Today the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD), Nnamala Mary and Simon Kakeeto have dragged the Government of Uganda to the Constitutional Court for failing to put in place shelters for women who have been raped or defiled.
CEHURD also challenges the unequal punishments that the law provides for sexual offenders as being unjust.
CEHURD urges that women who survive sexual violence need safe spaces, shelters and refuge as the Constitution mandates the State to put in place facilities to enhance the welfare of women to enable them to realize their full potential and advancement.
They say that it is their contention that failure by government to construct and finance these shelters is a clear violation of women’s rights guaranteed under article 33(2) of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda
On the other hand CEHURD says that men charged with rape are liable to suffer a maximum penalty of death whereas the law provides for the offense of ‘defilement’ for persons between the ages of 14-17 and sexual offenders against girls of that category are only given a few years of a jail term and that this has an effect of increasing sexual violence against girls in that particular age group.
According to the Uganda Demographic Health Survey of 2016, 1 in 5 women have suffered sexual violence in Uganda. Uganda Police has also released the Annual Crime Report of 2017 where defilement was rated the 3rd leading crime in the country with 14,985 cases reported and police recorded 1,335 rape cases. It is important to note that in cases of sexual violence, many women do not report due to fear, stigma and the trauma that is associated with the offences. The police reports are just a tip of the ice bag of the magnitude of the violence that women face on a daily basis in this country.
Source: www.mknewslink.com a greater western Uganda news website