Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) led by Uganda Network on Law, Ethics and HIV/AIDS (UGANET) have called for implementation of legislations that protect the rights of women and girls in the country.

Speaking ahead of the Women’s Day celebrations, Akito Tracy Aloka, a legal associate at UGANET said women and girls hold a vital role in addressing the challenges of discrimination, embracing technology and therefore they should be prioritized since they are at the centre of gender equality and equity.

Akito Tracy Aloka speaking to the press

Women’s day celebrations come at a time when the president had just reopened the economy following two years of closure. The closure peddled at curbing the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

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According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), during the pandemic, Uganda registered over 100,000 teenage pregnancies. According to 2020 Police report, country registered high cases of defilement, Gender Based Violence and murder arising from domestic violence.

“The alarming cases of teenage pregnancies alluded to the two years lockdown which kept school going children at home and the SRHR services were not accessible. We therefore call for rolling out of sexuality education in schools for children to know what to do in case of any need,” said Krais Mubiru, the Executive director of Uganda Young Positives.

The organizations kick started women’s day celebrations with awareness campaigns at the various Roundabouts at Mulago Usafi, and sundry. The activists carried placards bearing messages calling for respecting the rights of women and girls.

“Women and girls participation leads to effective Sexual reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) programs and polices since they are better placed to voice their needs, realities and opinions. They need to take-up spaces where decisions are being made,” said Akito.

She urged the government to decisively look at the reported cases of defilement GBV and ensure that perpetrators are brought to book.

Moses Nsubuga aka Super Charger, the head of JABASA said the government should avail opportunities for  men and women to work together and learn effective approaches to livelihood sustainability, men will come to see the value of women’s work and more importantly the value of women.