By Our Reporter
The Speaker of Parliament has called for increased protection of women and the girl child in Uganda and around the world.
Speaking at the UN headquarters in New York on the side-lines of the on-going 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women conference, Ms Rebecca Kadaga said that there is no place for the marginalization and mistreatment of women and the girl child in Uganda.
The Speaker said that to achieve an end to the vice of mating violence on the female, training needs to be given to every one including the Police.
“Listening to what other countries are doing, we need to increase the level of advocacy with in the community and even in schools and also increase the training of law enforcement agencies so that they are able to offer protection and ensure that they put an end to violence against women,” she said.
The New York conference being hosted by the Inter- Parliamentary Union and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and it is focusing on Parliamentary strategies for tracking violence against women and girls.
At the Conference, the UN Deputy Secretary General, Jan Eliasson also held the same view with Speaker Kadaga.
“Ending violence against women is a matter of life and death,” he said at the opening of the two-week session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York. “The problem pervades all countries, even in the most stable and developed regions.”
Mr Eliasson stressed that it will take multiple approaches to tackle this issue, from governments implementing policies to empower victims and prosecute perpetrators, to creating a culture where gender stereotypes are broken by encouraging men and boys to take an equal share of responsibilities in their home and families.
“Violence against women pervades war zones as well as stable communities, capitals as well as the countryside, public space as well as the private sphere,” he said. “Since it is an unacceptable feature of daily life, we have to respond everywhere and on every level.”
Ms Kadaga who named wife beating rape and female genital mutilation as the main and most common vices against women further said that it is time that’s serious punishments were mated against the offenders to ensure deterrence.
As a benefit from the conference, the Speaker said that the Uganda delegation will return from the conference better encouraged and equipped with strategies to employ in the fight against female maltreatment.
The Uganda delegation included Hon. Dr Chris Baryomunsi, Hon Kayagi Sarah, Hon Iddi Isabirye and Hon Jesca Ababiku.
Hon Dr Chris Baryomunsi said that the meeting is “extremely relevant” because the whole world converged to agree on the way forward in the fight against the mistreatment of women.
He said that for Uganda, the proposed Marriage and Divorce Bill will help in addressing some of the bad situations women find themselves trapped in.
“It brings a balance between partners in a relationship,’ he said. “But passing the law is itself not enough. It has to be accompanied with the training of law enforcement officers so that it is implemented well.