Gender Equality in Uganda

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Uganda
flag_Uganda.png
Flag of Uganda
Population (in Mil.) 36.35
Gross Domestic Product (In USD Billions - WB) 20.03
Sex Ratio (m/f) 0.99
Life Expectancy Ratio (f/m) 1.035087719
Fertility Rate 6.69
Estimated Earned Income (f/m) 0.73
Tertiary Enrolment Ratio (f/m) 4.2
Women in Parliament (in %) 35
INDICES
Human Development Index 161/187
Social Institutions and Gender Index 73/86
Gender Inequality Index 161/186
Gender Equity Index 85/168
Women’s Economic Opportunity Index 102/128
Global Gender Gap Index 46/68
More information on variables

Social Institutions

Uganda gained independence from British colonial rule in 1962.[1] The country suffered considerably under the dictatorships of Idi Amin and then Milton Obote, partly as a result of conflict between government forces and rebel groups.[2] This conflict is ongoing in the northern part of the country, where the guerrilla Lord’s Resistance Army continues to terrorise the population.[3] Rates of HIV infection reached 30% in the 1990s, but have since been reduced to single figures thanks to a rigorous and effective prevention campaign.[4] Coffee is the country’s main export, although the discovery of oil and gas has raised hopes of future economic growth.[5] Uganda is classed as a low-income country by the World Bank.[6] The Constitution of Uganda includes anti-discriminatory provisions and condemns any custom that contradicts human rights.[7] But discrimination against women is rife and the situation of Ugandan women is further aggravated by deeply rooted patriarchal tradition and years of localized armed conflict. The government has enacted or is in the process of enacting several new laws to improve the situation of women, but their implementation has been obstructed. Uganda ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women in 1985, but has not yet ratified the Optional Protocol.[8] Uganda ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa in 2010.[9] In the 2011 Human Development Index, Uganda is ranked in 161st place (out of 187 countries with data), with a score of 0.446.[10] The country’s score under the Gender Inequality Index is 0.577 (116th place out of 146 countries).[11] Uganda is ranked in 29th place in the 2011 Global Gender Gap Index (out of a total of 135 countries), with a score of 0.7220, where 0 denotes inequality, and 1 denotes equality.[12]

Discriminatory Family Code

Note that at the time of review (March 2012) the Ugandan parliament was considering the Marriage and Divorce Bill which aims to reform and consolidate the law relating to marriage, separation and divorce; to provide for the types of recognized marriages in Uganda, marital rights and duties, recognition of cohabitation in relation to property rights, grounds for breakdown of marriage, rights of parties on dissolution of marriage; and related matters. The country’s many different religious communities are governed by different customary legal systems, which determine family law. Many of these discriminate against women, although civil law prevails where customary law violates Constitutional protections.[13] The government of Uganda has been debating a Domestic Relations Bill since 2003 that would reform and consolidate laws relating to marriage, separation, and divorce amongst its diverse religious and ethnic communities. In addition, the bill would criminalize customs of widow inheritance, marital rape, and the payment of bride price.[14] The minimum legal age of marriage is 18 years for both men and women.[15] A 2004 United Nations report estimated that 32% of girls between 15 and 19 years of age were married, divorced, separated or widowed.[16] By contrast, a 2006 Demographic and Health Survey reported the figure to be 22.5% (including unregistered unions)[17]; 15.9% of married women aged 15-49 were married by their 15th birthday.[18] Polygamy is legal in Uganda, according to customary and Islamic law, and will remain so should the Domestic Relations Bill pass.[19] Women currently have no legal course of action to prevent their husbands from taking another wife, although under the Domestic Relations Bill, a wife would be allowed to divorce her husband if he attempted to marry a new wife without her consent.[20]The 2006 DHS reported that 28% of married women were in polygamous relationships,[21] a number only slightly lower than that reported in the 1990s.[22] Although the 1996 law on the status of children stipulates that both parents are responsible for supporting their offspring, customary law holds that men retain sole parental authority in Uganda in the event of divorce.[23] The Constitution guarantees a woman’s equal rights within marriage, even in the event of a divorce, but the law currently does not enforce this right.[24] In addition, under customary law in some areas, women wishing to divorce on the grounds of their husband’s adultery are required to meet stricter evidentiary standards than men in the same position.[25] Customary law dictates that women do not have the right to inherit but the Marriage Code grants widows the right to inherit 15% of a deceased husband’s property.[26] According to data included in the 2006 DHS, and a recent World Bank report, nearly half of widows find themselves dispossessed of at least some property.[27] The Chronic Poverty Research Centre reports that 36.41% of widows inherited majority of assets after their spouses in 2006.[28] In addition, in some areas, widow inheritance is practised, whereby if a man dies, his brother can ‘inherit’ the man’s widow.[29] Under the pending Domestic Relations Bill, women’s rights to land and other types of property prior to, during, and following marriage would be protected. In addition, the Constitutional Court has declared provisions of the Succession Act (which governs inheritance in the event of a person dying intestate) as unconstitutional, and the government is currently considering amendments to the act to bring it into accordance with the law.[30]

