical and psychological rehabilitation, counselling, health and social services.â€
She urged UN member states to adopt sanctions in domestic legislation to punish and redress violence.
Violence blamed on poverty - UHRC