By Jill Akanshumbusha
KAMPALA— On Friday, August 28, 2020, the civil society launched a new campaign dubbed My Body is not a Democracy was at Skyz Hotel Naguru.
This campaign is part of a bigger project named National Advocacy on Bodily Autonomy and Integrity project in Uganda which is run under the partnership of civil societies which include; Uganda Network on Law Ethics and HIV/AIDS (UGANET), Uganda Key Populations Consortium (UKPC), Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV/AIDS (UNYPA) and the AIDS & Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA).
This campaign, which will run for the next 2 years, is intended to educate and enlighten young people about bodily autonomy and integrity highlighting the fact that it is a basic human right.
Other goals of the project include fostering, nurturing and reminding the young generation about Teenage pregnancies, fighting against child and forced marriages plus HIV/AIDs related stigma and discrimination in communities.
We want this to be safe space where everyone has a voice and this is why we are here this afternoon, stated Dorah K. Musinguzi, the Executive Director of UGANET. She followed this by giving heart-breaking testimonies of young girls who have fallen victims to issues like rape and defilement because they do not have a say when it comes to their bodies.
She also emphasized that denial of SRHR services and information due to age and race, sexual orientation, HIV status and gender norms/stereotype have influenced the increase in occurrence of violence upon young people.
In this endeavor, whenever you want help from members of parliament, you need to hear what their constituencies are saying first, said Hon. Asuman Basalirwa, Member of Parliament for Bugiri Municipality.
He emphasized the need for a functioning criminal justice system as it is the place that determines what happens to perpetrators and helping society become a safer place for people.
He added, This advocacy should be extended to the criminal justice system so that all our efforts are not futile. If the criminal justice system does its work, all these vices of preying on the bodies of young people will deplete.
Dr. Dan Byamukama, Commissioner at Uganda AIDS Commission who cut a ribbon to mark the end of this very important discussion thanked these civil societies for the fantastic work they are doing to protect human rights especially those of young people.