Marching in Cream Tshirts, girls, women, and men carrying placards inscribed with words “TONKOSA” which means “DON’T HURT ME” calling for an end to sexual harassment.
The movement which is a brainchild of the Young Women’s Coalition and Babirye Cares is aiming to fight sexual abuse amongst girls below the age of 18 years.
According to reports across the country over 6000 cases of sexual harassment, rape have been reported to police between 2020 and 2021 alone.
Lorna Nakabuye who is the Executive Director at YWC said the numbers of sexual abuse is on a record high in Katabi Town Council.
“Parents are also part of the problem, they’ve since time immemorial abused their own children, they have married off children for personal gains and this must stop, the young girls need a voice.” Nakabuye added
Founder of the Babirye Cares foundation, Lilliane Babirye told Gateway News that rape and defilement is on the rise.
“As schools continue to endure the unwarranted lockdowns, the girl children continue to be exposed to sexual violence by relatives, teachers, this is evident in the spiking numbers of child pregnancy,” Babirye said
Speaking to the press at the event, Women and Girl Child Development Association (WEGCDA) Director, Elliot Orizarwa said the escalating numbers of girls getting pregnant between the ages of 9 and 13 amid the lockdown is overwhelming. “This campaign is an eye-opener, we are going to continue advocating for a change, about 6 cases of rape, gender based violence and those relating to sexual harassment are reported daily,” she said
“The government needs to allocate funds in the National budget towards rehabilitation of teenage mothers and victims of sexual abuse in the country.” Orizarwa added
Wakiso Woman Member of Parliament, Betty Ethel Naluyima said girls have on several occasions been targeted by men they know and trust. “We need to create safe spaces for girls to speak out on their predators and we hope to roll out this campaign across the country,” she said