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Activist profiling violations against women amid lockdown

Violence towards women is on the rise during the lockdown

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The government needs to put up temporary shelters for women whose rights are being violated during the current lockdown aimed at preventing further transmission of COVID-19.

The call was made by Primah Kwagala, the Executive Director of Women’s Pro Bono Initiative, an  organization of litigants that provide legal aid to vulnerable women.

Kwagala whose organization has embarked on profiling cases of women and girls whose rights have been trampled on says she received a case of a girl who was raped but had to remain at the home that they share with the perpetrator because shelters were closed together with the closure of businesses and public transport.

She said with the lockdown, people who commit such offences are left free.

Kwagala also asked the government to lift a ban on the transportation of pregnant women who require medical attention and a requirement to first secure permission from the Resident District Commissioner. She says that a number of women have already experienced complications as a result of this bureaucratic process.

Currently, Kwagala says is receiving complaints of women via phone calls and has alerted people to refer cases that she intends to follow up after the lock down.

Elly Kasirye, who heads the Human Rights Committee of Wakiso district said that it comes in handy since a lot of violations are happening now and perpetrators are getting away without reprimand.

For him, the government needed to give defenders permission to move because in their absence, a lot of violations are going on untamed and that the damage might be complicated to follow up without evidence when finally the lockdown is done.

However, with the closure of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) centres to tame overcrowding and respect social distancing, some of the victims were sent back to their homes, the same that they share with perpetuators for some, Kwagala noted.

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