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Domestic violence silent killer in  Kiruhura district

By Admin

Added 10th July 2018 06:35 PM

Women usually connive with their elder sons to kill their fathers, following reports that men have sold the family property, land or animals, leaving the family to suffer.

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Women usually connive with their elder sons to kill their fathers, following reports that men have sold the family property, land or animals, leaving the family to suffer.

By Sheila Mwine Kabaije

Over 10 gender-based violence (GBV) deaths are reported annually in Kiruhura district.

According to the Police, nine sub counties including Kashongi, Kitura, Nkungu, Kinoni, Engaari,Kenshunga, Kazo, Kiruhura Town council are the most affected.

Women usually connive with their elder sons to kill their fathers, following reports that men have sold the family property, land or animals, leaving the family to suffer.  

GBV is a result of power inequalities powered by discrimination based on gender, social beliefs, systems, perceptions, attitudes about women and men and their roles in society.

In April, a man was reportedly killed in Burunga sub county by his wife following reports that he had sold family land.  The family allegedly connived to kill him. In Kazo and Kiruhura town council, over 15 defilement cases were reported last year. Vulnerability is highlighted in the high rate of girl child marriage between the ages of 12-16 years. Also majority of the girls are school drop outs who give birth between 12-17years.

I recently held a joint public dialogue with the community in Kitura Sub County, where women and men narrated how domestic violence has affected their lives. 

Women complained that their husbands do not want them to own land and money, yet they play an important role in providing food, raising the children, paying school fees, among others.

I sensitised men to help change social and cultural norms to ensure gender equality is upheld. A case was reported of a woman in Kitura Sub County who lost her plot of land, which she inherited from her parents. Her husband allegedly tricked her into selling the land claiming it was unproductive.  The man used the proceeds to buy another piece of land and registered it in his name.  When the woman and children learnt of this they ganged up against the man and beat him up.

In another case, a man narrated how he allowed his wife to raise her child born out of wedlock. The husband cared and paid school fees for the child, but when the husband proposed to raise his biological child born by another woman, the wife rejected it. The husband battered the woman until they separated.

Some disagreements also result when a family will is forged by family members leading stealing of property.

Disagreements are common where men want to marry off their daughters to get money, which is opposed by their mothers, who want to retain their daughters in school.

These problems are common in Uganda because of lack of education for girls and early marriages. These are the root causes of lifelong gender disparity. Uganda has one of the highest rates of early marriage in the world, with 40% of girls getting married before the age of 18. Ten percent marrying before age 15. 

When a girl marries young, she is more likely to drop out of school, at a higher risk of contracting HIV/Aids, and more likely to be a victim of gender-based violence.  She is also less likely to join the workforce and contribute economically to her family and community. In short, denying a girl access to education not only hinders her, but prevents her family, community and country from thriving.                                                                                                                                                                

However, according to the Uganda Police crime report 2016-2015, about 341 women and girls were killed in domestic brawls between 2016-2015.

According to Police, districts of Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono, Iganga, Rakai and Mbale recorded highest cases of violence against women and girls (VAWG) in 2016.

Excerpts from the 2016 Annual Crime and Road Safety report indicate that 40,258 cases of VAWG related offences were investigated in 2016, compared to 38,651 in 2015.

This report indicated that death as a result of domestic violence (163), defilement (17,567), rape (1,572), indecent assault (548), Incest (72), domestic violence-not deaths (10,744) and human trafficking (375).

Others include child neglect (5,692), child desertion (1,525), child stealing (168), child trafficking (122), child-girls abduction (302), child-girls kidnap (572), and child-girls torture (808) and infanticide (28). 

The writer is the NRM Kiruhura Woman MP

 

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