When you talk about violence in society, you get a stare that could be interpreted as what-you-are-saying-is-from-mars. Such silence is what has perpetuated violence in societies world over, Uganda inclusive. "Look at the face of the person seated next to you. They all look innocent. But one in every three women in Uganda experience violence on a daily basis?" explained Ugandan Parliamentarian Nabilah Sempala. She was the chief walker at a march organized by Oxfam GB Uganda to demonstrate against domestic violence.
I joined 100 demonstrators from other organizations that were marching against domestic violence on 6th March 2009. The event brought together staff from NGOs and local communities to a common voice, reflect on achievements, challenges, honour women and their actions, commit to Zero tolerance to violence against women in their families, places of work and communities they serve.
"It starts with you. There is no legislator who will enter your home to stop you from beating your spouse. You have to commit not to beat your spouse. If people realize that, then violence will be history," Nabilah explained.
After the march, there was a lively discussion in regard to this years international women's day theme, Men and Women United to Prevent violence against women.
Participants noted that culture and to some extent religion plays a role in perpetuating violence against women.
Some cultures still practice Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) while in others rape is acceptable.
The Uganda Parliament has agreed to table the Domestic relations Bill and Domestic Violence bill this month (March). I will keep you posted.