Kandaakiat Organization for Women Empowerment and Development (KOWED), Organized a one-day workshop on the impact of Gender-based violence on the Rights of women in relation to Reproductive Health. 40 Refugee women participated in the workshop held on 23rd May 2022 at Seeta in Mukono District in collaboration with Slovenia Development cooperation for urban refugees in Uganda.
The KOWED, Gender-Based violence officer, Mrs. Ramia gave an overview of Gender-Based Violence on Reproductive Health, Rights, and its impact on society. She further expounded and discussed issues concerning maternal Health Care for women, especially focusing on family planning, pregnancy, childbirth, and their potential linkage to GBV.
Discussion Points during the workshop
Early marriage: this is a marriage or a union between two people who are under the age of 18 years. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every year 12 million young girls are married before the age of 18. Due to their underdeveloped bodies to bear the challenges of motherhood, complications in pregnancy and childbirth develop and are the leading cause of death for these young mothers globally.
Tradition and Religion: In many societies, parents are under pressure to marry off their daughters as early as possible in an effort to prevent them from becoming sexually active before marriage; a woman who does so brings dishonor to her family and community. Because marriage often determines a woman’s status in many societies, parents also worry that if they don’t marry their daughters according to social expectations the faults will fall on them.
Poverty is a major factor in the deterioration of reproductive health and rights and gender-based violence. for many poor families, marrying their daughter at an early age essentially is a strategy for economic survival but unfortunately exposes these girls to the world and its vices such as pregnancy complications, diseases, and gender-based violence but to mention a few.
Much was discussed on the stigma that women face in society contributing to their silence on matters that affect them socially. Stigma by definition is the negative social attitude attached to a characteristic of an individual that may be regarded as a mental, physical, or social deficiency. A stigma implies social disapproval and can lead to unfair discrimination against and exclusion of the individual. Women are unable to raise matters that affect their reproduction health such as seeking medical attention, counselling, family planning, STD treatment, and many others for fear of being labelled and shamed in society.
Inequalities; between boys and girls by the harmful social and gender norms. Gender equality is one of the fundamental Human rights and that right is violated by gender-based discrimination.
- Mobilize communities to identify danger signs in pregnancy like post-partum hemorrhage and activate transport systems, so women can reach facilities in time to save their lives
- More training on reproductive health should be given to the women and girls to help them with crucial knowledge.
- A member recommends that workshops should be organized during the holidays so that there can be an inclusion of young girls and boys.
- Conduct community outreach or dialogue to spread the message out to more people to create awareness.
- Kandaakiat organization should use its social media platform to post health-related information to keep members aware.
The activity was successfully accomplished with full participation from the refugee women who turned up in large numbers and they recommend more workshops should be organized during the holidays such that many girls and boys can attend and be informed about reproductive health issues to reduce wrong information.