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Women Lives Matter: “Uganda One Million Women March” – protesting against kidnappings and murders of women

Uganda’s Women’s Protest Working Group is calling for support to end violence against women. The group is holding the One Million Women’s march on Saturday June 30th 2018, at Centenary Park. #WomensMarchUg Women Lives Matter:

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Over 42 women have been killed, raped and mutilated since May 2017, and Ugandan women are taking a stand for their safety. The One Million Women’s March will be a protest towards the end of rampant kidnappings and murders of women that have rocked the country over the past three years.

Under the slogan “Women Lives Matter” the Women’s Protest Working Group has organised the march for Saturday June 30th 2018. The group has promised to take to the streets regardless of the Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola denying their request to demonstrate.

Police said the reasons raised for the demonstration, have already been “adequately addressed publicly,” first on June 11, 2018 by the ministers of Internal Affairs, Security, Defence and Veteran Affairs and then later by President Yoweri Museveni in his parliamentary address.

The letter from the Commissioner of Police reads: “This serves to inform you that the intended demonstration to raise awareness, express displeasure about the spate of killings and kidnap of women/girls cannot be allowed to go on as scheduled”.

“On the June 11th, 2018, the concerned ministers of internal affairs, security, defence and veteran affairs and security chiefs addressed the country. They were given live coverage on TVs and later print media regarding security. Issues raised took centre stage and were adequately addressed,” Commissioner Nuwagira’s letter states.

Read: Ugandan Anti-Pornography Bill Could Prohibit ‘Provocative’ Clothing on Women, Censor Film and TV and Restrict Personal Internet Use

They claimed that the President “elaborately gave the strategies for sustainable sustainable security, both for the short and long run,”  the police letter to the activists reads.

Women’s Protest Working Group lawyer, Patricia Twasiima, said the protest will go ahead nonetheless as they fulfilled all the obligations of the Public Order Management Act (POMA) by informing police of their upcoming demonstration.

“We thought the new IGP would work to protect the rights of Ugandan citizens. It is very disappointing and gross misuse of his powers deny us the right to demonstrate. For us we shall go ahead with our demonstration,” she said.

On the police’s claim that the issues being demonstrated had already been addressed Twasiima said, “The idea that a speech from the ministers or president can solve a security situation where 43 women have been murdered is really not thoughtful. No single case has been resolved. Just yesterday, two children were kidnapped after the live broadcasts from the ministers and the president. Did the speeches prevent that from happening?”

The group is therefore calling for women and men in Uganda to join the protest or for those not in Uganda to show solidarity by creating awareness through the hashtag #WomensMarchUg or by engaging their official twitter handle @WomensProtestUg and following the group page on Facebook at @wpwg2018.