Domestic Violence Prevention

Uganda Media Women’s Association (UMWA), in partnership with International Solidarity Foundation (ISF), is implementing a 3-year project (2009-2011) on ‘Prevention of domestic violence in Kiboga and Wakiso district’. The goal of the project is communities in Wakiso and Kiboga Districts disapprove domestic violence by 2011.

The purpose of the project is increased knowledge about domestic violence among men, women, boys, girls and leaders and policy makers (local council leaders, religious, village elders, parish chiefs, Buganda government leaders, family heads and witch doctors) of communities in Wakiso Town Council and Mulagi Sub County has led to change of attitudes against domestic violence by 2011. 

How it started

UMWA through its nation wide development campaigns has noted that despite the significant progress registered in Uganda, violence against women and children continues to undermine family stability, female productivity and national development.

UMWA’s recent studies conducted in 2009, under the Gender Education programme on prevention of domestic violence in Wakiso town council and Kiboga districts; together with baseline studies conducted in 2007 and 2005 under the Get Smart Rural Women’s project implemented in seven districts in Uganda respectively, have revealed similar findings. These studies together with other comparative studies on domestic violence gave birth to this project. 

UMWA initiated this project idea because it’s in conformity with its vision and mission. Kiboga and Wakiso were identified as the project areas significantly due to, the low development opportunities and highest rate of domestic violence prevalence respectively. The development needs were identified by the people of Kiboga and Wakiso.

How it works

The major strategy used in this project is increasing knowledge on prevention of domestic violence among beneficiaries and defined stakeholders; which is aimed at promoting awareness in the target sub counties.

Community activists / volunteers

The project, is implemented in a participatory manner, working through the support of locally elected Community Activists (community volunteers), and out of school peer educators, to raise awareness on domestic violence among men and women of Wakiso Town Council and Mulagi Sub-County as well as amongst out of school children, between 6 and 18 years to enable them change attitudes, ideas and beliefs that perpetuate domestic violence both at household and community level.

Domestic Violence Advocacy Programs on 101.7 Mama FM

UMWA also runs radio programmes on Mama FM 101.7 on domestic violence prevention and advocacy and produce a newspaper, The Other Voice (TOV). UMWA will also work hand in hand with the beneficiaries to develop community drama, music, dance groups, a means, which easily appeals to the rural communities. The project will also develop, produce and disseminate information and education materials on domestic violence, gender and human rights. 

Project beneficiaries

The programme is targeting adult men and women above 18 years (those including male and female youth) and out of school children, between 6 and 18 years. Others include different stakeholders at district and sub-county level, policy makers, local leaders (local council, religious, cultural, political,) and professional staff (police, health workers, community development and welfare officers, and teachers,) to solicit for their support for the project.

Achievements so far

UMWA has successfully sensitized over 200 district and sub county leaders (local council, religious, cultural, political,) and professional staff (police, health workers, community development and welfare officers, teachers,) about the project. All these stakeholders have pledged their support for the project.

Successfully established and disseminated baseline information necessary for the project to the different stakeholders at district and sub-county level to inform policy makers (local council leaders, religious, village elders, parish chiefs, Buganda government leaders, family heads and witch doctors), in Wakiso and Kiboga districts.

Advocacy programmes are ongoing on Mama FM 101.7 air waves as well as live communication programs conducted directly from the grassroots within the project area and other parts of Uganda, through the use of an outside broadcast facility.  

UMWA’s capacity to manage development programmes has been strengthened through training of staff in various areas such as participatory rural appraisal methods, psychosocial approach to community empowerment, transformation and development, and additional training is underway.

Most importantly, UMWA has been facilitated with necessary equipment and logistics and funds by the International Solidarity Foundation-Finland (ISF).

Challenges

The major challenge is overwhelmed by the needs identified by the beneficiaries. Thus calling for break up and postponement of some interventions to the second phase of the programme.

Lessons learnt

Small project interventions are simply the best development approach.

Men too are victims to domestic violence and therefore need support of development practitioners.

Some bad cultural practices like male chauvinism versus women’s subordination within Uganda and other parts is a threat to domestic violence preventions campaigns.

2010 updates

The project will kick start sensitizing and identifying community activists and out of school peer educators and defined target district and sub county leaders, who will then be trained to pass on the knowledge on prevention of domestic violence to their fellow community members.

Other key activities include producing advocacy programs on 101.7 Mama FM, live communications programs (outside broadcasting), production of The Other Voice (TOV) newspaper and participating in 16 Days of Activism against gender based violence.

Ideas, views and comments are welcome!

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