Oxfam in Uganda in partnership with the Uganda Women Organisation Network (UWONET) has launched Enough Campaign in Uganda aimed at fighting violence against women and girls in Uganda.
Enough is a worldwide campaign that has sparked a movement against violence towards women and girls, to address negative social norms in their specific contexts.
According to Oxfam Uganda Country Director Francis Shanty Odokorach, the campaign brings people of all genders, ages, and backgrounds together; to transform the normal and works to challenge and make people reflect on the common social norms that dictate their behaviors and attitudes.
The campaign supports ordinary people to speak out against violence and present alternatives norms that support non-violence and gender equality.
“The launch of the Enough Campaign will be a springboard to tasking various reference groups and duty bearers to take action against violence and avoid being by standers in the face of violence. We are looking at promoting a society of zero tolerance to violence against girls and women,” Odokorach said.
Speaking during the launch, UWONET Executive Director, Rita Aciro noted that the launch of Enough campaign will focus on changing the widely accepted harmful social norms that drive violence against Women and girls and to adopt those that promote non-violence.
“The campaign represents the sum-total of all that we are trying to do to promote equity and equality for women, girls, men and boys. Social norms just like gender are not static, they change in time and from place to place,” Aciro said.
The UWONET boss added that it’s time for everyone to challenge and change negative attitudes and mindsets to those that support non-violence and gender equality.
“As a country we are increasingly normalizing negative social norms that undermine women and expose them to violence. This is evident in our tolerance of trends that strip women of their dignity. Many acknowledge violence as anti-social behavior but the lines quickly become blurred when it happens against a female,” Aciro said.
A formative research conducted by Oxfam and UWONET presented by Prof. Paul Bakuluki of Makerere University shows that in some societies in Uganda, it is considered appropriate for a man to discipline a woman.
Bakuluki said that some people believe that violence against women and girls is not their business and they cannot interfere when it happens while others believe it is justifiable, normal and acceptable
“Love is not violent, women and men deserve equal respect; there is need to start promoting alternative positive gender social norms,” Bakuluki said.