TRAINING OF TRAINERS ON SEXUAL AND GENDER BASED VIOLENCE ORGANISED BY HRDS-NET AT SHINE HOTEL KAMPALA/UANDA FROM 27TH TO 29TH JANUARY 2012.
The training started on 27th January 2012 at Shine Hotel /Kampala, Uganda by the presentation of each participant, this was conducted by the HRDS-NET Coordinator Mr. Gabriel Mugaruka with Appolinaire ZAGABE
The presentation of the HRDS-NET overview was done by Mme ALAMOU CLEMENTINA the In charge of trainings,
We noticed the presence of some of our partners such as and chief of the Amnesty International, Regional office of Africa represented by Ms Michelle, and also the organization which supported financially the training, The East and Horn of Africa,
Human Rights Defenders project represented by the Coordinator of the project
Ms Michelle, chief of Amnesty International/African Region and the Coordinator of Eastern Horn, Human rights project.
EXPECTATIONS OF THE TRAININGS,
The participants to the training had to give the major points of their expectations from the training, for this, some expected points were mentioned such as:
- To know the training objectives,
- To obtain Certificates of participation,
- To know that they want to learn from the organizers and also
- To know the advantage of the training.
After mentioning the expectations, different answers were given, such as:
- The main objective of the training was to train trainers( peer educator) in Human Rights in General and on Sexual and Gender Based Violence, to make participants able to train others, plead for themselves and to plead for others,
- The expectation of getting the certificates was confirmed, and participants received the CERTIFICATE OF PARTICIPATION after the training.
- For the question of knowing what they want to leard, this was to train participants on Human rights, especially on Sexual and Gender based violence, the ways to defend their rights, to overcome challenges and to be informed of their rights and the way to proceed on defending the human rights, especially women’s rights.
- The Advantage of the training was to increase the number of Human rights defenders, especially women.
OVER VIEW OF HUMAN RIGHTS
The facilitator of the training had to give the overview of human rights, as Human rights are based on principles of equality, dignity and respect. They require a balance to be struck between the rights of an individual and the rights of others or the wider community.
Some rights are not granted by anyone, it exists by the nature, for exemple
- Rights to life,
- Rights to speech,..
Apart these natural rights, we have also other rights that are determinate by the society and these have been legalized.
Among these rights, we have cases of rights abuses and violation for example:
ü Arbitrary arrestations,
ü Suppression of Assembly,
ü Discrimination against refugees,
ü Domestic violence
ü Denied expression,
ü Sexual abuse,
ü Denied equal access to employment,…
Whereas such cases of violation of rights and abuses, there are some International instruments on Human rights to protect women that were signed by States in the goal of protecting Human rights, here we can give the example of:
v UDHR (Universal Declaration on Human Rights) ART 1. that states that ‘ All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood’
- And the ART 16, Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
These articles are violated every day because the rights of women are not respected.
Apart from the UDHR, We have ther many national international instruments, such as the Convention on Elimination of all form of discrimination against women(CEDAW) That taks especially about the rights of women,
We see also the MAPUTO protocol that has a character on human and people’s rights on rights of women in Africa.
The MAPUTO AND THE CEDAW protocols condemn all violations against women and acknowledge the rights to women , such as:
Ø Integrity and dignity of women,
Ø Protection of women from all harmful practices,
Ø Right to participation,
Ø Define the age of marriage,
Ø Right to food and security,
Ø Right to ownership of property,
We have also the convention against torture and the convention on the status of refugees.
The example of the national instrument that was talked about is the Constitution of Uganda, that also states the respect of women’s rights,
These were just a few examples, but instruments signed are many that protect the rights of women.
Whereas the existence of these Instruments, women are still being violated, they are victims of abuses and violations, the example of Uganda was taken
UGANDA has signed many international treaties on human rights, and instruments on sexual and gender based violence,
The Ugandan Constitution is against the violation of human rights,
In Uganda, there are many cases of violence against women and some of those cases are being watched on TVs, Radios, quarters,( defilement)
And in most of violation cases, men are responsible. And this shows the weakness of the application of the law.
Gender was defined as a social construction between men and women in relation to their roles and responsibilities in society.
It was states by the participants that:
- Knowing my rights will lead me to defend my rights
- What a man can do, I can do equality
- Be free without any fear
- Love myself and respect where I am.
EXAMPLES OF GENDER
- Role of women in the society, Busiya community Uganda
Role of Men Busiya, UGABDA
It was noticed that these roles changes from a society or a country to another, like for example
In Rwanda, men are superior , this is that same to Congo,
This means, In Uganda ,Congo and Rwanda, men are in the public sphere which may be different from India.
