Rights Groups in Uganda Call on Country To Pass Legislation To Curb Violence Against Women, Address HIV/AIDS Issues
Human rights groups in Uganda recently called on the government to pass a bill aimed at addressing domestic violence against women that often results from issues related to HIV/AIDS, Uganda's New Vision reports. Advocates recently held a demonstration in front of Uganda's Parliament in the capital of Kampala with signs reading, "Women Do Not Cause HIV/AIDS," "Stop Violence Against Women," "Fight HIV/AIDS, Stop Discrimination," "Men Wake Up" and "HIV/AIDS Does Not Mean That You Should Kill." According to the New Vision, the advocates were reacting to recent reports of women being murdered by their husbands because of the women's alleged HIV-positive status.
"The government should be actively involved in bringing these culprits to book," Esther Kisakye -- executive director of the Uganda Network on Law, Ethics and HIV/AIDS -- said. She added that existing laws on domestic violence are too weak. Lydia Mungherera, founder of Mama Club, said that criminalizing the spread of HIV would deter people from being tested for the virus. Imprisoning people who spread HIV "does not help anyone," she said, adding, "What we desire are laws that protect women against violence." Advocates also called on the government to increase funding for HIV/AIDS initiatives aimed at couples in the country (Aanyu, New Vision, 8/18).