Women Rights Activists Clash With Cultural Leaders over Polygamy, Bad Practices

By Matthew Okello




Women Rights Activists in Tororo district have clashed with Cultural leaders for failing to fight bad cultural practices that include polygamy.


The clash occurred yesterday 3rd June 2021 during a press conference championed by Uganda Women Network (UWONET) held at Teachers Resource Centre in Tororo Municipality.


Addressing the press, Evaline Nyasenya on behalf of Uganda women Network, Osukuru United Women Network and Tororo district Women Network said Cultural Leaders have failed to fight male extremism in the district.


Nasenya pinned the cultural leaders of failing to effectively condemn Violence against Women and girls because of the ideology of men’s entitlement and privilege over women.


Among the cultural practices that Nyasenya says need to be condemned are child labor, night fundraising where girls are molested, alcoholism and drug abuse that has kept men off their families, wife battering after taking alcohol and polygamy.


However, in response, Tororo District Secretary of Iteso Cultural Union (ICU) James Etuket said cultural leaders are doing all it takes to end violence against women but are only frustrated by individual acts that can’t be paraded on culture.


He noted that although polygamy can be a bad act, there are many women who have greatly benefited from the practice.


Etuket however says domestic and GBV suppression needs robust approach that will stretch up to putting strict laws prohibiting children below 18 years from being taken to lodges.


John Innocent Okoroi, a leader at Molo catholic parish said that they are finding it hard to reach out to the GBV perpetrators because majority of them are church and funeral absconders.


Kevin Athieno, the Gender Minister in Tieng Adhola Cultural Institution said they are currently finalizing negotiations with local authorities to see that all forms of night fundraising are banned in Padhola.


The Women Networks are being supported by the UN Women under Spotlight initiative programme.


To solve these problems, Uganda Women Network proposes the training of cultural leaders on existing laws, cultural leaders continue sensitizing their masses on relevant existing laws and enacting and implementing bye-laws.


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