Amnesty International Report Documents Obstacles to Justice in Cases of Rape and Sexual Violence against Women in Uganda
Monday, April 26, 2010 3:45 PM

Confronted by roadblocks to justice, female victims of rape and sexual violence in Uganda have lost faith in the political system. A recent Amnesty International report, “‘I can't afford justice’: Violence against women in Uganda continues unchecked and unpunished,” highlights the victims’ complaints and the authorities’ inadequate response to the situation.
The report found that violence against women remains widespread in Uganda. While the government has drafted laws addressing the issue of gender-based violence, the laws have yet to be implemented. Instead of promoting criminal justice, police personnel adopt a dismissive approach and insist on reconciliation between perpetrator and victim. The report revealed that most victims are turned away from clinics and shelters due to a lack of space and resources. There is also a lack of qualified forensic medical examiners to assess and treat victims, as well as a lack of legal provisions for witness protection. Moreover, victims are deprived of privacy as they undergo questioning.
The report found that Ugandan society’s strong adherence to traditional values also impedes the enforcement of progressive laws. Stereotypes that focus on the inferiority of women permeate the public and private spheres, discouraging women from seeking justice. The report concludes that rigorously enforced legislation must reflect and complement Ugandan society’s transition to a culture dedicated to equality and justice.
To access the full report, click here.