Restricted Physical Integrity

In November 2009 Parliament passed the country’s first bill criminalizing domestic violence, but as of March 2010 the President had yet to give assent to the bill.[31] The bill provides a thorough definition of domestic violence that includes physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, psychological, and economic violence as well as harassment. In addition, the bill provides protection orders for abused women, which had not previously existed in Ugandan law.[32] Rape is a criminal offence in Uganda.[33] According to the US Department of State’s human rights report for 2010, the law is not effectively enforced; most rapes go unreported, and police lack the resources and capacity to investigate cases of rape.[34] Spousal rape is not currently recognised as a criminal offence, but the Domestic Violence Act and the draft Sexual Offences (Miscellaneous Amendments) bill of 2004 (both pending) recognize spousal rape as a crime and mandate imprisonment, fines, and compensation to the victim as punishment.[35] As of 2009, neither bill had been passed.[36]

Sexual harassment is a criminal offence, with penalties of up to 14 years’ imprisonment, but the law is not effectively enforced.[37] Domestic violence: nearly 60% of women have experienced some form of physical violence, and in more than 87% of cases, the perpetrator was a current or former husband or partner.[38] Domestic violence has wide social acceptance, even by women. The 2006 DHS gave men and women a list of five reasons why a man might be justified in beating his wife: 59.3% of the men and a full 70.2% of the women agreed with at least on reason.[39] Rape is very common in Uganda, and enforcement of existing laws is sporadic. In 2008 there were 1,536 cases reported to the police, which resulted in 241 court cases and only 52 convictions.[40] According to the 2006 DHS, 39% of women aged 15-49 reported having experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime.[41] The victim’s husband or partner was the perpetrator in more than 81% of these cases, reflecting a widely held belief that spousal rape is a husband’s prerogative.[42] That said, the 2006 DHS asked men and women when the wife would be justified in refusing sex to their husband; 60.3% of women and 63.3% of men agreed with all three reasons given. Surprisingly, 8.3 of women, but only 3.3% of men disagreed with all three reasons.[43]

