36 Gils Defiled in Uganda Every Day

Defilement statistics compiled by Criminal Investigations Directorate –CID, show 13,441 girls were defiled a year ago. This translates to 36 girls being defiled every day.

As the world commemorates the day of the girl child, Uganda perhaps needs to do more in order to reduce alarming numbers of girls being defiled each day that passes.

Defilement statistics compiled by Criminal Investigations Directorate –CID, show 13,441 girls were defiled a year ago. This translates to 36 girls being defiled every day.

Most victims of defilement, according to CID, are girls aged 15 to 17 years. That age bracket accounted for 10,556 victims of out the total number.

Although poverty is listed as one of leading causes of defilement in Uganda, parents are also accused of neglecting children and do not share the right information that could shape the girls’ future.

Florence Kizza, conceived at 17 when she was about to sit for her Senior Four exams. Kizza explains that she never had a chance to be told on how to go about her body changes. This gave chance a man who was a Boda-boda rider to hoodwink her.

“I wish I had someone to tell men what growth meant and what the body changes I was facing meant. I was ignorant and this was the only reason why a man who knew what he was doing spoilt my future,” Kizza says.

In some cases, parents have been cited in forcing their girls to get married at tender age in exchange for dowry. In Butaleja district, there is a woman who became a grandmother at the age of 26. She conceived at twelve and her daughter conceived at 13 years.

A joint statement issued by United Nations and other girls’ rights organisations representatives among others Hamida R Lasseko -UNICEF Representative to Iraq, Dr Rita Columbia UNFPA representative to Iraq, Daniella Bell -OHCHR Representative to Iraq, Zeina Awad-UNICEF Chief of Communications, Innocent Kafembe- UNICEF Digital Communication Specialist and Salwa Moussa-  Innocent Kafembe-UNFPA Communications Specialist in consideration of year’s theme “My Voice, Our Equal Future,” reminded the world to listen to girls , understand the changes they want to see and to ensure that all of them have an equal opportunity for a bright, safe and healthy future.

It was indicated that girls that violence against children, including young people is unacceptably high in Iraq. A number of girls face at least 80 percent face violence at home and schools in Iraq.

“Many girls in Iraq, like millions of girls around the world, suffer from female genital mutilation, child marriage, sexual harassment and abuse, and other harmful practices,” reads the statement.

According to the GBV Information Management System’s data of the first two quarters of 2020, 23 per cent of the incidents of violence reported to the service providers were among children and adolescents, of which 6 per cent were aged between 0 and 11 years, and 17 per cent were aged between 12 and 17 years old.

The joint statement indicates that interviews conducted by the United Nations with families living in displacement camps across Nineveh governorate, affirm that child marriage remains a frequent practice and a coping mechanism for families living in poverty to reduce the financial strain.

UN organisations believe education and learning are some of the best ways to empower girls and protect them against violence, exploitation and social exclusion by providing them with the opportunity to build a better life for themselves, their families and their communities. This would be achieved through making education and learning accessible and empowering for girls, it needs to be safe and gender sensitive.