We the participants attending the Gender Justice Evaluation Workshop organised by Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) today, 20 March, 2015 at Cardinal Nsubuga Leadership Training Centre, Nsambya, Kampala consisting of representatives of the Ecumenical Joint Action Committees (EJACs) from all member churches of UJCC; representatives of the students’ community and staff of Gulu University, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda Christian University, and Uganda Martyrs University; representatives of sub-county local governments and representatives of community-based data collectors and drama groups from Ogur Sub-county in Lira District, Kaptanya Sub-County in Kapchorwa District, Karusandara Sub-County in Kasese District and Makindye Division in Kampala city.Noting with appreciation the initiative by UJCC to launch the Gender Justice Project in 2014 with the aim of raising awareness about gender-based violence and gender-based discrimination and mobilising the church and communities in various areas to join hands with the government, the churches and other religious bodies in combating these vices,
Further noting with appreciation on-going efforts that are being made by UJCC to build the capacities of EJACs and the students and staff of the target tertiary institutions on issues of gender-based discrimination and gender-based violence including domestic violence, female genital mutilation and sexual harassment in places of employment.
Noting with concern from the Crime and Traffic Offences Report of the Uganda Police Force for the year 2014 that gender based violence is on the increase and noting, in particular. that in the year 2013 a total of 315 incidences of death through domestic violence were investigated by the Police compared to 154 cases in 2012, hence a rise of 51% and also that in 2013, a total of 360 people of which 147 were male adults, 159 were female adults, 36 were male juveniles and i8 were female juveniles died as a result of domestic violence,
Cognisant of the provisions of article 21 of the Constitution of Uganda 1995 which affirms the equality of all persons and prohibits discrimination on the ground of sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion, social or economic standing, political opinion or disability,
Aware of the provisions of article 33 (4) of the Constitution to the effect that women shall have the right to equal treatment with men and that right shall include equal opportunities in political, economic and social activities,
Further aware of the provision of article 33 (5) of the Constitution which provides that women shall have the right to affirmative action for the purpose of redressing the imbalances created by history, tradition or custom,
Cognisant of The Uganda Gender Policy 2007 whose goal is to ‘’Achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment as an integral part of Uganda’s socio-economic development’’,
Considering the objectives of the Uganda Gender Policy which are:
- (1) ‘’To reduce gender inequalities so that all women and men, girls and boys, are able to move out of poverty and achieve improved and sustainable livelihoods’’;
- (2) ‘’To increase knowledge and understanding of human rights among women and men so that they can identify violations, demand, access, seek redress and enjoy their rights’’;
- (3) ‘’To strengthen women’s presence and capacities in decision making for their meaningful participation in administrative and political processes’’; and
- (4) ‘’To address gender inequalities and ensure inclusion of gender analysis in macro-economic policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.’’,
Cognisant of the Platform for Action and the Beijing Declaration of the Fourth world conference on women held in Beijing, China on 4-5 September, 1995 which states, inter-alia, that ‘’violence against women’’ is an obstacle to the achievement of the objectives of equality, development and peace and that in addressing violence against women, governments and other actors should promote an active and visible policy of mainstreaming a gender perspective in all policies and programmes so that before decisions are taken an analysis may be made of their effects on women and men respectively,
Considering that the Employment Act 2006 and the Employment Act (Sexual Harassment) Regulations 2012 enjoin every employer employing more than twenty five people to put in place and operationalize a policy on sexual harassment, including promoting publicity and establishment of a committee charged with the responsibility of implementing the policy.
Do hereby adopt the following Statement of Principles:
- We affirm that men and women were created in the image of God and that gender based discrimination and gender-based violence is incompatible with Scriptures.
- We reaffirm our commitment to the constitutional principles of equality and non-discrimination on the on the ground of sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion, social or economic standing, political opinion or disability.
- We call upon the clergy and other religious leaders to use the pulpit to spread the message against gender-based discrimination and gender-based violence.
- We call upon women’s groups and men’s groups in the church such as Mothers’ Union, Christian women Fellowship, Women’s Guild, and Fathers’ Union to use existing platforms to promote the campaign against gender-based discrimination and gender-based violence.
- We urge the Government of Uganda to fully implement article 4 of the Constitution which enjoins the State to promote awareness of the Constitution by translating the Constitution into Ugandan languages and disseminating it as widely as possible and by providing for the teaching of the Constitution in all educational institutions and armed forces training institutions and regularly transmitting and publishing programmes through the media generally.
- We also urge the Government to fully operationalize the Domestic Violence Act and the Prohibition of Genital Mutilation Act by, inter alia, building the capacity of local councils who are the key implementers of the Domestic Violence Act and giving sufficient resources to other implementers such as the Uganda Police Force.
- We appeal to all tertiary institutions that do not have a policy on sexual harassment to put a policy in place as per the requirement of the Employment Act and to ensure its full and effective implementation.
- We urge all Ugandans to embrace the campaign against gender-based violence.
- We reaffirm our commitment to the principle of affirmative action which is aimed at redressing historical injustices against women and other marginalized groups.