According to the US Department of State, sexual harassment is considered to be a serious and widespread problem in Uganda in schools, universities, and workplaces.Investigations are ongoing into reports of sexual harassment by senior male police officers against female officers, by a senior male member of staff against female nurses at Nakaseke Hospital, and into allegations that female students are Makerere University were expected to provide sexual favours in return for good grades.[44] Rape and other forms of sexual violence has been an ongoing feature of the conflict in northern Uganda over the past two decades.[45] The Lord’s Resistance Army – also active in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, and Sudan – has made consistent use of rape, sexual mutilation, and the abduction of male and female children for sexual slavery.[46] In addition, according to the Uganda Human Rights Commission, the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, and the African Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims, there are cases of rape being used by security forces as a means of torture and intimidation.[47] Women of the Sabiny tribe (concentrated in the Kapchorwa district) are subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM), and the practice was outlawed there in 2006.[48] According to data from the 2006 DHS, 0.6% of women in Uganda have undergone FGM.[49] In 2009 the national Parliament passed a bill that prohibits and criminalizes the practice, with punishments of up to 10 years for persons who carry out FGM. The bill is awaiting the President’s assent.[50] Abortion is legal in cases where the woman’s mental or physical health is in danger.[51] There are no legal restrictions on women’s access to contraception, although provision of reproductive health services is inadequate, particularly in rural areas where there are few health clinics.[52] Contraceptive knowledge is nearly universal, and has steadily increased in recent years, likely as a result of the government’s campaign to limit the spread of HIV.[53] Usage rates for married women fall well behind sexually active unmarried women, however, which places them, and in particular women in polygamous or concurrent sexual relationships, at greater risk of contracting HIV.[54] Just under 18% of married women were using contraception at the time of the 2006 DHS, compared to almost 47% of sexually active unmarried women.[55] Moreover, of those 18%, nearly 58% end up discontinuing use in the first year.[56] The level of communication about contraception between couples is low: less than 45% of women reported speaking to their husbands about contraception, and 17% said that their husbands were not aware of the contraceptive use.[57] Overall, these low levels of contraceptive use translated into a high rate of unmet family planning needs. More than 40% of married women reported that they either wanted to limit the size of their family or increase the space of time between the births of their children, but were unable to do so.[58]

Son Bias

Of those children included in the 2006 DHS, 47% of girls under two had received all their vaccinations, as had 45.5% of boys.[59] Under-five mortality rates were higher for girls than for boys, as were rates of malnutrition.[60] This would not indicated any pronounced son bias in regard to early childhood care. According to the International Labour Organization, 2.7 million children are considered to be in employment in Uganda.[61] Gender-disaggregated data was unavailable regarding child labour. According to data from the 2006 DHS, 11.4% of women aged 20-24 questions for the survey had received no education at all, compared to 4.7% of men.[62] For the same age bracket, 7.9% of women had completed secondary school and / or continued onto tertiary-level education, compared to 9.8% of men.[63] This would indicate some preference towards sons in regard to access to education. The male/female sex ratio for the total population in 2012 is 1.01.[64] There is no evidence to suggest that Uganda is a country of concern in relation to missing women.

Restricted Resource and Entitlement

Discriminatory customary practices persist in regard to women’s land rights, despite the government’s recent adoption of a new land law designed to improve women’s access to land and grant them the right to manage their property.[65] As of 2000, only 7% of women owned land.[66] Decision-making powers, however, are typically granted to men and most female landowners have no power to administer their land holdings as the law did not include a co-ownership clause. Instead, it specifies a “caveat” indicating that a property is subject to consent before it can be sold or transferred.[67] Passage of the Domestic Relations Bill will change existing land laws significantly. The Constitution upholds women’s rights to have access to property other than land. Theoretically, women are free to administer their property without their husbands’ consent, but here too customary laws prevent women from exercising their rights.[68] Access to bank loans is difficult for women in Uganda. Discriminatory practices that prevent women from accessing land are a major obstacle as most commercial banks will not approve loans unless women hold title deeds as a guarantee.[69] The majority of employed women in Uganda, between 75 and 80%, work in the agricultural sector as unpaid subsistence laborers, and therefore cannot acquire the documentation or collateral necessary to obtain a bank loan. Even within this sector, women are relegated to growing food crops while men tend to cash-based crops.[70] Several NGOs operate micro-credit programmes that specifically target women.[71]

