|Overview : |
Violence against women and children are seen as persistence forms of the human rights violations globally. These pose a threat to the achievement of SDGs and Vision 2040 for Uganda. In efforts to address this, European Union (EU) has partnered and funded UN agencies, government, Civil society, Private Sector and other stakeholders, to implement the multiyear Spotlight Initiative to Eliminate Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), including Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGVB) and Harmful Practices (HP). The Spotlight Initiative aims to address the prevalent problem of increased violence against women and girls and harmful practices. For UN agencies, the Spotlight initiative is linked to the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and addresses the National Development Plan (NDPII) priorities.
The programme has six pillars/outcomes:
- Enhanced legislative and policy framework;
- Strengthened institutions;
- Prevention and social norm change;
- Quality survivor services and ending impunity for VAWG, including SGBV and HP;
- Improved data availability and capacities; and
- Strengthened women’s movement and civil society engagement.
Under spotlight, UNDP is mandated to deliver Pillar 2 on Strengthened Institutions that intends to build the capacities of National and subnational systems institutions to plan, budget and deliver evidence based programmes that prevent and will Eliminate Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and eliminate Harmful Practices (HP). One of the main capacity building interventions under this outcome is to review, design and institutionalise a gender sensitive curriculum for the in-service and preservice trainings that integrates VAWG/HP and SRHR.
The Spotlight Initiative takes on whole of UN, whole of government and whole of society approach to address VAW and VAC. It involves UN agencies including the Resident Coordinator’s Office, UN Women, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNDP, UNHCR, IOM, OHCHR, and Pulse Lab’; Selected Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs); District Local Governments (DLGs) CSOs; Private Sector and Academia. The selected MDAs include: Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development; Ministry of Justice and JLOS Secretariat; Ministry of Local Government; Judiciary; Uganda Human Rights Commission; Office of the Prime Minister; Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives; Ministry of ICT and National Guidance; Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development; Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) and Ministry of Public Service.
The selected DLGs are: Arua, Amudat, Kampala, Kasese, Kitgum, Kyegegwa, Tororo;
As part of UNDP interventions in the Spotlight Initiative to Strengthen Institutions, focus has been put be on review and development of the curriculum of selected training institutions to integrate elements of VAWG, including SGVB/HP.
Uganda is a signatory to various international and regional instruments that promote gender equality. These instruments recognise violence against women and children as a form of discrimination and oblige states to protect, respect and attain highest standards for Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights. These include: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; The Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)- 1992; the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action -1995; The Declaration on Elimination of Violence Against Women (DEVAW)-1993; Africa Agenda 2063; UN Security Council Resolution (UN SCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security; UN SCR 1820 on Sexual Violence in Situations of Armed Conflict; among others.
At the national level, there is an enabling environment through laws, policies and institutions to promote gender equity and women empowerment, address GBV and VAC. These include: The Uganda Constitution (1995); The Uganda Vision 2040; National Development Plan II; Gender Policy 1997; National Policy on the Elimination of GBV (2016) and its Action Plan; The National Male Engagement Strategy (2017);Domestic Violence Act 2010; Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act 2010; the amended Penal Code Act Cap 120; The Children’s (Amended) Act 2016; The Child Policy and implementation plan; The Public Finance Management Act (2015) that requires Sectors, MDAs and Local Governments to have gender and equity responsive budgets and policies. The Institutions in place include the Uganda Human Rights Commission; Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs; Uganda Law Reform Commission and Parliament. There is also a presence of Frameworks for institutions to prioritise and implement programmes like the Social Development Sector Plan; The gender and equity budgeting for Sectors, MDAs and DLGs promotes inclusive and non-discriminative planning and budgeting among others.
In addition to setting up the policies and institutions, capacity building interventions are in place in various institutions (universities, colleges, institutes) that offer trainings in gender, gender mainstreaming, budgeting, programming, among other courses. These are also short and long term courses, hands-on trainings, induction programes, guidelines, training polic1es that support gender mainstreaming. Some of the training institutions include: Judicial Training Institute, Nsamizi Institute for Social Development, Police Training School, Law Development Centre, Civil Service College, Uganda Management Institute. Other training institutions will be added in the consultation processes of this exercise.
Uganda’s good policy and regulatory frameworks and the existing efforts to build capacities are commended. However, these y have not directly translated to addressing issues of Violence against Women and Girls, SRHR and HP. Evidence shows that 56% of women of 15-49 years still experience physical violence and 22% experienced sexual violence. The gender and equity budgeting reports show noticeable challenges for MDAs and DLGs to integrate and prioritise issues of gender and equity in plans and budgets at both national and sub national levels. The 2018 EOC Report showed overall national compliance with Gender and Equity requirements for FY 2018/2019 was 55% in MDAs and 43% compliance in DLGs. The compliance statistics in the Spotlight target Districts indicate Arua with 55%; Amudat 37%; Kasese 25%; Kitgum 34%; Kyegegwa 60% and Tororo 55%.
As also noted above, the capacity building interventions on gender have also not fully skilled public officials to address gender and issues relating to GBV, VAWG and HP. It is noted that the preservice and in service training institutions mainly offer programmes that focus on gender without a particular attention to the integration of Violence Against Women and Girls; Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and Harmful practices. In addition, the gender related trainings in institutions are fragmented, lack alignment to the existing institutional frameworks; have variances in the curricula, training manuals, guidelines; tools, job aids, delivery methods for these programmes. Gender training in Institutions has not been comprehensively done for most public officials and the Training Needs Assessment report of Public Servants (2017) indicated that only 37% of the public servants received training in gender or gender-related issues such as gender-responsive planning and budgeting, gender inclusiveness and gender and development. It also showed that 41% of the public servants understood gender to mean just ‘roles and responsibilities of males and females’ or ‘being male or female’ and 36% could not explain the meaning of gender mainstreaming or gender-responsive policy.
The above scenario reflects lack of skills and explains the low compliance to gender and equity planning and budgeting with even lower integration of VAWG/HP/SRHR in programmes, plans and budgets. This also implies that there still capacity issues of Training Institutions to offer the appropriate curricular that integrates gender and related issues of VAWG/HP/SRHR.
There is therefore a need for a consultant to conduct a rapid and comprehensive review of the existing curricula for training institutions; identify gaps and recommendations for programs that will address gender and integrate Violence Against Women and Girls/ Sexual, Reproductive and Health Rights and Harmful practices (VAW/G/SRHR and HP).