As districts in the country continue to celebrate Women’s Day which is internationally commemorated on 8 March, domestic violence continues to be highlighted as one of the biggest challenges faced by the rural woman.
In Buhweju district where the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga officiated at the Women’s day celebrations on 06 April, 2018, the leadership said the impact of domestic violence has led to high school dropout rates.
Buhweju Women’s League Chairperson, Placida Kamabati said that the girl child is forced to miss school to look after the family because of the absence of the mother caused by domestic violence.
“We want government to mobilize men and sensitize them about the effects of domestic violence because we love our men and value our marriages,” said Kamabati.
The Resident District Commissioner, Emmy Katera vowed to ensure that men found subjecting their wives to domestic violence are punished accordingly.
“My leadership does not tolerate men who beat their wives. I have dealt with such men and will continue to ensure that a woman is protected against any form of abuse from a man,” said Katera.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga advised the men to talk to their wives instead of beating them.
“I want to tell the men of Buhweju that women have ears; if you want to beat, I will buy all of you drums to beat,” said Kadaga.
She also warned men against marrying young girls, saying that they should instead be encouraged to study.
“How can a man come back home and call a girl who should be in primary six his wife,” wondered Kadaga.
Buhweju district celebrated women’s day under the theme, “Empowerment of rural women, opportunities and challenges,”
The Woman MP, Olive Katwesigye said the district is now focusing on strategies to increase income for rural women.
She noted that government’s intervention through the Uganda Women’s Empowerment Project is not sufficient.
“We started a special women’s savings initiative in which money is deposited in a box. Out of the 227 villages, 90 have already started benefiting from these savings,” said Katwesigye.
During the celebrations, Katwesigye donated an ultra sound scan while Francis Mwijukye (FDC, Buhweju district) donated an ambulance for supporting expectant mothers. The MPs said the health services for women in the district are still in a dire state, hence the need for more interventions.