Restricted Civil Liberties

Uganda has rescinded the requirement that a woman receive written consent from her spouse prior to obtaining a passport.[72] There are no reported legal limitations on women’s freedom of movement, although on a day-to-day basis, women may have to seek permission from their husbands in order to travel: according to data from the 2006 DHS, 35.8% of married women who were interviewed reported that their husbands had the final say as to whether or not the wife could leave to visit family or relatives.[73] Freedom of speech, association and assembly are protected by law, but in practice, the government is increasingly intolerant of criticism, and NGOs and other groups face restrictions on their activities in the form of onerous registration requirements (although remain outspoken and critical of government policy).[74] There appears to be an active and engaged women’s rights movement in Uganda, working particularly on issues relating to violence against women, as well as pushing for legislative changes to protect women’s rights.[75] Women appear to have the same rights to vote and stand for election as men in Uganda.[76] In Uganda, 80 of the 333 seats in the national parliament are reserved for women, but in the February 2006 elections, an additional 22 women were elected to a total of 102 seats, or nearly 30%.[77] In addition, the government has mandated that women must serve on local councils, which share jurisdiction with magistrate courts on decisions pertaining to local customs. As a result, women now have a less costly alternative to the formal legal system to resolve disputes, and one where they believe that they can get a fairer hearing.[78] According to a 2007 Pew survey, 65% of respondents believed that men and women were equally capable as political leaders, while 27% thought that men were better than women.[79] Women are entitled to sixty work days of paid maternity leave at 100% of wages paid for by their employer, although leave can be extended in the event of illness of the mother or child. In addition, they are protected from unjust dismissal and guaranteed the right to return to their old jobs.[80] However, because the vast majority of employed women work in the informal sector, social security benefits do not apply to them.[81]

