A heavy turnout by Ugandan law enforcement and civil agencies forKampala’s “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” march aimed to spread the message of solidarity in stopping violence against women.
With a marching band playing, men and women walked through downtown Kampala, with some holding signs.
As part of the event, some men literally walked a mile (about 1.6 kilometers) in women’s high-heeled shoes to protest sexualized violence, educate their communities and raise money for chronically underfunded rape crisis centers, women’s shelters and other sexual violence prevention and recovery services.
The march came at a time when violence against women is increasing. Police say they have seen an increase in the number of rape and domestic violence cases in recent years. Although this could be attributed to more women reporting assaults, officers say they still find the statistics troubling.
The Ugandan Bureau of Statistics estimated that nearly 70 percent of married women are subjected to violence by their partners.
Uganda has harsh laws against domestic violence and rape, but they are rarely enforced. According to a 2014 report by the U.S. State Department, while over 1,000 Ugandan women reported rapes in 2013, there were only 11 convictions that year.