The Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development,
Hon. Amongi Betty Ongom has called for stronger engagement of cultural and religious leaders
in the campaign to end child marriages and teenage pregnancies.
The Minister noted that the vices of child marriages and teenage pregnancies are being
exacerbated under the guise of promoting cultural practices and norms in the different regions
of the country.
“We should look at prioritizing sensitization through engaging cultural and religious leaders
riding on the back of their influence to support the campaign to end early marriages,” Amongi
She was speaking during a meeting with the Ambassador of Denmark to Uganda, Her
Excellence Signe Winding Albjerg, who paid a courtesy call on her at the Ministry headquarters
in Kampala on Wednesday, 15 th February, 2023.
The Ambassador revealed that the Danish Embassy was in the process of developing the next
Country Strategic Framework under which various activities would be incorporated in follow up
to the Women, Adolescents and Youths (WAY) Programme.
Amongi commended the Embassy for the support it already extends to the Sauti 116 toll-free
helpline through which members of the public can report incidences of Violence against
Children (VAC) and Gender Based Violence (GBV). She urged the Embassy to focus more
support towards the helpline as it has been well received by the public given the high number of
calls received on a daily basis. She said the effectiveness of the call center would also add
impetus to the fight against violence against children and gender based violence.
She also underscored the importance of women economic empowerment in the fight to end
GBV, child marriages and pregnancies.
“Poverty aggravates vulnerability. It’s therefore critical to have interventions in economic
empowerment as most families opt for negotiated settlements out of GBV and violence against
children cases for the economic gain,” Amongi observed.
Ambassador Signe promised that the next Country Strategic Framework would have a gender
lens to ensure that the key aspects speak to each such as creating awareness on Sexual
Reproductive Health and Rights as well as linkages to service providers.
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