Guests during the radio talk show on Step FM

The 25th of November marks the first day of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign that aims to challenge violence against women and girls. This global campaign brings together all women’s rights organizations, activists that come together to use their voices and various spaces to advocate for an end to gender-based violence.  In light of 16 Days of Activism, Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum organised and held a radio talk show on Step FM Radio in Mbale district. The radio talk show had three guests; SR Lillian Enwaku Anasho GBV focal person, Miss  Nekesa Harriet, and Miss Norah Nakyegera advocacy and campaign officer at UYAHF.

The guests shared with the listeners about the 16 Days of Activism. The guests shared the history and context of this global movement, key days such as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women and Human rights day, and spoke on the impact of violence against women and girls. Impact, they discussed, ranges from immediate to long-term multiple physicals, sexual and mental consequences for women and girls, including death. It negatively affects women’s general well-being and prevents women from fully participating in society. Violence not only has negative consequences for women but also their families, the community, and the country at large.

SR Lillian Enwaku Anasho, a GBV focal person, highlighted some of the challenges that young people face in their communities such as the lack of access to correct information to guide their decision making, limited safe spaces where young people can engage with each other about their health and lives, lack of enough good role models, lack of inclusive programs for marginalized youth like young people with disabilities, young mothers and fathers among others.

Norah Nakyegera from UYAHF shared some solutions to address these challenges such as; having meaningful youth engagement (because it leads to long-term capacity strengthening among young people), improving family planning and sexual health outcomes, and impacting broader civil society. One key point she highlighted was that young people must be involved to improve the quality and responsiveness of health programs.

The final minutes were set aside to enable guests to interact with their listeners to either make their submissions and ask questions about the talk show discussions. The majority of callers appreciated the guests for speaking and having such informative and sensitive conversations. It was concluded that we must break the barriers that prevent young people from freely opening up about the different issues that they face in their communities. Most especially concerning sexual reproductive health and access to services that may prevent them from going through unwanted pregnancies and HIV/AIDS.