Uganda

Population size:

2019 - 44,269,594 [1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

Proportion of ever-partnered women aged 15-49 years experiencing intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence in the last 12 months: 30% [2]

In 2014, a total of 3,006 cases of domestic violence were investigated compared to 3,426 cases in 2013 giving a decrease of 12.2% [3]

No research on male victims or other gender identities.

Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

Estimate of the annual economic burden of domestic violence in Uganda = UGX 77.5 billion. This represents 0.25% of GDP in 2011. A recent study used well tested interpolation and statistical technics to monetize the cost of the response to Domestic Violence (DOMESTIC VIOLENCE) in Uganda: it estimated that health care providers spend about UGX 18.3 billion annually to deal with the effects of GBV, police UGX 19.5 billion while the local councils spend UGX 12.7 billion. This does not account for the loss of productivity or other longer-term impacts of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. (Uganda Case Study 2012-2017) (5). Total cost of service providers addressing = UGX 21.9 billion. About 9% of violent incidents forced women to lose time from paid work (approximately 11 days a year/half a month’s salary) [4]

Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

March 30 - April 28: 3,280 GBV cases reported to police. [5]

The Uganda police force, has recorded more than 3000 cases of domestic violence with 6 deaths in a space of one month of the lockdown. [6]


Current law and policy:

Uganda has demonstrated their commitment in combatting against Domestic Violence through the introduction of the Domestic Violence Act (2010). 

New laws protecting women from gender-based violence have been introduced over the past ten years. The Domestic Violence Act (2010) provides a comprehensive definition of domestic violence that includes physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, psychological and economic violence as well as harassment. In addition, the bill provides protection orders for abused women, which had not previously existed in Ugandan law. Rape is a criminal offence in Uganda under the Penal Code, which also prescribes the death penalty for those convicted of rape. Spousal rape is not addressed in the Penal Code. [7]


Uganda has not submitted a report to the CEDAW Committee regarding the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, since 2010. Uganda has not Signed or Ratified the Optional Protocol to the CEDAW (2002)

Dealing with gender inequalities in the economy and family; improving the health of women and girls; and encouraging bills by private Members to tackle sexual offences and amend discriminatory legislation: these were some of the priorities identified during a seminar on Uganda’s implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The focus of the seminar—organized by the Parliament of Uganda and the IPU and held from 14 to 15 June—was parliament’s role in the implementation of CEDAW. 

Uganda has not submitted a report to the CEDAW Committee concerning the status of its implementation of the Convention since 2010. As a result of the seminar, the Ministry of Gender committed to sending the country’s report to the Committee by the end of 2017, after consulting with Parliament. 


Participants discussed issues such as gender-based violence, equality in the law, girls’ right to education, the health of women and girls, and women’s economic empowerment. They highlighted priorities, including sexual and reproductive health education, policies on women’s ownership of land, and oversight of implementation of the country’s Domestic Violence Act. Ugandan MPs also called for ratification of the Optional Protocol to CEDAW, which would enable the CEDAW Committee to receive individual complaints on breaches to the Convention. [8]


Ahead of the 2019 Nairobi ICPD25 Summit, Uganda announces its commitment to eliminate all forms of Gender-Based Violence.  At this historic “Nairobi Summit on ICPD25: Accelerating the Promise”, Uganda makes the following commitments: 

…3. Uganda stands firm on eliminating obstacles that stand in the way of girls’ empowerment including teenage pregnancy and child marriage, as well as all forms of Gender Based Violence. We continue to embark on educational reforms aimed at ensuring that girls enrol and stay in school, as well as scale-up investments in technical and vocational education to create employable skills and competencies relevant to the labour market. [9]


In June 2019, the government of Uganda submitted a National Report on Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Uganda pledges to continue its efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence cases, through employing a multi-sectoral approach with various entities/organisations/institutions. Also, by generating evidence through surveys, gender-based violence studies, mechanisms to report violence against women and girls and managing the National GBV database. In line with SDG5.2 government prioritised interventions to eliminate violence against women and girls. The government continued to enforce the Domestic Violence Act,2010; the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, 2010; the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act (2009); Sexual Harassment Regulations, 2012 and amended the Children Act, 2016. The National Policy and Action Plan on Elimination of Gender-Based Violence in 2016 were developed to guide stakeholders in the country to improve and expand programs to prevent and respond to all forms of gender-based violence.


To prevent and respond to GBV Cases, the government employed a multi-sectoral approach among government entities, civil society organisations, religious institutions and institutions of traditional leaders. Services to prevent and respond to GBV were provided by the government and private health centres, CSOs, the Judiciary, Police and District Local Governments among others. The male engagement was prioritised in all interventions. Multi-media approach was used to mobilise communities against social norms that lead to violence against women and girls.


The government continued to generate evidence through surveys such as Uganda Demographic Health Surveys (UDHS), household surveys, panel surveys and GBV specific studies which generated data for programming The government put in place mechanisms to report violence against women and girls. The National GBV database which was established in 2015 is used to collect, store and generate reports on GBV in real-time. The Uganda Child Help Line (SAUTI 116) was established to receive cases of child abuse and offered referral services. [10]

Public spending - Estimated costs borne by public providers of UGX 56 billion (i.e. health facilities, police, and judiciaries) is about 0.75% of Uganda’s national budget in 2010/11 (UGX 7,376 billion).[11] Annual cost for hospital staff treating women for intimate partner violence-related injuries is US$1.2 million" [12]

2018: The cost of violence to GDP greatly exceeds the cost of prevention and intervention. For example, in Uganda, implementing the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act of 2010 for both prevention and response was slated at just over US$ 8 million over three years while the cost of violence occurring was estimated at US$ 30.7 million for just one year. [13]


Frontline Services:

 

Sources


[1] The World Bank, (1).

[2] UN Women, “Global Database on Violence Against Women – Uganda”, (evaw-global-database.unwomen.org)

[3] Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, “The National Policy on Elimination of Gender Based Violence in Uganda” (August 2016)

[4] UN Women, “The economic costs of violence against women” (21 September 2016)

[5] Xinhua, “Domestic Violence against women increases in Uganda amid COVID-19: minister” (28 April 2020)

[6] CEDOVIP

[7] OECD Development Centre, “Uganda SIGI Country Report” (OECD 2015) ; FIDH, “Women‘s Rights in Uganda: Gaps between Policy and Practice” https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/uganda582afinal.pdf ; Uganda Legal Information Institute (ULII), “Domestic Violence Act, 2010” (9 April 2010) https://ulii.org/ug/legislation/act/2015/3-9

[8] Inter-Parliamentary Union, “Implementing CEDAW in Uganda”

[9] Nairobi Summit ICPD, “Statement From the Republic of Uganda at the 2019 Nairobi ICPD25 Summit” (31 October 2019) ; UNFPA,“The Report on the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25” <https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/Corrected_Final_copy_2nd_June_2020_UNFPA-NairobiSummitReport.pdf>

[10] The Republic of Uganda, “National Report on Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action” (June 2019)

[11] CEDOVIP

[12] UN Women, “Understanding the Costs of Violence against Women”

[13] OCHA, “Counting the Cost: The Price Society Pays for Violence Against Women” (26 March 2018)