Poverty, Domestic Violence Forcing Rakai Women Out of Marriage

3120 Views Rakai town, Uganda

In short
Nandawula says although she had put up with Sseruuge’s daily beatings, quarreling and drunkenness, she couldn’t take it any more when he bit her breast and private parts over sex

At least 300 women in Rakai district have left their marriages citing poverty and Domestic violence over the last three years, a report by the Eastern Africa Sub-regional support Initiative for the Advancement of Women has revealed. The most affected women are from Kakuuto, Kyotera sub counties and Kooki County.
 
Elizabeth Ampairwe, an official with the Eastern Africa Sub-regional support Initiative for the Advancement of Women says majority of the affected women were battered, sexually abused and kicked away from their marriages. According to Ampairwe, the project has registered over 3000 women but at least 300 have abandoned their marriages citing domestic violence.
 
She explains that the husbands have taken advantage of unemployment and lack of empowerment to brutalize their wives. According to Ampairwe, majority of the victims of domestic violence are illiterate women who cannot find decent employment. She also says while many others are still in marriage, their husbands are not providing basic necessities.

// Cue in: “ You will find…
Cue out: …from their homes.”//

32 –year-old Flora Nandawula, a resident of Gamba village in Kakuuto is one of the women who quit her marriage two months ago because of domestic violence. Nandauwa was married to Zaverio Sseruuge, with whom they have seven children. Nandawula says she decided to quit her marriage and returned to her parent’s home in Kitasiba village after enduring eleven years of domestic violence, which she couldn't take any more.
 
Nandawula says although she had put up with Sseruuge’s daily beatings, quarreling and drunkenness, she couldn't take it any more when he bit her breast and private parts over sex. She explains that in July while sleeping, Sseruuge returned home drunk and demanded for sex but she declined to comply.
 
Luganda byte:
//Cue in: “Abaana bali musanvu…
Cue out:…nina amanyi matono.”//

30- year -old Benna Namuganga, a mother of two also fled her violent husband Mande Sansa, a resident of Bbale in Kooki, Rakai district. Namuganga says she decided to quit when her marriage deteriorated to unbearable levels. She claims that Sansa abandoned her without any basic need. She says whenever she asked for money for food; Sansa would get wild and beating her up prompting her to abandon the marriage altogether. Our reporter was unable to access any of the accused men to hear their side of the story.
 
Namuganga is now employed as a house maid in Lukoma village near Mutukula border post. Agnes Namusiitwa, an LC V councilor at Rakai district says she has helped most of these women to report these husbands to court. She hopes court finds justice for the women and forces their husbands to provide for them. She says with poverty reaching crisis levels, many men no longer care for their families. According to Namusiitwa, the district has also set up a committee to work with activists to ensure they investigate all cases of domestic violence.

Noah Sserunjogi, the greater Masaka region Police spokesperson says they have recorded several cases of domestic violence despite the fact that he couldn't give the actual figures. He has encourages women to continue reporting such cases to police.

 

About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.