Museveni: It’s Coward Men that Beat Up Women

President Yoweri Museveni signs off on a dummy policy booklet during the launch of the National Policy on Elimination of Gender Based Violence at Imperial Royale Hotel on Friday

President Yoweri Museveni has said that the persistent vice of gender based violence in Uganda cannot be wiped out without addressing the issue of economic disempowerment among women.

According to the President, website like this women in rural areas are dependent on their husbands for financial demands and find it difficult to expose them for fear of reprisal.

“The issue of women being beaten by their spouses is caused by economic disempowerment tied with traditional customs, ” Museveni told a gathering during the launch of the National Policy on elimination of gender based violence on Friday at Imperial Royale Hotel.

The policy aims at reducing the prevalence, promote care for victims and act as a framework for ending impunity relating to gender based violence.

In order to reduce the prevalence of this kind of violence, Museveni noted that government must put more money into programs that are targeting to increase youths and women’s income.

“We have already established the Women’s fund and Youth fund. However, we need to increase the money and also deal with issues of property inheritance which have fueled this violence,” he remarked, calling men who batter their wives ‘cowards’.

“What is the logic in an adult beating up another adult? Such men are cowards. If you wanted to fight then it should be a fair fight with another man.”

By choosing to give girls preferential treatment at tertiary level of education, he said, this was a deliberate effort by the NRM government to stop the ‘oppression’ by previous regimes of women.

“Marriages must not be units of desperation but rather love. In fact you would compare the situation of these women to institutionalized prostitution. They have become too desperate that they have no choice but stick in these marriages.”

Friday’s launch was attended by diplomats, Ministers, Members of Parliament, development partners, civil society and women’s rights activists.

The ceremony marked the beginning of 16 days of activism against gender based violence globally.

Museveni also challenged the proponents of the new policy to analyze it more critically and enrich it with solutions that are relevant to Uganda.

Rosa Malango the UN Representative to Uganda challenged government to support the implementation of the policy, adding that gender based violence is a threat to peace and human rights. “No nation is safe until all women are safe,” Malango noted.


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