The Situation At Hand in Uganda
Gender based violence affects women from all rungs of society, irrespective of literacy levels or income levels. Technology in today’s age is often presented as a solution to this, but more often than not, technology itself causes GBV to exacerbate, in the form of online abuse and cyberbullying. In the times of COVID-19, women are often trapped at home with their abusers and face more danger in the supposed safety of their homes.
The Gender Based Violence (GBV) Prevention Forum is an annual activity undertaken by Wilmat Development Foundation in conjunction with Rescue Women Foundation and Partners, held during the commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism by UN Women in order to facilitate better dialogue on this issue and invite solutions to combat this together.
● It seeks to intensify classical and elementary strategies to advance practices in advocacy, and to strengthen the legal and institutional framework towards the prevention of GBV
● Moreover, it aims to equip stakeholders, within the region and beyond, in GBV prevention policy advocacy and gender rights
● Our campaign also aims at the introduction of GBV Prevention Dialogues across Uganda, GBV Caravans in the region and GBV-Prevention Advocacy Ambassadors who will be trained by key stakeholders and partners
● It focuses on reaching out to the youths, particularly young women and girls from twelve (12) countries within the Eastern Africa region
● GBV increases during every type of emergency, and development and humanitarian programs that support women and girls are often disrupted during public health emergencies, although their needs may in fact be amplified. Pre-existing toxic social norms and gender inequalities, economic and social stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with restricted movement and social isolation measures, have led to an exponential increase in GBV.
● While there is consensus among GBV experts that essential forms of GBV response services must continue to be provided to ensure that affected survivors with urgent concerns are able to access care, providers face several challenges: personal protective equipment (PPE) and other essential supplies are often in short supply, or are not prioritized to GBV responders; while
in some cases certain activities can be adapted using the internet, cell phones, or other remote means, this poses challenges in many settings with limited connectivity, or access to these forms of technology.
● This unique context then calls for a flexible, adaptive and layered approach, to ensure that life-saving services continue to be made available without compromising the safety of GBV caseworkers and that of GBV victims.