Gender academician’s take on Violence against women in recent Kampala riots

Aramanzan N. Madanda is a lecturer at the Department of Gender and Women studies at Makerere University. This is how he responded to my article on Violence against women manifested in Kampala riots.

I have read your blog  and what I can say is that what happened in the Kampala streets regarding attacking women is a manifestation of the broader problem of violence against women (VAW). Almost any study of VAW in Uganda reports about 60%  prevalence. What this translates to is that out of every 10 women 6 have experienced VAW is some form. This violence comes from mostly intimate partners like husband or boyfriend, but it can be from security agencies or the general public.

The justifications for VAW are usually embedded in the whole conceptualisation of women’s sexuality where in many cases females are objectified as instruments of sexual pleasure or even sexual humiliation. So the comment like “she was undressed because she is beautiful” – as if beauty is concealed somewhere in the under garments are some of the manifestations. When a woman is raped, some people begin by asking if she was “properly” dressed as if it is in order to rape anyone even if she was naked!! When a woman is beaten it is taken as disciplining and a show of love!! So whenever there is any chaos (riot, war, skirmish, etc), some people take advantage and vent their sexual and other egos on women in many forms.