CPAR Uganda Ltd

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Myths Thrive Gender Based Violence


The Daily Monitor has apparently since deleted from social media its call to women who have suffered sexual harassment or gender-based violence to publicly share their traumatic stories in exchange for a chance to be the “lucky winner” and win a “luxurious bottle of wine.”

Presumably, the Daily Monitor deleted its call following an outcry from feminists. Nevertheless, the Daily Monitor call was for me a tipping point. It disturbed me to the extent that it has motivated me to finally write this opinion; an opinion that I have been meaning to write for a while now.

It is shocking that someone, or worse still that the entire editorial team of a daily publication of the stature of the Daily Monitor, was so insensitive as to offer women who have suffered sexual abuse and domestic violence the chance to win a “luxurious bottle of wine” in exchange for them reliving and then publicly sharing their experience of trauma.

To think, however, that the mentality that is behind the Daily Monitor call is a one-off case in Uganda, would be to deceive ourselves. In fact, a possible silver lining, if at all, is the call’s revelation of a particularly toxic mindset that a significant section of Uganda’s population has on issues relating to gender-based violence.

The purpose of this opinion, therefore, is an attempt to describe the distorted view of gender-based violence in Uganda; the myths that perpetuate that distorted view; and the resultant violence it unleashes, particularly on the women of Uganda. The rationale being: if we are able to consciously recognise it, we are more likely to call it out and to advocate against it; and better still to desist from perpetuating gender-based violence.

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Disclaimer: This view point is written by Ms. Norah Owaraga, CPAR Uganda Ltd Managing Director, however, her views expressed herein are not necessarily those of CPAR Uganda Ltd.