Civil society Organizations have called on Parliament to expedite the Sexual Offences Bill, as a measure to curb the increasing sexual offences in the country.
The CSOs under the umbrella, the Domestic Violence Act coalition say several women and men are being offended sexually and yet there is a big gap in the law which sees many offenders walking free.There statement comes ahead of the bail application hearing of Brian Isiko on Tuesday after he was jailed for two years for sexually harassing Kabarole district Woman MP Sylvia Rwabogo.
Isiko was charged with cyber harassment and offensive communication.
The bill tabled in 2016 by Kumi Woman MP Monica Amoding seeks to consolidate all laws relating to sexual offenses, combat sexual violence and provide for punishment of sexual perpetuators. It also seeks to provide for procedural and evidential requirements during trial of sexual offenses and other related matters.
Now the CSOs have said the bill which is very vital to the protection of Uganda should be prioritized.
Speaking at a press conference at the members Lounge of Parliament, Tina Musuya the Executive Director Centre for Domestic Violence said Ugandans should publicly condemn sexual harassment and not side with perpetuators and victimize the offended.
She says in most cases women have been sexually victimized as some men have expressed power through humiliation.Musuya said if the bill is passed into law, it will help to reduce on the rampant cases of sexual harassment, but also ensure women and girls are safe.According to Musuya, in 2017 alone, 1335 cases of rape and 14985 cases of defilement and this is only a tip of the iceberg.
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Noreen Nampewo, Program officer for Centre for women in Governance Said it is time men start taking a woman's no, as a no and not stereotyping women. She also says men should stop thinking women are sexual objects but look at them as their brothers, sisters, parents and someone's wife.