The sex was defined as a biological and physical differences between men and women, it’s easy to notice the differences among these to categories of people,
Example to a man:
- A man has a breads
- A man has an undeveloped brests
- With a male sex…
Example to a Woman
- Female sex
- Developed breasts
v The Sex role / Biological role
- Women get pregnant
- Man makes woman pregnant
- Women’ breast- feed
Note: These roles do not change, they are natural.
v Gender Issues
The status of a man and a woman in our Societies.
There are imbalances between man and woman in our societies instead of the equality gender exists in theory , this is well seen in our societies due to:
- The resources distribution
- The power distribution,
- The Patriarchy
- The socialization
Three pictures where given to the groups for interpretation,
Each person gave her own interpretation close or far to the real interpretation,
The real interpretation of the photos,
The first was interpreted like this:
The speaker of the Ugandan Government was telling people to embrace the family planning .
The Second photo, was interpreted like this: Award raises Sadolin Market share claim, then
The third picture was interpreted like this: Kibuli Mufti rallies Muslims against the supreme council polls.
IV. FORM OF GENDER BASED VIOLENCE
- Violence within the marriage,
- Sexual harassment,
- Harmful traditional practices,
- Honor killings, …
V. THE CURRENT SITUATION ON HOW WOMEN ARE TAKEN IN THE SOCIETY, ESPECIALLY IN COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN OF THE PARTICIPANTS TO THE TRAINING OF TRAINERS
In Uganda, Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, this is what happening to women,:
ü Women don’t own property, especially if you don’t have a child or you did not give birth to a child,
ü The boys are most supported but girls have nothing from their families and even where they get married
ü Some women are looked at equally
ü Women have low status, men are hairs
ü Wome have no voice every where, not much involved in political issues or other institutions,
ü Women are kept in the private sphere,
ü Weman don’t access education, they are only considered as homeworkers
ü They are discriminated, especially refugees in Uganda.
VI. THE PLACE WHERE WOMEN WANT TO BE AFTER THE TRAINING OF TRAINERS ON SEXUAL AND GENDER BASED VIOLENCE
To assure there is equality gender, we women refugees trained by HRDS-NET we want to see ourselves after this training
- To assure the gender equality is respected,
- To see women with power to speak everywhere,
- To plan for herself with no interference,
- Move to a public sphere than remaining to the private sphere,
- To see women are educated, informed ,
- See women taking decisions, fearless,
- To see women pround of their status.
VII. BUILDINGTHE BRIDGE
To make sure these stages are reached, women should:
v Document their story experiences,
v Be a true friend to man,
v Understand her situation,
v Be open, and exemplarity when taking with others or sharing her story with others,
v Build the moral and be active
v Be confident and ambitious
v Be trained in advocacy ,…
III. GROUP DISCUSSIONS
On 27th January, the participants were divided into two groups of discussions; the question was to give the challenges that refugee woman in Justice after violence.
A. CHALLENGES CROSSED IN JUSTICE AFTER VIOLENCE, BY GROUP 1.
Many challenges were given by this group, among the challenges before the justice, the group appointed some challenges as follow:
- People are not open when talking of their stories before the refugee officers because of fear,
- The refugee are object of discrimination by the refugee officers, discrimination of origin because of being refugees.,
- Refugee Women’s rights are not respected
- The problem of language
- Refugees are neglected in offices ,
- There is lack of self-help because nothing to do, because of being raped, there is lack of responsibilities of parents
- SOLUTIONS SUGGESTED
To resolve these challenges, some solutions were pointed out as follow:
- Refugees should be open when talking of their cases, situations to others, and join other groups that can help to get a solution,
- Train the refugee officers about their work and the way to consider people without discrimination.
B. CHALLENGES PRESENTED CROSSED IN JUSTICE AFTER VIOLENCE BY GROUP 2.
The challenges presented by group 2 were not much different from that the first group presented, the group2 presented the challenges crossed in justice after violence as follow:
- Discrimination of people’s( refugees) origin of refugees in Uganda,
- Sexual harassment in hospitals to refugees who seek for treatment,
- Being neglected by the refugee officers from different institutions/organizations in Uganda,
- No respect of refugee children’s rights, and they do not have equal access to education as Ugandan because of discrimination,
- The Land Lords do not respect the rights of refugees,
- Refugees are neglected in all offices in Uganda,
- In hospitals, Refugees are not treated well, especially at MULAGO Hospital,Uganda, and if the refugee does not have money to pay, no access to treatment,
- Women and Children refugees are being raped in Uganda.
