As Uganda joins the rest of the world to celebrate International Women’s Day ,a new report estimates that half of all Ugandans say physical, emotional and sexual violence have gotten worse in their communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
These findings released by Twaweza on the social effects of the pandemic to mark International Women’s Day are based on data from Sauti za Wananchi, Africa’s first nationally representative high-frequency mobile phone survey.
The findings are based on data collected from 1,500 respondents across Uganda in November 2020.
According to the report, 51% experienced physical violence, 51% experienced emotional violence while 46% reported sexual violence or assault.
The report shows that when it comes to the situation in people’s homes, most citizens (48% – 58%) report that things are the same as before with respect to gender violence, substance abuse and teen pregnancy.
When it comes to the social impact of school closures, the report indicates that five out of ten respondents (51%) said these have had the same impact on both girls and boys.
According to the report, the main reason citizens say girls are more affected than boys by school closures is that teenage pregnancy is rising (45%), followed by early marriage (15%), according to the report.
Marie Nanyanzi of Sauti za Wananchi at Twaweza, said the focus of the response to the Covid-19 has been on health and economic issues.
Violet Alinda, Country Lead for Uganda at Twaweza said as Uganda celebrates International Women’s Day this year, they must reflect on the disproportionate burden borne by women during the global Covid-19 crisis.
She said women bear the brunt of the burden of caring for the sick, as they are the primary caregivers in their communities.