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Anglican Church of Uganda intensifies mentorship for boys to fight gender-based violence and disparity

Kampala, Uganda

The Anglican Church of Uganda will intensify its mentorship program for boys in a bid to fight gender-based violence and gender disparity.

The Archbishop of the Anglican Church, Dr Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu, observed that while girls are mentored on how to treat men in Africa, boys are, on the other hand, left on their own to learn about women – a fact which he said is at the root cause of gender disparity. 

The Anglican Church five-year mentorship strategy, known as “Boys to Men”, was launched in 2021. It seeks to change the mindset of boys to eliminate discrimination against females arising from distinctions regarding biology, psychology, or cultural norms prevalent in society. 

Uganda International Womens Day Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba1

Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu preparing food on the International Women’s Day, on 8th March in Kampala. PICTURE: Courtesy of Anglican Church of Uganda.

The move to intensify the mentorship program comes after Kaziimba called for an end to online gender-based violence and gender inequalities in access to technology in less privileged communities of the world at the event to mark the International Women’s Day last week. 

Kaziimba noted that gender inequality was evident in the context of digital skills and access to technologies, with women being left behind. 

He called for urgent action in increasing education, income security and employment of women in less privileged communities. 

“Let’s be united as we promote women advancement in the digital technologies and advocate for mentorship of the boy child for a better future of the girls and women,” Kaziimba said, adding, “It is important to examine how gender equality, empowerment and sustainable development can be achieved in the digital era.”

Kaziimba also noted at the event that while digital technological advancement was rapidly transforming societies, it was also giving rise to profound challenges.

“The pervasive threat of online gender-based violence and lack of legal action force women out of the digital spaces, and opportunities of the digital revolution present a risk of perpetuating gender inequality that keeps women from unlocking technology’s full potential,” he said. “Online harassment and discrimination against women is a widespread problem with many female users experiencing sexist and hateful comments.”

A 2020 Plan International survey of 14,000 women aged 15 to 25 from 22 countries including Japan, United States, Brazil, India, Spain and Nigeria found 58 per cent of respondents had experienced online harassment or abuse on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and TikTok.

Uganda International Womens Day Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba2

Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu shakes hands with the DanChurchAid country director, Anders Bastholm Hansen, at the event. PICTURE: Courtesy of Anglican Church of Uganda.

Kaziimba emphasised that the full participation and leadership of women and girls in science and technology must be promoted and protected at all times. He reminded participants at the event that this year’s theme for the Anglican Church of Uganda is “United for Service and Growth”  – based on Ephesians 4:11-16, and called for unity in promoting women’s advancement in digital technology.

“The transformative technology and digital education for women is crucial for a sustainable future,” Kaziimba said.

The event was organised by the Anglican Church of Uganda in conjunction with  Danish NGO DanChurchAid.

DanChurchAid country director, Anders Bastholm Hansen, challenged participants to always think of what men and women can do together to enhance gender unity.

Another speaker, Grace Murengyezi, president of the provincial Mothers Union, noted the need for men to help their wives with house chores to release them to advance in technology and development in general as a way of unlocking development in their families and society.



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