References

  1. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (2011) World Factbook: Uganda, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ug.html (accessed 13 November 2011)
  2. BBC (n.d.) ‘Uganda profile’, BBC news, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14107906 (accessed 13 November 2011)
  3. BBC (n.d.) ‘Uganda profile’, BBC news, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14107906 (accessed 13 November 2011)
  4. BBC (n.d.) ‘Uganda profile’, BBC news, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14107906 (accessed 13 November 2011)
  5. BBC (n.d.) ‘Uganda profile’, BBC news, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14107906 (accessed 13 November 2011); Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (2011) World Factbook: Uganda, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ug.html (accessed 13 November 2011)
  6. World Bank (n.d.) ‘Data: Uganda’, Washington, D.C., World Bank, http://data.worldbank.org/country/uganda (accessed 11 November 2011)
  7. Articles 21(1) and 33(6), Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995 in Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (2009), p. 13; Knox, A., N. Duvvury, and N. Milici (2007), Connecting Rights to Reality: A Progressive Framework of Core Legal Protections for Women’s Property Rights, International Center for Research on Women: Washington, DC., p. 2
  8. United Nations Treaty Collection (UNTC) (2011): Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women, countries ratified. - CEDAW: http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-8&chapter=4&lang=en (accessed 12 November 2011) - Optional Protocol: http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-8-b&chapter=4&lang=en (accessed 12 November 2011)
  9. African Union (2010) ‘List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa’ (as of 27 August 2010). http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/List/Protocol%20on%20the%20Rights%20of%20Women.pdf
  10. United Nations Development Programme (2011) Human Development Report 2011, available at http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf, accessed 29 February 2012. p.129
  11. United Nations Development Programme (2011) Human Development Report 2011, available at http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf, accessed 29 February 2012. p.141
  12. World Economic Forum (2011) The Global Gender Gap Report 2011, available at http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GenderGap_Report_2011.pdf, accessed 2 March 2012,p.10
  13. Knox, A., N. Duvvury, and N. Milici (2007), Connecting Rights to Reality: A Progressive Framework of Core Legal Protections for Women’s Property Rights, International Center for Research on Women: Washington, DC, pp. 2, 10.
  14. Draft of the Domestic Relations Bill, accessed 26 March 2010, available at http://www.kituochakatiba.co.ug/dorebil.pdf; CEDAW 2009, p. 15; von Struensee, V., (2008), p. 1-10.
  15. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (2000), Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: Uganda, Third Periodic Report of States Parties, CEDAW/C/UGA/3, CEDAW, New York, NY, p. 66.
  16. United Nations (UN) (2004), World Fertility Report 2003, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, New York, NY, p. 354.
  17. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, Table 7.1.
  18. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., Table 7.3.
  19. Part II, Article 10(b) of the Draft Domestic Relations Bill.
  20. Part X, Article 79(3) of the Draft Domestic Relations Bill.
  21. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., Table 7.2
  22. Struensee, V. von (2005), “The Contribution of Polygamy to Women’s Oppression and Impoverishment: An Argument for its Prohibition”, Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law, Murdoch, www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/MurUEJL/2005/2.html#fn100, Appendix I.
  23. Part II, Article 6 of the Children’s Act, adopted 1 August 1997 in CEDAW 2000, pp. 52, 68.
  24. Knox, A., N. Duvvury, and N. Milici (2007), Connecting Rights to Reality: A Progressive Framework of Core Legal Protections for Women’s Property Rights, International Center for Research on Women: Washington, DC, p. 5.
  25. US Department of State (2010), 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Uganda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154375.htm (accessed 12 November 2011)
  26. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (2000), Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: Uganda, Third Periodic Report of States Parties, CEDAW/C/UGA/3, CEDAW, New York, NY, pp. 69-70.
  27. UBOS and Macro International (2006)Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., Table 16.8; World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization, and International Fund for Agricultural Development (2009), Gender in Agriculture Sourcebook, The World bank, Washington, DC, p. 143.
  28. Chronic Poverty Research Centre (2011) Widowhood and asset inheritance in sub-Saharan Africa: empirical evidence from 15 countries, available at http://www.chronicpoverty.org/uploads/publication_files/WP183%20Peterman.pdf, accessed 7 March 2012., p.20
  29. US Department of State (2010), 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Uganda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154375.htm (accessed 12 November 2011)
  30. Part IX, Articles 64-72 of the Draft Domestic Relations Bill; CEDAW (2009), Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women: Uganda, Combined Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Periodic Report of States Parties, CEDAW/C/UGA/7, CEDAW, New York, NY, pp. 13, 16-17, 66.
  31. Malinga, J. and L. Ford (18 March 2010), “Ugandan domestic violence bill stalls,” The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/katine/2010/mar/18/uganda-domestic-violence-bill (accessed 26 March 2010).
  32. Report of the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the Domestic Violence Bill, 2009.
  33. US Department of State (2010), 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Uganda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154375.htm (accessed 12 November 2011)
  34. US Department of State (2010), 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Uganda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154375.htm (accessed 12 November 2011)
  35. CEDAW (2009), Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women: Uganda, Combined Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Periodic Report of States Parties, CEDAW/C/UGA/7, CEDAW, New York, NY, p. 16.
  36. CEDAW (2009), Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women: Uganda, Combined Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Periodic Report of States Parties, CEDAW/C/UGA/7, CEDAW, New York, NY, p. 16, p. 16
  37. US Department of State (2010), 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Uganda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154375.htm (accessed 12 November 2011)
  38. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., Tables 18.1 and 18.2.
  39. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., Table 15.6.1 and 15.6.2.
