Women with disability decry sexual harassment

Monday June 10, 2019

 

Women with disabilities, under their umbrella organization Ugandan National Action for physical disabilities (UNAPD) have decried sexual harassment by men in the night.


They made the revelation during the launch of Advocacy project for inclusive implementation of National Policy and service standards for sexual and reproductive health and rights in Uganda, on Saturday in Kampala.


Elizabeth Negesa the chairperson Elgon foundation for persons with Albinism said she has on several occasions been used and dumped by men.


"They see you as beautiful in the night, tell you they love and promise you heaven on earth. But after having sex with you, they do not want anything to do with you during day,” she narrated.


Negesa who is now a mother of two says she has been abandoned by their fathers and struggles to raise them single handedly.


“When I conceived for the first time, I went to a health facility for antenatal but nurses neglected me. Most wondered what kind of man impregnated me," she says.


Living with albinism, Negesa says no nurse attended to her because of her skin. She also lost a job and was kicked out of the rented house where she lived.


“I lived under a tree for six months, because I could not afford to rent a house," she said.


When she was due for birth, Nurses at a health facility in Mbale instead made fun of her. Some feared to touch her skin.


"When I heard a nurse calling colleagues to look at my private parts, I decided to leave the health facility and went back to my tree and delivered my child, but with a lot of complications.”


Not so long after she gave birth, Negesa met another man in church who promised to live with her. But this was short lived. The man disappeared after making her pregnant.


Like Negesa, Cathrine Areikin who is speech impaired says a man approached her, impregnated her and also abandoned her.



Another woman, Erisi Namugaza says she conceived but the man's clan saw her as a misfortune. I went to hospital to deliver my baby but I was ignored by nurses.


The Executive Director UNAPD Mr. Apollo Mukasa said they have come up with this project to deal with discrimination. “When government is designing sexual health programmes we are not always included, yet disabled women are always sexually harassed especially in night hours.”


"Others are raped, defiled, and are infected with HIV AIDs by heartless men who lure them into sex.”


He appealed to stake holders to pay attention to PWDs, because they are sexually active like other normal people and therefore should not be discriminated against.