Just like in many African countries, domestic violence in Uganda is a problem. According to the UN, the Uganda Police Force’s annual crime report stated that gender-based violence cases that were reported and investigated increased by 4% between 2015 and 2016.
In Uganda, there is a deep cultural belief that it is socially acceptable to hit a woman to discipline her. In fact, a woman can be beaten for burning the food while cooking.
In May 2017, 23 women were killed under mysterious and gruesome circumstances and their bodies dumped by the roadsides in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. As a result of this, many people are rising against the surge of violence against women and one of the people championing this movement is a man.
Francis Ogweng is an assistant superintendent in the Uganda Police Force, who grew up seeing his father abuse his mother and he is trying to change the narrative by advocating against gender based violence in his country. He organized a march, where men carried babies on their backs with pots and firewood on their heads, as they walked a mile.
According to him, he wants to change the perception of what it means to be a man by making his officers walk in women’s shoes. He also meets with men and educates them on the dangers of abusing women and girls. He urges them to protect women rather than violate them.
“If I can get one or two men who can listen to me and they change their behaviors towards women and girls… to me, that is what that matters. With time, they will realise the benefit of being equal,” he said.
Watch the video here
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