Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Many young men who started the year 2020 blissfully in Gulu city enjoying the company of their loving wives are now wallowing in loneliness.
According to Emmy Ocen, the spokesperson of Gulu city Boda-Boda Association, at least eighty spouses of his colleagues have abandoned their marital homes due to financial hardships brought by Covid-19 pandemic.
Ocen made the sad revelation during the launch of 16 days of activism held at Pece-Laroo division in Gulu city. He said the outbreak of Covid-19 ruined the boda boda business which is yet to recover with the partial easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
During the same function, Major Santos Okot Lapolo, the Gulu Resident District Commissioner (RDC) cautioned parents in Acholi sub-region to desist from valuing the girl child as a business commodity.
Maj Lapolo observed that having too high financial expectations by some parents from the spouses of their daughters has resulted into separation of families in the region that is just recovering from two decades Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency.
Maj Lapolo said some of the marriages have ended up in stalemate due to high demands by married women who often put their partners under financial pressure.
According to Maj Lapolo, the outbreak of Covid-19 has worsened the situation and several couples have suffered physical confrontations over failure to fend for their families.
Jessica Anena, the Gulu district probation and social welfare officer said they have stepped up the fight against Gender Based Violence in the area through regular community sensitization on local radio stations.
Dan Bazira, planning, monitoring and evaluation specialist at UN Women Uganda says leaders in the region should act with courage and conviction to curb violence against women and girls.
He confirmed that violence against girls and women across the country is on the rise because of the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
Aswa region deputy police commander, Stephen Kaisa urged the locals to report cases of violence against girls and women for investigation and possible prosecution of the offenders.
Jolly Anena, program specialist and head of UN women sub-office in Gulu urged parents to support their girls to achieve their dreams so that they can positively change the world.
Aswa region police spokesperson, Jimmy Patrick Okema said this year alone, they have recorded 1,189 cases of defilement between the months of March and October alone.