RESPECT AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF UGANDAN WOMEN
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We, the undersigned would like to draw your attention to our concerns as women and most importantly as Ugandans, living and working and raising our children in this society. The way matters involving the kidnapping and murder of women and children in and around Kampala, and more recently in parts of Eastern Uganda, are being handled is of serious public concern and this has compelled us to voice these concerns to you and all parties responsible.
Since May 27th 2017, the bodies of Ugandan women have been discovered naked, strangled and with sticks in their vaginas. Kidnappings for ransom have become the order of the day in and around Kampala, with women and children being the most vulnerable since we are viewed as “easy targets.” In some cases, the victims of these kidnappings have been murdered.
We have participated in public driven searches for these missing women and children, we have seen their violated and mutilated bodies, we have cried with their loved ones, and we are all living with the daily fear that it could be us next, or our daughters, sisters, mothers and friends. The kidnappers and murderers continue to do so with impunity, and the response from police is unsatisfactory.
We are writing to you who have the constitutional mandate to promote law and order and protect the lives of Ugandans to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Ugandan women cannot continue to live in fear and we will not stand by and watch another one of use die and no one brought to justice. The impunity with which Ugandan women and children are being kidnapped and murdered must stop!
We the undersigned thereby demand the following:
1. That Uganda police respect and protect the lives of Ugandan women and treat the deaths of these women as the serious issue of national security that it is. The security and well being of women affects all members of society.
2. That Uganda police fulfil its mandate by ensuring that these kidnaps and murders are investigated and perpetuators are brought to justice.
3. A dedicated task force should be set up for this purpose that regularly reports to the public on the status of police efforts to protect women and hold these criminals accountable. We, the Women’s Working Group shall monitor the task force activities and keep the team accountable to women and the general public.
4. Police should continuously inform Ugandans about what we can all do to avoid/prevent these murders and kidnaps. A hot-line managed by Uganda police should be set up and its details widely shared to allow Ugandans to quickly report such cases.
5. That the police respect the rights to freedom of assembly, association and expression as enshrined in Article 29 of the constitution of the Republic of Uganda. All laws regulating public gatherings must be enforced in a manner that protects the right not stifling it unnecessary. Protestors must be treated with dignity and respect as equal participants in building the nation.
Furthermore, we the undersigned are generally concerned about the treatment of women by members of the police force and the lack of women in leadership positions at Uganda Police. We encourage Uganda Police to train and employ more womyn officers, and promote more qualified womyn to positions of leadership in police so as to ensure a more balanced and gender sensitive approach to dealing with the security problems of our society.
For God and My Country
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