  40. US Department of State (2010), 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Uganda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154375.htm (accessed 12 November 2011)
  41. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., Table 18.4.
  42. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., Table 18.5.
  43. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., Tables 15.7.1 and 15.7.2.
  44. US Department of State (2010), 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Uganda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154375.htm (accessed 12 November 2011)
  45. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (2000), Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: Uganda, Third Periodic Report of States Parties, CEDAW/C/UGA/3, CEDAW, New York, NY., p. 28; Arrieff, Alexis (2009) ‘Sexual Violence in African Conflicts’, Washington, D.C., Congressional Research Service. http://www.stoprapenow.org/uploads/advocacyresources/1282163655.pdf, p.1
  46. Arrieff, Alexis (2009) ‘Sexual Violence in African Conflicts’, Washington, D.C., Congressional Research Service. http://www.stoprapenow.org/uploads/advocacyresources/1282163655.pdf, p.3
  47. US Department of State (2010), 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Uganda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154375.htm (accessed 12 November 2011)
  48. US Department of State (2010), 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Uganda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154375.htm (accessed 12 November 2011)
  49. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., table 10.3
  50. The Parliament of the Republic of Uganda (2009), Parliament Outlaws Female Genital Mutilation, accessed 26 March 2010.
  51. UN (2011) ‘World Abortion Policies 2011’, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, New York. http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/2011abortion/2011wallchart.pdf
  52. US Department of State (2010), 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Uganda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154375.htm (accessed 12 November 2011)
  53. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., Table 6.1.
  54. Struensee, V. von (2005), “The Contribution of Polygamy to Women’s Oppression and Impoverishment: An Argument for its Prohibition”, Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law, Murdoch, www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/MurUEJL/2005/2.html#fn100.
  55. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., Table 6.3.
  56. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., Table 6.12.
  57. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., Table 6.19 and 6.18.
  58. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., Table 8.3.
  59. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., Tables 13.11
  60. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., Tables 9.3 and 12.1
  61. Reported in Freedom House (2010) ‘Freedom in the World Country Reports: Uganda’, http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=22&year=2010&country=7940 (accessed 12 November 2011)
  62. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., Table 3.1
  63. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., Table 3.1
  64. Central Intelligence Agency (2012) The World Fact Book: Sex Ratio, available at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2018.html, accessed 9 March 2012.
  65. The Land (Amendment) Act of 2004.
  66. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (2000), Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: Uganda, Third Periodic Report of States Parties, CEDAW/C/UGA/3, CEDAW, New York, NY, p. 52, 57.
  67. Land (Amendment) Act of 2004; Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (2000), Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: Uganda, Third Periodic Report of States Parties, CEDAW/C/UGA/3, CEDAW, New York, NY, p. 56; CEDAW (2009), Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women: Uganda, Combined Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Periodic Report of States Parties, CEDAW/C/UGA/7, CEDAW, New York, NY, pp. 14-15
  68. Article 246 (4) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995 in, CEDAW (2009), Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women: Uganda, Combined Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Periodic Report of States Parties, CEDAW/C/UGA/7, CEDAW, New York, NY p. 14.
  69. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (2000), Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: Uganda, Third Periodic Report of States Parties, CEDAW/C/UGA/3, CEDAW, New York, NY, p. 52.
  70. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., Table 4.7.1;, CEDAW (2009), Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women: Uganda, Combined Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Periodic Report of States Parties, CEDAW/C/UGA/7, CEDAW, New York, NY. p. 40; Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (2000), Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: Uganda, Third Periodic Report of States Parties, CEDAW/C/UGA/3, CEDAW, New York, NY, p. 42, 57
  71. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (2000), Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: Uganda, Third Periodic Report of States Parties, CEDAW/C/UGA/3, CEDAW, New York, NY, p. 52, 58.
  72. CEDAW (2009), Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women: Uganda, Combined Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Periodic Report of States Parties, CEDAW/C/UGA/7, CEDAW, New York, NY, p. 36.
  73. Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and Macro International (2006), Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2006, UBOS and Macro International Inc., Calverton, Maryland, USA., table 15.4.1
  74. Freedom House (2010) ‘Freedom in the World Country Reports: Uganda’, http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=22&year=2010&country=7940 (accessed 12 November 2011)
  75. See US Department of State (2010), 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Uganda, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154375.htm (accessed 12 November 2011)
  76. See Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (2000), Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: Uganda, Third Periodic Report of States Parties, CEDAW/C/UGA/3, CEDAW, New York, NY, p.31
  77. Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) (2010), Women in Parliament: All Countries on National Parliaments, IPU: Geneva, http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm.
  78. World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization, and International Fund for Agricultural Development (2009), Gender in Agriculture Sourcebook, The World bank, Washington, DC, pp. 145-146, 151.
  79. Pew Research Center (2007), Global Attitudes Project: Spring 2007 Survey, Pew Research Center: Washington, DC., Question Q.43.
  80. International Labour Organization (ILO) (2009), Database of Conditions of Work and Employment Laws, ILO, Geneva, Switzerland, accessed 26 March 2010.
  81. CEDAW (2009), Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women: Uganda, Combined Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Periodic Report of States Parties, CEDAW/C/UGA/7, CEDAW, New York, NY, p. 40.