- PIST OF SOLUTIONS
To see these challenges end, they Ugandan officers should consider refugees as human beings but not animals and respect the right of refugees,.
To solve somehow this, a meeting should me organized which will put together all Ugandan officers from hospital, refugee offices, police, government, United Nations to discuss about the problem of refugees, because refugees are object of violation and injustice.
SECOND SESSION, 28TH to 29th JANUARY,2012.
The starting of the second day and third day of the Session were focused on the recap of what taught by the facilitator ,
Questions were asked and the participants responded well.
CHAP. II DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
The facilitator called upon the participants to contribute to examples on domestic violence and what are the causes of the Domestic Violence.
At this point, the facilitator asked some questions to the participants as follow:
- Who are the Authors of Violence
Answers were given by the participants saying the authors of violence are:
- State Agencies,
- Relatives and friends
- Any one as Thieves, robbers.
- The Second question was, why do women stay in a violent situation/places?
To this questions, the answers were:
Women do stay in violent places because of many reasons such as:
- Because of taking care of their children, because of that they endure violence
- Dowry fear of pay back: because of fear because the husband’s family will ask the refund of the dowry to the women’s family,
- Ignorance, this is the act of not being informed
- Influence of money: here parents/family take by force in marriage a daughter to a very old man, because of the influence of the money the man has, because of that influence, no joyful life I the house, sex and everything is by force because there was no consent in the marriage.
- The early marriage, because of being forced or ignorance of the girl or the boy.
- Low economic status
- Dependency on men because of fear of worst treatment
- Fear of losing the relationship.
The third Session which was the last was focused on personal stories and testimony from some of the participants, then the causes, consequences and solutions to the sexual and gender based Violation.
CHAP III. CAUSES,CONSEQUENCES OF SEXUAL VIOLATION , STORIES AND TESTIMONEY OF SOME OF THE PERTICIPANTS.
I. CAUSESOF VIOLENCES
On this point, some points were given by the participants, among the causes , some are/
- Society’s attitude towards the status of the women/ discrimination,
- Lack of social and economic value to the work of women
- Power imbalances , a woman cannot make a decision
- Wars and armed conflicts( break down of the social structure),
- Ignorance of human rights,
- Weak legal framework,
- Refugee returnees and ID Pick up situations.
II. CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLENCES
Many consequences were noticed such as:
- Health of the woman
- Maternal mortality,
- Infant mortality
- Unsafe abortion
- Pregnancy complication.
- FAMILIES/ SOCIAL
- Blaming of the victim/survivors
- Loss of roles/functions in the society,
- Social rejection/isolation,
- Increased gender inequalities
- Feminization of poverty
- Shame in the communities
III. SOLUTIONS TO BREAK THE GENDER BASED VIOLENCE
To break the violence situation in our communities, some solutions were given by the participants such as:
- Engagement of the victim /survivor in the community,
- Work hard in order to attend the equal participation in all institutions,
- Sensitization and women to be educated as men
- Raising Awareness /information on human rights
- Involvement of women in economic activities
- Capacity building to empower the survivors and the community at large,
- Build and coordinate a movement to promote human rights.
STORIES AND TESTIMONIES FROM PARTICIPANTS ON DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL GENDER BASED VIOLENCE
1. Story from Congo.
A friend of mine was married to a man and got 2 children with that man, they divorced because of the bad manners and behavior of the man, then the lady went back to school, after getting the national certificate, she got married to another man, by the way the second man was behaving worse than the first man.
She endured, after long suffering she decided to leave the man after getting other 3 children.
Reaching her home land ,her mother was not happy and asked the daughter why to leave her husband; she kept quiet and told nothing to her Mother.
One day the women said to go and take her children, the second man refused abd told her that she had no access to see her children the man started to send police men to arrest her,because of that the lady decided to flee to kampala.
Reaching in Kampala Uganda, she suffered fr long, then after suffering for long period in kampala,she decided to go back to her home country to see if her mother can accept her to stay home.
After all, the man was informed that the wife was back, and told her he will make her suffering till she dies.
After her mother discovered the reality decided to take the case to the police and to the court and decided the woman left everything, even the children and went to start a new life.
For now she is doing well than the way she was living with the husband.
STORY FROM RWANDA
I had a friend and family member
For the Muslim culture, the family is supposed to choose for the daughter a man to marry.
The family made my friend to get married to a man of 36 years when she was 16 years. the lady refused to get married to that man because he was old: they forced her to marry the man. During the ceremony day the lady refused to come out to see the husband but her mother said, if you don’t want to marry that man, I will kill myself.
