In 2006, the Uganda Demographic and household survey (UDHS) established the highest incidence of sexual violence cases against women at 53% in Busoga region. Also, a mapping study coordinated by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development(MGLSD) established that majority of interventions are concentrated in Northern Uganda because of the war experienced for over 20 years.
The Government of Uganda is tackling the various forms of gender inequalities including Gender Based Violence (GBV) through GBV prevention and response strategies which have been integrated in the main development frameworks of government.
A 5 year joint programme to address GBV in eight districts of Bugiri, Buyende, Jinja, Iganga, Kaliro, Kamuli, Mayuge and Namutumba in the Busoga region, is being implemented. This is a collaborative effort between Ministry of Gender, Labour and social Development, District Local Governments, Civil Society organizations such as Center for Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP) and Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET). Under this programme interventions by UWONET include:
A GBV Capacity needs assessment for Police, Health Center IV, health workers, probations officers, Community Development Officers’s and LC2 courts has been carried out. The aim of this is to determine their level of knowledge and skills in handling GBV concerns in Busoga. At individual level, assessment was made to determine the stakeholder’s knowledge levels on gender, attitudes, motivation and understanding of their roles in relation to human security issues, the national policy and legal framework on GBV. At collective and systemic level, assessment was made of the functionality of the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) and Health system at Sub County, parish and district level.
The assessment also focused on technical capacity, systems responsiveness, and timelyness and referral systems. Some of the findings show that there is need to include local councilors as duty bearers because they are one of the first focal points on GBV cases in the communities and are closer to the communities.
The mapping out of key stakeholders to establish a GBV Referral Pathway for Busoga region was carried out. The report will establish the best actions and aspects of determining where to refer a case and what needs to be done for survivors at each point of the referral path.UWONET will then develop a simplified poster with an approved GBV referral pathway. The simplified poster detailing the referral pathway was developed as a means of facilitating follow up and holding duty bearers accountable.
UWONET will develop a stakeholder’s capacity needs strategy to direct the capacity building component. This will involve analyzing the needs assessment report and developing a stakeholder’s needs strategy to address the gaps identified and suggest practical interventions and topics for the forth coming trainings.
UWONET will also review existing training manuals to establish their relevance to the current programme in terms of needs, levels of education and context of training. Capacity gaps identified in the needs assessment will also inform part of the training manuals. A training manual will be developed, pre- tested by various stakeholders and will be used to undertake the trainings of the duty bearers.
UWONET is developing a handbook for duty bearers on handling GBV cases and survivors. The handbook will be informed by the knowledge, gaps identified, the capacity needed to prevent and mitigate the effects of GBV, and the referral pathway. The handbook will be a sustainability mechanism which the duty bearers will refer to after the GBV trainings.
In conclusion, UWONET realize that most stakeholders were not aware of the new GBV laws passed such as the Domestic Violence Act.UWONET will therefore conduct trainings on new GBV legislations passed and other skills in the second year of project implementation.