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Sexual violence in learning institutions: MPs list perpetrators

By Umaru Kashaka

Added 8th March 2019 08:26 AM

The committee attached brief details of the cases to the report for purposes of aiding Parliament in reaching a decision.

Sexual violence in learning institutions: MPs list perpetrators

The committee attached brief details of the cases to the report for purposes of aiding Parliament in reaching a decision.

PIC: In the report it was noted that sexual violence is majorly perpetuated by male teachers and lecturers. Institutions like Makerere University have had  reports of lecturers sexually harassing students. (File photo)

SEXUAL VIOLENCE    PARLIAMENT

MPs who have been inquiring into allegations of sexual violence in 33 institutions of learning in Uganda have said they have some names of notorious perpetrators of the vice.

However, the MPs said the names have not been published in their report to the House on Thursday in view of the attendant legal implications.

"However, the names of the alleged perpetuators will be availed to the relevant government institutions for investigation and prosecution, upon the adoption of the report or on request by Parliament," the select committee chaired by Gomba West MP, Robina Rwakoojo said.

The committee attached brief details of the cases to the report for purposes of aiding Parliament in reaching a decision.

It concludes from its findings that sexual violence is prevalent in institutions of learning in Uganda, though the actual prevalence of the vice in the country is difficult to determine as many of the cases are never reported.

"The vice is majorly perpetuated by male teachers and lecturers and, male learners, against female learners. However, male learners too are vulnerable though most of them do not report due to gender stereotypes that are prevalent in the Ugandan society," the report said.

The lawmakers noted that sexual violence permeates every facet of a learner's life, impacting not only their education, but also their physical and mental health.

They argue that this vice is caused by a myriad of factors ranging from social, cultural, economic, institutional to environmental factors.

However, their findings indicate that poverty and moral degeneration are the key driving factors for the vice.

"Therefore, Government efforts should be directed towards tackling the root causes of the vice to mitigate its occurrence," they said

They also noted that while the government has undertaken legislative, policy and institutional measures to address this problem, gaps and deficiencies remain within the current framework.

As a result, the MPs say, the current system does not sufficiently protect learners from continued sexual abuse.

"This situation is compounded by the culture of silence and impunity surrounding sexual abuse that discourages learners from reporting. In the few cases where earners report sexual abuse, they confront powerful obstacles to achieving administrative and legal redress," they reported.

They say in addition, learners who are sexually abused do not have access to the necessary support services due to inherent barriers in the health and legal systems.

"The committee hopes that this report and the recommendations it offers will contribute to addressing these obstacles and eliminating the scourge of sexual violence from institutions of learning in the country," they said.

Background

This committee's inquiry arose from a motion presented to Parliament by Anna Adeke (National Female Youth representative) which was instigated by the numerous and repeated media reports of gross acts of sexual violence in institutions of learning at all levels.

The committee interfaced with 39 institutions comprising of government ministries, agencies and departments, professional bodies, civil society organisations and three individuals.

In addition, the committee visited 33 institutions of learning comprising of 11 primary schools, 11 secondary schools, two primary teachers' colleges and nine universities where it interfaced with the administration of the institutions, learners and district officials from whom it elicited vital information that formed the basis of the recommendations in its report.

 

Also related to this story 

Makerere, ‘sexual harassment victim' disagree over anonymity

Another Makerere official suspended over sexual harassment

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