She got married by force. Reaching to the husband’s home; the aunt made a trick to make the lady having sex with the husband;
During the sex, the lady was forced everyday; then when she goes to tell the mother about the situation, the mother was telling her daughter saying( that’s the reality of marriage) and she should be patient. They got 2 children with the man the lady had no freedom or liberty, whenever the man could go to a journey, he had to go with his wife, because of fearing that the wife can go out. finally they got children but they never experienced the happiness of the marriage.
The friend to the lady advised her to approach the man so that he does not have doubt of her, and the lady experienced it and made it happen. The lady never had a true love with the man. Finally they are separated and they all have access to the children. The cycle of violence is more supported by people we respect.
STORY FROM BURUNDI
A friend was married while child to a man, the man was brining a second woman when even the wife is present to the same bed, and they do sex while the lady is watching.
She suffered, and decided to leave the house after informing her family.
I was married at the age of 18years reaching 30years my husband died after getting 5 children, I finished 3 years without knowing a man then another man came and said he loved me but the man was married before and had 2 children. The man was a selfish contrary to my first husband, he couldn’t give me any economy responsibility like keeping money; but I understood him; we got the first child in 1997 and second in 2000.at the second child, I was unhappy because the man was discriminating my first son, I sent the son to a grammar school; but after long moment, I said I have to bring back my son and go together to kampala,but the husband did not want.
Being in kampala,I received a letter from my family in Lubumbashi saying my sons flied and is a refugee in kalemi,I told the man about the case but the husband was not happy and said that was my politic to bring my son to Kampala.
After all, I brought the children to kampala, after the children are with us the husband started to quarrelling and saying that was not an agreement to bring those children; and started to treat bad my children, then I asked the husband to give me two months so that I leave him, after two months, I took my bags with the children and went to a restaurant to stay with my kids, the man came and met us to the restaurant and started discussing. I chose to start a new life, to learn again;
The man said to separate children and he got married to another woman I was free with my children since 2004 to 2011.
Searching for a solution.
In 2012,the man is asking himself to come back to me, now the son is 13years for now he is calling even my children and is happy with all my children and he wants me to be back to him.
My question; should I go back to that man? with the violence I crossed? ,what can I do?
For my side, I love him because of my children.
For this present project: I was victim of violence for much time, if I knew that before, I could be patient.
-I see it good you forgive him and go back to him.
-as you have children together, you can go back to him.
-as I knew your story the way you were living, I can’t allow you to go back.
-if the man is coming to you is because he saw some capacities in you. Don’t go back because of your children because they will leave you soon and start their own lives;
Go back to him because you love him but not because of children.
- Go and examine all suggestions and make sure the man is genuinely sorry, before you decider; so it does not affect negatively in future.
When I was 16years, I saw a young man came to me with my sister, the guy was used to come home to see my sister
Then one day he told me, he was coming to see me and said he loves me,
As a young girl I accepted, and one day he proposed to have sex and I accepted, I got pregnant ,telling him about the pregnancy he refused that it was not his, and said if they take me to his home, he will kill me.
I stayed home and gave birth to a kid,
After finishing my sixth form(class), I got someone who told me, he wants to marry me. The first guy whom I have a kid with was informed and sent me bible verses after 7 years of not seeing him,
The Bible verses he sent me was Psalm 1, I went to show the message to my parents and commented nothing.
After some period when the kid was in the second class (primary school) her father came for the first time and said he wants to marry me because he heard there is someone else who wants to marry me: I refused but the family forced me.
I asked my child, to who do you want to marry, she said my father. I kept quiet, then her father came with his family saying they want to marry me. we fixed the date of the wedding and dowry ; on that day of the wedding we prepared everything waiting for the man and his family but they never came;
We spend our things for nothing then I decided to go to Goma to meet the man, when he saw me, he asked me why am coming to see him, and said why to marry a Rwandese when Congolese are there? I got deceived.
The training of trainers took three days, from 27th to 29th January, 20212.
With the Full support of the (Financially) of the East and Horn of Africa, Human Right Defenders Project,
The Material Support of the Amnesty International, African Regional Office.
We recognize the full Support of the Team of the Human Rights Defenders Solidarity Net work(HRDS-NET)
Also we recognize the full support of involvement of the PEPA/Organization (Pleaders of Children and Elderly People at risk).
Done at Kampala, le 7th February, 2012.
The HRDS-NET Secretarial
C/o, Amnesty International, Africa Regional Office.