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More women in Jinja are experiencing online gender based violence than in any other district

Jinja has the highest cases of online gender-based violence (GBV), according to a study conducted by the Women Uganda Network (UWOUGNET).

Beaten woman (For illustration purpose only)

The research, which was conducted in 2020, revealed that 99.7% of females were affected by online GBV, compared to 0.3% of males.

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According to UN Women, online gender-based violence, also known as technology-facilitated gender-based violence, “is any act that is committed, assisted, aggravated, or amplified by the use of information communication technologies or other digital tools that results in or is likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological, social, political, or economic harm or other infringements of rights and freedoms.”

Esther Nyapendi, a technical support officer at WOUGNET, while speaking to KFM, a Ugandan radio station, said that in the five districts where research was carried out, Jinja topped the list, followed by Kampala, Kabalore, Lira, and Kabale.

Nyapendi told the radio station that most online victims are female politicians, musicians, and university students because they are considered “vulnerable”, while most of them remain anonymous for fear of being stigmatised.

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According to her, cyberstalking and cyberbullying are the most common modes of sexual violence, while others include non-consensual intimate images, online sexual harassment, impersonation, doxing, trolling, hacking, and hate speech, among others.

According to the Annual Police Crime Report 2022, there was a slight increase in the number of cases of domestic violence registered in 2022 in Uganda.

The report indicated that there were 17,698 reported cases last year, compared to 17,533 in 2021.

Districts in the cattle corridor, according to the report, are some of those where police recorded the most cases of gender-based violence in 2022.

Experts believe that poverty in those districts, which has come as a result of drought, has led to a scarcity of human necessities such as food, water, and pasture, which in turn has led to frustration and thus gender-based violence in homes.

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"Gender-based violence has many causes, one of which is poverty, which brings about frustration. When a home is lacking the basics, this will mostly likely lead to frustrations, which at times may lead to gender-based violence," Samali Wakooli, the head of the gender department at the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution, told New Vision, a Ugandan newspaper, in an interview late last year.

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