Women Activists

Women Activists in Uganda are expressing their disappointment about the increasing cases of violence against women and children. A campaign code named "Murder of Women campaign" has started with online interactions to brainstorm and exchange ideas on how best to intervene. Recently, Uganda has witnessed increased cases of men murdering their wives and child sacrifice. This campaign is the continuation of the recently concluded campaign of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence which was from 25th November to 10th December 2008. The campaign is being spearheading by FIDA-Uganda and meetings are underway to come out with the practical solutions.

In all this, what is hurting is that it is no ones business. It like let women be butchered! After all its their mistakes. No one has come out to condemn even the legislators have kept quiet about it and some of the perpetrators walk scot-free. This impunity must stop.

One of the organisers at FIDA-Uganda had this to say , we shall hold a meeting at the end of the month, the situation is getting worse- and this is countrywide. The impunity with which communities are acting is unbelievable- this is because there is no form of accountability whatsoever- the justice system has become compromised and the community members and leaders themselves are responsible for the violence against women.
Several strategies have been proposed and below is a suggestion from one of the contributors
We need to pressure for an Official Statement from Government about the Murder of women. I think this year women's day should be a day of “Mourning"! We need to change and Stop using development/academic terminologies like "Gender Violence" which desensitize people and call it what it is - “Murder of Women in Uganda"! A propaganda war is as important as a practical one!

Reported Cases of Violence Against Women between November and December 2008

  • The New vision of 3rd Dec ‘2008 reported on page 3 that; a 65 year old Yusufu Sokolo of Namutya Busana sub-county, Kayunga district was sentenced to life imprisonment for hacking his wife to death after being denied sex.
  • New Vision of 16th Dec’2008 in the front page, a 37 year old man killed his wife by smashing a bottle on her head because she refused him to read a text message on her mobile phone. He was arrested and charged with murder.
  • Monitor of 13th Dec ‘2008 on page 4 the Member of Parliament of Arua municipality, Akbar Hussien Godi arrested as a suspect in his wife’s brutal murder.
  • Monitor 22nd Nov’2008, on page 8, a 14 year old Ethiopian girl and pupil of Kampala primary school defiled on her way to school. She was arrested, charged with simple defilement and remanded in Naguru remand home while the defiler was set free on bail. Her community wanted to force her into early marriage but she refused leading to the rape.
  • New vision of 15th Dec 2008, a 26 year old Esther Ameso admitted in Soroti hospital after she was battered by her husband Juventine Emaju with a hoe handle and stabbed her several times with a kitchen knife. Ameso who is a mother of five children is unable to dress or feed herself. Her husband is currently on the run.
  • New vision of 14th Dec’2008 on the front page; three women killed in five days. A drunken man called Kasssim Ulekua punched and killed his wife in a domestic quarrel in Lefori sub-county Moyo district. He is currently on the run.
  • In the same paper, a 29 year old Asian man of Indian origin, Patel Alpesh Kumar Mahendrabai charged with the murder of his wife, Krishna Patel in Buwenge Eastern Uganda.
  • Monitor of 13th Dec ‘2008 on page 30 reported that Inzikuru’s husband was arrested and detained at police for assaulting her and threatening violence.
  • The Red Pepper dated Monday 3rd November 2008 at page 4 in Wankulukuku, Rubaga Division, dad remanded over defilement of 10 year old daughter and at page 5 of the same paper 50 year old man arrested for defiling 2 year old child in Mukono District.
  • The Red Pepper dated Friday 7th November 2008 at page 5 in Ntinda, Nakawa Division a man is nabbed for incest and at page 6 of the same paper in Busia headmaster ballons a p.6 pupil aged 15 from his office.
  • The Red Pepper dated Monday 10th November 2008 at page 6 in Mbarara a man is jailed for defiling a 7 year old child.
  • The Red Pepper dated Wednesday 3rd December 2008 at page 5 in Kawempe a top city hajji defiles student aged 14 years and at page 6 in Mityana tycoon sacrifices own child for riches while at page 7 pupil aged 11 years is gang raped, strangled dead in Kinoni village Rakai District.
  • The Red Pepper dated Monday 15th December 2008 at page 7 in Kasese 2 girls are kidnapped while a witch doctor aged 42 defiles a child in Mukono District and at page 8 a man kills a 5 months old baby in Masaka district, Butenga sub county

