Acholi Chiefs have issued a warning to persons who violate the rights of their spouses, to stop using Acholi culture as an excuse.
“Men have made it a tendency of battering their wives especially when it comes to monetary fund and ownership of land and in return, they claim that the culture dis-empowers women which is not true,” he added.
He added that culture in Acholi is an institution that guides the community from bad things towards the good and not the other way round, so denying women’s participation in developmental issues is not an Acholi way.
“Some men behave in reckless manner which dehumanizes the rights of the people they are supposed to protect and in return they attribute it to the culture, those behaviours were adopted in the camps and is now as they return to their homes, they say it is our culture. This is not true,” said.
Ms Laura Anena says that during the rainy and harvesting seasons, homes are always peaceful and stable, but when it comes to selling the yields to improve their living conditions, husbands turn against their wives and they beat them and demand to know the amount of money that will have been made from the sale.
Anena, 35 a mother of five children and a resident of Kinene parish in Awach Sub County says that some of them have left their husbands’ homes having gotten tired of struggling when at the end of the day, neither them nor their children benefit.
“Our husbands always come at the time of selling and are in charge of money, when a woman tries to talk about these issues; we are always beaten up and at times they say that we cannot count money well thus, so they sideline us when it comes to money handling issues, she adds.
Ms Anena says that at times women end up having their own gardens so that they can earn their own money but it’s all the same. Men keep on saying that in Acholi culture there is no land ownership when it comes to women.
“You were just married, you have no right to have your own money whatever you get here it’s the husband to distribute it,” she said.
But the Coordinator for Acholi Chiefdom Mr Santos Okema noted that such behaviours were unheard of in the Acholi prior to life in the camps, people have become greedy and they have started denying relatives land.
“As much as in some homes women are the bread winners, there should be respect for one another for meaningful development,” she said.
The Director of Programs for the Association of Women Lawyers FIDA Ms Sarah Kerweji noted that they have engaged the Acholi chiefs in harmonizing the practices to suit both women and men in the
communities in order to avoid the issue of gender based violence that had taken another twist in the communities.
“It’s true communities have been rallying behind the culture to deny others their right but we hope with our interventions we have created a change on the ground,” she said
The Uganda Demographic and Household Survey of 2006 shows that at least 60 percent of women in the country have experienced physical violence in their lifetime being inflicted on them by their partners, violence ranging from rape, defilement, assault and forced marriages. By A Web design Company
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