On 2nd May 2022, 22 Women Human Rights Defenders from the Acholi Women Human Rights Defenders Regional Network met with Gulu City Woman MP, Hon Aol Betty Achan at her community office in Gulu City. The WHRDs who came from Gulu, Kitgum, Omoro, Pader, Nwoya, Lamwo and Amuru districts.
Adubo Diana, one of the WHRDs in the region took lead in this session outlined the various Gender based threats and intimidation they face that in their work of of GBV, land rights, promotion of rights for persons with disabilities, journalists, children, LBQT, sex work. She outlined these Gender specific attacks that include;
Instead of producing children, you are busy loitering, stop messing up your life as a woman
Gender discrimination. People don’t want to associate with you in the community.
No wonder you are single, which man can stay with a loud woman like you. Women are supposed to soft spoken always.
I cannot marry a woman like you. You are like a fellow man. Women like you are not marriage material.
Baby hater(If advocating for family planning and safe abortion)
Exclusion from clan land ownership committees.
The meeting offered a great opportunity in establishing a working relationship with the MP and the Acholi WHRDs requested the MP to create a platform to engage the Human Rights Parliamentary Committee and her office act as a referral point to WHRDS to report violations they encounter.
In her speech, MP Aol Betty appreciated the WHRDs for their activism and support they offer in upholding human rights especially of all people regardless of gender, age and occupation. She also committed to create a platform to discuss their issues with the Human Rights Parliamentary Committee, the Gender Parliamentary Committee and the Speaker of Parliament.
The Acholi WHRDs also handed over a position paper and Human Rights Defenders Protection Bill to the MP.