The Africa for Women's Rights Campaign

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Key facts

  • CEDAW: ratified in 1985
  • CEDAW Protocol: not ratified
  • Maputo Protocol: signed in 2003

The Campaign

On 8 March 2009 the "Africa for Women's Rights" Campaign was launched at the initiative of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), in collaboration with fove non-governmental regional organisations: the African Center for Democracy and Human Rights Studies(ACDHRS), Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), Women’s Aid Collective (WACOL), Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF) and Women and Law in Southern Africa (WLSA). These organisations make up the Steering Committee responsible for the coordination of the Campaign.

The Campaign aims to put an end to discrimination and violence against women in Africa, calling on states to ratify international and regional instruments protecting women's rights, to repeal all discriminatory laws, to adopt laws protecting the rights of women and to take all necessary measures to wensure their effective implementation.

Country Focus: Uganda

Although Uganda ratified the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1985, it is yet to ratify its Optional Protocol and has not ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol).

The Coalition of the Campaign is particularly concerned about the following continued violations of women’s human rights in Uganda: persistent discriminatory laws and customs; physical violence; unequal access to property; and limited access to justice.

Read more

Sources


The Women, Business and the Law

Where are laws equal for men and women? 

The Women, Business and the Law report presents indicators based on laws and regulations affecting women's prospects as entrepreneurs and employees. Several of these indicators draw on the Gender Law Library, a collection of over 2,000 legal provisions impacting women's economic status. This report does not seek to judge or rank countries, but to provide information to inform discussions about women’s economic rights. Women, Business and the Law provides data covering 6 areas: accessing institutions,using property, getting a job, providing incentives to work, building credit, and going to court. Read more about the methodology.

For detailed information on Uganda, please visit the Women, Business and
the Law Uganda
page.

Sources


The FAO Gender and Land Rights Database

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The FAO Gender and Land Rights Database contains country level information on social, economic, political and cultural issues related to the gender inequalities embedded in those rights. Disparity on land access is one of the major causes for social and gender inequalities in rural areas, and it jeopardizes, as a consequence, rural food security as well as the wellbeing of individuals and families.

Six categories

The Database offers information on the 6 following Categories:

  • National legal frame
  • International treaties and conventions
  • Customary law 
  • Land tenure and related Institutions
  • Civil society organizations
  • Selected Land Related Statistics

For detailed information on Uganda, please visit the report on Uganda in the FAO Gender and Land Rights Database.

Sources

External Links

Case Studies

  • Working at the local level in Uganda (This case study was featured in Issues Brief 5 on Managing for Development Results (MfDR), published by the OECD DAC Network on Gender Equality in 2009).

Article Information
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