The current lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic could have created a new window for sexual exploitation of vulnerable women.
According to the Uganda Parliamentary Women’s Association (UWOPA), some of the officials involved in the government program of distributing relief food to distressed families in Kampala and Wakiso, are using the relief food to abuse women.
The association’s chairperson Pamela Kamugo (Budaka Woman MP) told journalists at Parliament that some local leaders are using the current situation to lure vulnerable women into sex before they are included on the list of beneficiaries.
Last weekend, Kamugo said, a lady whose identity she did not reveal, called her seeking for help against her village chairperson who was pestering her for sex in order for her to benefit from the relief food program.
“I don’t know how the lady got my phone contact but she was crying, she was hungry, and she had missed the food rations. When she contacted the area LC I chairman, he told her that he cannot give him food unless she offered sex,” Kamugo said.
Kamugho asked the government to pick interest in this particular case and apprehend the village chairperson.
“This is very unfortunate, and, I’m sure it is happening not only in Kampala but other parts of the country,” she said.
Kamugo also recommended that under the on-going food distribution, priority should be given to female and child-headed families.
“Food is given to individuals rather than households to regulate the unequal power relations within households reduce women’s dependence on men and ensure women have enough to feed their children,” she said.
Kamugo also says that relief food to the female and child-headed households should be distributed by women to avoid harassment and exploitation.