On this year’s womens’s day,Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG) joined hands with Queer Youth Uganda (QYU) and MARPI clinic to give back to the WOMEN in our country by visiting the inmates of KIRINYA prison Jinja.The outreach which was themed “WE PLEDGE FOR PARITY” commemoration of the 2016 international women’s day theme was aimed at giving back to the community, appreciating women as mothers of the nation, and creating/sending a combined strong voice to the world aid visibility for all women regardless of whether they are considered a minority or not.
The theme of the day ‘’TO PUSH FOR PARITY’’ was a combination on three key pledges by us as an LBTI community hashtaged as;
#we pledge for access to health care for minorities women and inmates
#we pledge to take front row in the fight against sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) and call for gender inclusive leadership
#we pledge for career development and sustainability skills for LBTI women
At the prisons,there was active participation of members from the organizations present(FARUG and QUEER YOUTH), inmates(kirinya)and the health service providers(Marpi mulago). Members interacted with inmates who shared their life experiences in prison, fundraised for some basic needs for inmates like sugar and soap which were distributed amongst the inmates. MARPI mulago provided the health care services for both inmates and prison wardens inclusive of STI screening and treatment, cervical cancer screening and counseling amongst other services.The essence of this outreach to us as FARUG was:
- To create visibility and access to better health care services to women inmates and minorities in Uganda
- To build consensus on how to fully participate and move on as LGBTI persons in the national strategic planning.
- To celebrate women who have done phenomenal work to advance human rights for women
- To expose and join hands to violations against women for instance gender based violence, female genital mutilation, forced and under age marriages, inequality in the employment sector.
The outreach was a success because by the end of the day,50 female inmates and 15 wardens and prison officers had received free cervical and breast cancer screening and management, VCT, STDs and STI screening and management, general medical services and psycho-social counseling.
Table showing statistics of the different cases handled
|Overall number of clients received||50|
|Clients attended cancer screening for cervix||50|
|Clients who were screened positive for cancer of cervix(VIA)||50|
|Clients who were treated for abnormal vaginal discharge||38|
|Clients who were treated for lower abdominal pain||17|
|Client who were treated for other medical conditions (RTI, backache etc)||23|
Empower a woman , Empower a nation ; we are not looking at only improving access to health care services but also other services like Legal aid, entrepreneurship and psycho-social empowerment