Government pledges to enact tougher legislation to curtail sexual offenses
The government is in the process of enacting tougher legislation to curb sexual offenses in the country, the government Chief Whip Thomas Tayebwa has said.
While speaking in Parliament in a meeting with the Women in Development fraternity from the Lango sub-region on Thursday, Tayebwa noted that the new law will be jointly considered with the ongoing bail reforms that the government is currently reviewing.
He explained that the government has considered toughening legislation on Bail because offenders are exploiting some loopholes to continuously assault young girls, and that they are determined to end SGBV and government now seeks support from lawmakers to support the reforms.
The chief whip also revealed that government would reign in on cultural norms that shield sexual offenders by introducing legislation.
The Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) expressed dissatisfaction with how the government has handled the high numbers of girls facing Female Genital Mutilation-FGM.
The MPs were addressing the press on Thursday in Parliament to mark the 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. They are also concerned about the increasing number of gender-based violence, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
Luwero District Woman MP also the Vice-chairperson of UWOPA Hon Brenda Nabukenya noted that they are going to use the 16 days to continue spreading awareness on FGM, but also involve men in the fight against Gender-based violence.
Ms Grace Namata from the Center for Domestic Violence Prevention noted that violence against the girl child is high at 59% for young females before 19 years and that child marriage is also high where 34% of women 20-24 years were married before the age of 18 years.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day. This year’s celebrations will be held in Oyam district.