Violation of mothers’ rights and its effects on children’s rights: A comparative study of rural and urban settings in Uganda
Namayanja, Violet Banjon
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Mothers’ rights continue to be violated in Uganda despite government efforts to promote and protect them. Uganda ratified several international and regional human rights instruments and locally, chapter 4 (33) of the Uganda Constitution specifically provides for women’s and children’s rights. The study was guided by the following objectives: (i) To find out whether urban and rural mothers understand their rights or VAM; (ii) To establish the major causes of violence against mothers; (iii) To explore the consequences of violence against mothers on children in both rural and urban settings; (iv) To establish existing and recommend new strategies to reduce VAM (and promote children’s rights). These quantitative data collection methods were used: self-administered questionnaires for mothers, fathers and children; interview guides for key respondents and 2 case studies of mothers whose rights were evidently violated. Research findings revealed that Violence against mothers (VAM), mainly perpetuated by their intimate partners, to a great extent leads to violation of children’s rights. This is attributed to the strong natural bond mothers have with their children. Physical and emotional violence was evident in Bamunanika and Ntinda respectively but 25% urban dwellers revealed that for them emotional violence escalated into physical violence. Patriarchy, accepted as normal way of life, irrespective of how the fathers chose to run their homes, posed a major threat to the fight for mothers’ rights. The involvement of all stakeholders including the (likely) perpetrators and victims is paramount in the realization of mothers’ rights, and ultimately children’s rights. Other actions to be taken include embracing change of attitudes, behaviour or cultures that perpetuate VAM as well as punishing of perpetrators of VAM as stipulated in the relevant laws, like the Domestic Violence Act 2010.
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