‘My Body Is Not A Democracy’ Campaign Launched by Civil Society

‘My Body Is Not A Democracy’ Campaign Launched by Civil Society

KampalaOn Friday, August 27, 2020, a new campaign dubbed “My Body is not a Democracy” was launched at Naguru Skyz Hotel.

The campaign is part of a bigger project named National Advocacy on Bodily Autonomy and Integrity project in Uganda which is run by Uganda Network onLaw Ethics and HIV/AIDS (UGANET) which teamed up with Uganda Key Populations Consortium (UKPC), Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV/AIDS (UNYPA) and the AIDS & Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) to see it happen.

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Dr. Dan Byamukama, Commissioner at Uganda AIDS commission cuts the ribbon at the launch

The program‘s main goal is to provide elucidation for young people to be in the know on the basic concept of bodily autonomy and integrity and also help them recognize and understand the fact that bodily autonomy and integrity are a basic human right.

The project that is to run for the next 2 years will help young people acknowledge the fact that the right to bodily autonomy and integrity in Uganda is not respected and that is a reality to come to terms with.

Other goals of the project include fostering, nurturing and reminding the yonug generation about Teenage pregnancies, fighting against child and forced marriages plus HIV/AIDs related stigma and discrimination in communities.

To support this, in her opening remarks, Dorah K. Musinguzi, the Executive Director of UGANET gave moving testimonies of young girls who have fallen victims to issues like rape and defilement because they do not have a say in their lives.

She also emphasized that denial of SRHR services and information due to age and race, sexual orientation, HIV status and gender norms/stereotype have influenced the increased incidence of violence on AGYWs (Teenage pregnancies, Forced marriages, FGM etc).

Under this project, we will engage with different key population communities to create awareness about their rights thereby contributing to the project’s overall goals, said Richard Lusimbo of UKPC, while talking about how they are going to work on the project’s goals.

While speaking on behalf of parents who were accused of neglecting their children and it being one of the leading causes of many of the problems young people are facing nowadays, Brigadier General Felix Kulayigye said that, “It is not true that we parents do not know how to talk to our children. It is the environment that we are competing with for their attention that’s a problem.

“While engaging MPs in advocacy, be careful since they always think next elections while you are thinking next generation,” said Hon Asuman Basalilwa,Member of Parliament Bugiri Municipality, while talking about the involvement of members of Parliament in such crucial advocacy work.

He also stressed the fact that there is need to address the functionality of our criminal justice system if things are to work out and justice be served to the perpetrators of the crimes being fought against.

Dr.Dan Byamukama, Commissioner at Uganda AIDS Commission who cut a ribbon to mark the end of this very important discussion about bodily autonomy and integrity thanked UGANET and other Civil SocietyOrganizations for seeing the wrong and injustices being done, and going out of their way to lobby for funds and ultimately, front lining the fight against them.

To follow the progress of the campaign and project on social media, one can visit their pages or check out the hashtags #RespectMyBodyUg and #MyBodyIsNotADemocracy.

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