Causes of gender based violence in areas of humanitarian crisis: a case study of Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, Kiryandongo District.
Dei, John Emmanuel
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Gender-based violence prevents individual’s enjoyment of fundamental human rights and it is also central to social, economic and health problem. Similarly, gender-based violence is viewed as a significant problem in areas of humanitarian crisis throughout the world. However, in Uganda especially in Kiryandongo Refugee settlement, most researches in this area were conducted in households outside the refugee camps. Yet, in order to assess comprehensively, it needs specific study. Thus, the main objective of the study was to examine the prevalence, cause and strategies to reduce gender based violence particularly in Kiryandongo refugee settlement. In order to achieve these objectives, both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection were employed. Hence, data were collected from in-depth interviews from the respondents within the settlement. Questionnaires were also distributed to respondents within the settlement to get more information about gender based violence. The study found out that married women and girls were the majority exposed to sexual, physical and socio-economic violence including; attempt rape, physical injuries, rape, discrimination and stigmatization, gang rape, and denial of access to services. The study also disclosed that men, intimate partners were the prime gender based violence perpetrators in Kiryandongo refugee settlement. Moreover, the study revealed that poverty, alcoholism, cultural norms and poor coping mechanisms were identified as causes of gender based violence in Kiryandongo refugee settlement. Additionally, men’s feeling of ‘loss of power’ in the camp, which challenges male’s identity as superior to female, led men living in the refugee camp to anger and makes women vulnerable to different forms of gender based violence. Consequently, because of gender based violence, women and girls who are the majority victims have short and long lasting damaging consequence on their life in terms of health, physical and psycho-social.