2020 kicked off on a high note as it marked the start of the new decade, with so much happening within the first few days. But perhaps the most trending and most talked about topic was the series of rape cases and accusations that were happening on Ugandan social media. It all begun with one brave girl taking to social media to tell the world about her ordeal at the hands of her assailant. This story was so shocking and it awoke the other silent and scared victims of this endorsed and condoned rape culture.

This led to a number of CSOs including UYAHF, ActionAid Uganda to mention but a few and parliamentarians rising up to start the MY BODY MY CONSENT campaign which seeks to get as many victims of rape on record and pursue their cases in court in a bid to get justice for these violated women.

Participants giving recommendations during the discussion

In the spirit of solidarity and a search for wellbeing of women and girls, UYAHF at the Youth Hub had an activity under the theme “Ending Rape Culture In Our Universities” on the 24th of January. This activity was attended by a number of young people consisting of fifteen females and seven males. The key guest speaker was Kirabo Marion, the gender minister at Makerere University. She gave a brief about the current standing of rape culture and consent in universities and the country at large and she quoted some statistics on rape from the Uganda police crime report 2018 with 16320 cases of rape reported with only 399 taken to court. She attributed this to the normalised culture that seeks to shame victims for coming up to speak against their perpetrators. She also pointed out that the society often asks the victims what they were wearing or why they were walking in a certain area rather than putting the rapists to book, she further stressed that this is all because the society tends to look at men as week and uncontrollable when It comes to sex and consent thus sexualising women’s bodies.

The activity ended with a brief Q and A session with the participants asking and giving some recommendations about the way forward and how we can all work together towards ending rape culture. Perhaps the most solid recommendation to involve men and boys in changing this status quo.

Compiled by UYAHF Comms team.