Ugandans protest violence against women

Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of Uganda’s capital on Saturday demanding police action to stop a spate of kidnappings and murders of women that have gripped the country.

“We demand action and accountability for the rampant kidnapping, brutalising and murder of women in this country,” said Lydia Namubiru of the Women Protest Working Group, which organised the demonstration.

At least 43 women have been murdered and others kidnapped for ransom in the East African nation since May 2017, according to police.

Rights activists have criticised what they say has been an inadequate police response focused on blaming the victims rather than solving the crimes.

Marchers wore T-shirts declaring “Women’s Lives Matter” and held posters listing the names of murdered women.

US ambassador Deborah Malac and French envoy Stephanie Rivoal were among the marchers.

“My staff members are scared. They’re afraid to be out… because they don’t know if they’re going to be kidnapped or a victim of violence,” Malac told AFP.

Agatha Neema said she came to the protest “because I am a woman”.

“We live in fear yet our country is supposed to protect us. We demand security from the government,” said the 32-year-old information scientist.

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