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Education, wealth will free women – Museveni

President Museveni on Monday listed five points that have to be implemented to end violence against women and girls.

The President named ideology, education, economic empowerment, legislation and awareness as the major issues activists must deal with first to combat violence against women.

“Why should a person attack a woman? It is because of the wrong beliefs. These wrong beliefs are sometimes rooted in culture; the old culture, which was degrading women,” President Museveni said.

The President was speaking at the annual general meeting of the sixth Kigali International Conference Declaration (KICD) in Kampala.
The meeting aimed at emphasising the role of security agencies in combating violence against women and girls. Statistics show that violence against women in the country is on the rise despite tough laws.

The Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, was elected chair of KICD, replacing the Algerian police chief, Mr Ferragh Ali.
President Museveni said in many African communities, there are beliefs that women must be beaten to behave properly. “That is the first thing you must deal with through sensitisation. It isn’t just the policing, but also attacking the wrong thinking. It can be done by the ministry through sensitisation,” President Museveni said.
He said cultural advancement through education is important in saving women from oppression.

“It is easy to oppress uneducated women, but it is difficult to oppress an educated woman that is why we rolled out education for all…especially for the girl-child,” he said.

He said violence against women is linked to disempowerment.
This, he said, can be stopped by empowering women economically.
“If a woman owns a business company,… she can sack you. This beating is a reflection of disempowerment. When a person is down, no money, no alternative in life that is when she can be beaten by stupid people,” he said.

He said talking and passing resolutions aren’t enough in protecting women from violence; they need to have policies on women economic empowerment.

After dealing with the three things, he said, they can then bring in legislation.

“In the case of Uganda, we legislated long ago that women shouldn’t be beaten, but they are still being beaten. Why? Because legislation alone cannot deal with the problem without dealing with the other three (above),” he said.

He said many female victims of violence fear to report because the men who beat them are the ones who feed them and they have no other means of living. Mr Museveni said awareness rising can be used to reach out to people who may be ignorant of the legislation.

Way forward

The President listed ideology, education, economic empowerment, legislation and awareness as the major issues activists must deal with first to combat violence against women.

Intervention. The President said cultural advancement through education is important in saving women from oppression, adding that it is easier to oppress an uneducated woman as opposed to her educated counterpart
Obstacle. The President said many female victims of violence fear to report because the men who beat them are the ones who feed them.

©Alleastafrica and Daily Monitor

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