News / Africa

HRW Reports on Atrocities Faced by Disabled Women in Uganda

China Keitetsi, campaigner and former child soldier from Uganda crying as she tells her story at a press conference held by Amnesty International to launch a campaign to stop violence against women, in London (File Photo)
China Keitetsi, campaigner and former child soldier from Uganda crying as she tells her story at a press conference held by Amnesty International to launch a campaign to stop violence against women, in London (File Photo)

An international research group says women with disabilities in northern Uganda regularly face sexual and gender-based violence. In a report published Thursday, Human Rights Watch says disabled women have been largely ignored in post-conflict reconstruction efforts.

A researcher on the report, Shantha Rau Barriga, spoke to VOA from Kampala.

She said women with disabilities in northern Uganda are deeply vulnerable, especially to sexual attacks.

"For women with disabilities, reproductive health services are not available," said Barriga. "They are vulnerable to HIV infection because society believes that women with disabilities are a-sexual and are virgins and they are more targets for sexual violence."

For the report, Human Rights Watch spoke to 64 women and girls with disabilities.

More than one-third said they had experienced some form of sexual or physical abuse.

Barriga said she spoke to one woman who had been raped three times only the week before.

"This woman did not even tell anybody in her community about what happened, not even her mother, because she was afraid of what they would say to her and that they would say she was running around," she said. "She wanted to know her HIV-status, but was not able to go to the health center because it was so far away she would have to crawl for miles and sleep on the road, so she just preferred to live without knowing."

Some of the women interviewed for the report were born with disabilities; others had developed disabilities through diseases such as polio. Many had sustained injuries during the two decades of fighting between the government and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army.

"Most of the women we met who had gotten their disabilities because of the war were landmine survivors, so they had lost one leg and one woman had been mutilated," said Barriga. "The LRA had cut off her nose and her ears and her upper lip and there were a couple of women who had similar experiences."

According to a national survey carried out in 2007, 20 percent of people in Uganda have a disability.

The Human Rights Watch report says women with disabilities have been by-passed in the effort to rebuild post-conflict Uganda; many are unable to access basic services such as health care and justice, and the stigma surrounding disability is such that many are excluded from their community.

The report says the Ugandan government, non-governmental organizations, and international humanitarian groups need to do more to address the problems that are specific to women with disabilities.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More