He also called for a need for government to allocate funding for implementation of policies on Gender-Based Violence
The Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda has asked the government to expedite the passing of the sexual offences bill, sexual harassment and marriage & divorce bills.
Per Lindgarde said he is optimistic that this will ensure the full protection of women and girls from violence.
The bills were presented before the house and read for the first time. Currently, the bills are before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee for scrutiny.
According to the 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Surveys, 55 percent of women aged 15 to 49 years have experienced domestic violence, compared with 26 percent of men, while 28 percent of women and 9 percent of men have experienced sexual violence.
The Police crime report 2018 revealed a total of 15,366 cases of defilement which were reported and investigated compared to 14,985 cases in 2017.
Speaking during a SafeBoda ride in Kampala where riders demonstrated a high level of commitment from all men towards ending violence against women and girls, Lindgarde called for the need to address gender inequality and the continued use of harmful practices like female genital mutilation and child marriages.
“Gender equality cannot be achieved without the men and boys. Men are key partners in transforming negative gender inequality and empowerment of women and girls,” he said.
Lindgarde also called for a need for government to allocate funding for implementation of policies on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and ensure compliance to the gender equality budgeting principles.
The SafeBoda ride was part of activities to mark this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence under the theme ‘Orange the World, Hear Me Too’.
UN Women’s Susan Oregede said they have engaged SafeBoda riders in the campaign against GBV because males’ involvement in ending violence against women and girls is very crucial.
“The reason why we decided to engage SafeBoda riders is that they are an organised group. Men are custodians of social norms, values and beliefs and have a lot of power in their communities to influence change within their communities,” Oregede said.
The co-founder of SafeBoda, Ricky Rapa, said that they are embedding a component of GBV into their curriculum so that they are prepared to become ambassadors in ending GBV on top of acquiring road safety and customer services skills.
The Kampala Capital City Authority deputy director for gender and community services, Josephine Lubwama, said they are currently running a Safe Cities project with UN Women under which they will raise awareness about violence against women, strengthen policies to address violence against women and make political commitment towards ending violence against women.