Using the Pulpit to Uphold Gender Justice

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Clergymen Rollout Intensified Campaign against Domestic Violence and Gender Discrimination in the Country

By David K. Nsubuga

The Clergy after their meeting

The Christian faith-based alliance of Uganda Joint Christian Council-UJCC has embarked on a campaign against gender based violence and discrimination among communities in Uganda.

The alliance that brings together Catholic, orthodox and Anglican faiths is committed to have the clergymen in the respective churches, becoming the principle ambassadors of the campaign that was launched on Monday after a-four-day seminar organized in Masaka district.

Ms. Gider Nalubega, the Deputy Executive Secretary at UJCC, said the campaign is in response to the baseline survey conducted in the selected sample areas of Western, Eastern and Northern Uganda between the months of February to July, in which they established that gender violence based was a big problem in most communities.

She explained that besides communities with strong cultural attachment to Female Genital Mutilation, other forms of violence and discrimination based on gender are practiced across the country.

The survey hinted that 64% of women in Uganda are silent victims of physical violence, of which more than half sustain injuries and other emotional effects.

“The council brings on board a number of issues relating to peace, justice and human rights but specifically why we are coming up with this program is to address the subject of gender justice and gender based discrimination that has seemingly appeared so complex to many people,” she said.

She explained the lack of public awareness on the subject as being interpreted on the many occurrences of violence at family levels on the children and their mothers and that the parents are almost losing their role in terms of proper parenting.

She noted that the campaign strategy will see clergymen amplify their prophetic voices to make sure that they speak to their respective followers, to resist violence within their homes and hence in the communities with the aim of reducing it by 95% before 2017.

“We thought this is the right timing to make sure that we add onto the voices of other advocates to come up with solutions to this problem that is commonly affecting our people,” she noted, adding that there was some kind of silence on issues of violence in the religious arenas.

“But we now expect the clergy to use the pulpits and address issues of violence and issues to do with HIV/AIDS because most times, the two move simultaneously,” she noted.

Besides, Ms. Dinah Akallo, the UJCC Gender Officer observed a wider gender imbalance in the several domains making up in the Ugandan society. “There are only 20% females employed in the formal sector of which those are also occupying low positions,’ she noted, arguing that the campaign intends to encourage women to participate equally in all stages of development.

However, the Bishop of Masaka Catholic Diocese who closed the training urged the trainees to refocus their efforts on building and strengthening responsible and religious family units as a proper way of ridding all the injustices in the community.

Edited by Almeidah Karemani

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