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EU, UN, Government of Uganda hold spotlight District Inception Meetings in Eastern, WestNile, Northern and Western Uganda

By Monicah Aturinda, UN Resident Coordinator's Office (RCO)

“Spotlight should focus mostly on keeping girls in school so that they are not forced into cutting or other harmful practices such as early marriage,” said Ms. Dorcus Chalain, Vice Chairperson Amudat District.

“We have had many beautiful programmes here in Amudat, but if we want to see change in this community, we need to deliberately choose to keep children in school and teach them the dangers of such harmful practices so that they can protect themselves,” she added.

Ms. Chalain said this during inception meeting for the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative District Inception Meeting which took place on 16 September 2019 at Amudat District headquarters. The meeting was attended by representatives from sub-county, civil society partners, religious and cultural leaders, media, police, government, United Nations and women representatives from local groups.
The district inception meetings aimed to create awareness and formally introduce the Spotlight Initiative to participating District Local Governments, other government partners, civil society organizations (CSOs), representatives of local women’s groups, and the community at large.

While addressing participants at the meeting in Amudat District, Mr. Patrick Okello, Commissioner Ministry of Local Government who spoke on behalf of the government, pledged government’s commitment to prevent and respond to violence against women and children and enhancing sexual and reproductive health.

“Government has made significant progress towards prevention and response to violence against women and children through strong legal and policy framework. Notable among these is Article 33 (4) of the 1995 Constitution, where the State commits to promote the rights to equal treatment of women and men,” said Mr. Patrick Okello Commissioner Ministry of Local Government,”

Through this Initiative, the Government of Uganda, the United Nations, and the European Union are demonstrating collective commitment to achieving a society where women and girls are free from violence and abuse.

“We hope that this initiative will be catalytic in combating violence against women and children; and the targets and multi-sectoral strategies become embedded in the forthcoming National Development Plan III and in this district’s development plans and budgets,” said Ms. Rebecca Kwagala, UN Area Coordinator Alternate for Eastern Uganda.

The EU-UN Spotlight Initiative District Inception Meeting were held between 16-20 September 2019, in five districts of Amudat, Arua, Kitgum, Kyegegwa, and Tororo.

For us to empower a woman, we have to economically empower them so they can be able to support their families and ensure that their children especially girls – Logwee Alfred Chief Administrative Officer, Amudat District.

To address the issue of violence against women and children in Uganda, the Government of Uganda (GOU), European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN) in Uganda, civil society, the private sector, and other partners have embarked on a multi-year programme – the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative to Eliminate Violence Against Women and Girls, including Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Harmful Practices, in Uganda.

UN Agencies in Uganda