Joelia, 19 years old, works at Kasenyi landing site at Lake Victoria, near Abaita Ababiri, in Katabi town council, roasting and selling fish. Her first born is 3 years old and the second is 1.5 years old. She was defiled and married off as a teenage mother. Her husband has paid little attention to Joelia and her children’s wellbeing. Joelia was worried of the possibility of conceiving another child which would affect her ability to run her small scale business of roasting fish at the roadside. When she heard of free access to Family Planning services offered by Family Medical Point during one of our community engagement sessions, Joelia immediately made up her mind to uptake family planning. She received an implant. Joelia knew her worries had come to an end. She shared the story with her spouse, James. He reacted violently, got a razorblade and forcefully cut out the implant and beat up Joelia terribly that she spent two weeks on a hospital bed. Her husband views FP as evil.
Joelia and thousands of other women, suffer such untold gender based violence associated with family planning. Family Medical Point with support from Population Matters through the Empower to Plan initiative will roll out community initiative in Kasenyi area to campaign against gender based violence associated with Family Planning.
FMP will run a localized and context relevant behaviour change communication campaign, educating and empowering the women in Kasenyi to know there is recourse for acts of violence and transform attitudes of men towards women of reproductive age accessing family planning. Family Medical Point will also deliver Family Planning services to the community through its outreach model.
According to Ms. Ruth Amuge, the Team Leader – Family Medical Point, this is intended to ensure safety and security for women of reproductive age against violence associated with family planning among fishing communities that this year was worsened by COVID-19 pandemic
Amuge noted that despite the pandemic, Family Medical Point was able to reach some 17,440, and mostly women and young girls, with the correct family planning information, services and products in fishing areas around Katabi, Wakiso District in 2020.
“The media is a vital means through which information can fast reach the targeted people. We want to cultivate perception change among communities and particularly among men that violence against women and young girls retards development,” Ms Amuge said.
According to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, between March and April alone this year, a total of 30,280 cases of gender based violence had been reported to Police, in addition to 283 cases of similar violence against children.
Mr. Odongo Moses, Executive Director, Family Medical Point, noted that acts of violence degrade dignity of women and are not acceptable. “Family Medical Point’s key priorities are to enhance access to health services and empower women and girls. GBV in all its forms affects the attainment of these objectives; we therefore shall work every single second to end GBV in all its forms and particularly we shall de-campaign and defeat GBV associated with Family Planning uptake”, he said.