Ntinda, Kampala – Since the government imposed the second COVID-19 lockdown on June 18th, 2021, social injustices have been on the rise among communities across Uganda.
Incidenced of domestic violence like the man who set his wife and three children ablaze in their house in Rubanda district, teenage pregnancies, Female Genital Mutilation and several other injustices continue to rise.
UGANET recognizes that there’s an urgent need to combat this vices- and this calls for the government to increase its partnerships with Civil Society organizations (CSOs) so that they can effectively fight these social injustices in the communities.
“This is the time when government should embrace partnerships with NGOs and work directly with them. We have had challenges in some districts which don’t respond well to CSOs. CSOs are only looked at for monetary benefits,” says Grace Nayiga, the Head of Legal Aid and Community Justice at UGANET.
“The government needs to strengthen its local government structures, the local councils need to be more empowered to make sure these issues are being followed and taken care of,” she adds.
The lockdown, though intended for good, poses a risk to vulnerable women and girls who have their rights violated by perpetrators of these crimes.
This is the time when has been an increase in teenage pregnancies and early marriages, gender based violence and female genital mutilation.
It is easier for the government to overlook the efforts aimed at fighting social injustices even as it focuses on fighting the pandemic. There is a need for stronger partnerships between the government and CSOs to ensure the progress made towards fighting these injustices is not lost.
“We can devise new and safer means of working but make sure we are working. If it requires having phone calls, online meetings with partners, let’s make sure everyone is awake and ready to fight for the vulnerable,” Nayiga says.
It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that the wellbeing of women and young girls is secured so that they can live better lives.