I am writing this note to share some of my thoughts on the anti-homosexuality bill that was passed into law last month in Uganda.
I know that there is great concern in the West regarding the passage of this law. I share the same values of so much of the online response I have read. My human rights colleagues in Uganda and I believe this process was undemocratic and a violation of human rights and dignity. I further believe that the purpose of the President signing this bill into law and the Parliament putting it forth was for political ambitions, since as a country we are soon going to the polls to elect new leaders. Because of lack of exposure in Uganda, the mass population is homophobic about the whole aspect of homosexuality, and so the anti-homosexual position is a powerful stance for politicians. This fear is further amplified by the church leaders who strongly speak negatively about homosexuality, in my opinion from a very ignorant point of view.
Passing this law is definitely a step backward for Uganda’s growth and it reflects poorly on Uganda’s commitment to protecting human rights.
However, despite this challenge, I would also like to share with you that the problem associated with homosexuality is small – and only affects a very small portion of the population in Uganda. Affecting a far greater portion of Uganda’s population are the issues of violence and disempowerment of women, HIV/AIDS, early pregnancies and other issues affecting over 50% of the population.
Through your generous support and partnership, Just Like My Child Foundation has empowered girls and communities to achieve their fullest potential in education, health, social justice and human rights, among others. Your support directly benefits the highly vulnerable girls who have nothing to do with the legislative body that has passed this law, and need your support more than ever. I also assure you that this legislation is contradictory to the beliefs of the growing human rights consortium in Uganda, and it is contradictory to the spirit and information we bring to the Girl Power Project®.
I encourage you to continue supporting girls because through this support, in the long run, we shall have a population that understands that all minority groups who are part of our society deserve their human rights and to be respected. And if we raise girls to live their fullest potential, they will soon be sitting in the seats of Parliament in greater numbers, with louder and more powerful voices than ever.
As human rights activists in Uganda, we shall continue to push for the amendment of this law.
Yours in Solidarity,
Girl Power Project® Mentor and Facilitator