Hundreds of women in Uganda took to the streets this weekend to participate in the One Million Women’s March to protest the growing violence against women.
Women in the East African nation have been complaining about the rising murder, rape and kidnapping incidents in the last three years, which have been met with little response or acknowledgment by the police and the government.
According to Reuters, the bodies of more than 20 women have been dumped on roadsides in the capital Kampala since last year. The organizers of the march, the Women’s Protest Working Group, have put the number at 42 since 2015. Solid statistics are hard to come by because an annual crime report has not be released since 2013. Many believe that the police forces are trying to conceal how bad the problem has become for women in the country.
“And so I March. To remember them, they were not given any justice and no one was held accountable for their gruesome deaths. But I recognize them. I think about them, the families and friends they left behind with no closure, but fear and anger,” one Twitter user said.
The Ugandan government, which eventually allowed the march to happen after initially trying to prevent it, has failed to create a sufficient response to the killings.
According to local media, Internal Affairs minister, Gen Jeje Odong, stunned the parliament when he linked the killings to a mysterious “Illuminati” sect. Also, President Yoweri Museveni has addressed the nation with his 10-point plan for restoring security in Uganda, but many are dubious about whether this will solve the problem, according to Global Voices.